Council wins award for emergency management leadership

Council has been recognised as a leader in emergency management after winning a Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) award for its web based emergency management system, MECC Central.

Last week, Council won the Local Government excellence in information communications technology award for outstanding achievement in emergency management for a small council.

The award recognises the MECC Central, used during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, as an innovative and leading solution within Local Government.

The MECC Central operated within the Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MECC) during the 2009 bushfires, enabling all relevant departments and agencies (such as Ambulance Victoria, Department of Primary Industries, State Emergency Services, Department of Sustainability and Environment) to coordinate their response.

IT Manager Craig Collings demonstrated the ability of the MECC Central to share information with other agencies, keep records, and communicate with stakeholders in an emergency to other councils at the awards ceremony.

“MECC Central enables requests coming into the coordination centre to be allocated to the appropriate agencies for actioning,” Mr Collings said.

“It is a simple system that requires no training and is accessed over the internet.

“Each agency responds to the requests assigned to them, and can also keep logs of their departments activities.

“For example, if a resident calls in reporting a fallen tree on a road, the emergency controller can assign the incident to Council to investigate.

“It enabled us to easily capture records from the 2009 bushfires which proved useful when Council was required to present a report to the Royal Commission.”

The next version of MECC Central is being developed by Council and will be accessible by mobile internet devices such as smart phones and iPads.

Mr Collings said that Council was viewed as a leader in emergency management.

“We have had quite a lot of interest from other councils in the system”, he said.

“We have used innovative web technologies to assist the operation of the MECC and with our experience of the bushfires over the past 10 years we are now seen as a leader in emergency management within Local Government.”

Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll of Bright Police and IT Manager Craig Collings with the Local Government award.


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