How the Channel Islands Air Search Uses D4H to Support Their Search and Rescue Missions
Here's how the Channel Islands Air Search deployed D4H as their team management and after-action reporting software solution.
The Channel Islands Air Search (CIAS) is a voluntary service providing rapid response airborne search and rescue in the Channel Island waters. Their search area consists of the 4,000 square miles of water surrounding the Channel Islands and the adjacent French coast, with their operational base located in Guernsey Airport, where CIAS has its own purpose-built hangar. CIAS operates on a 24 hour, 365-day basis in all weather conditions and provides service to the rescue centers of the Channel Islands, the CROSSMA, and CROSSCO centers on the adjoining French coast, and, on occasion, the English Coastguards. Their search area is notorious for strong tides, changeable weather, large seas, and submerged reefs. It is also one of Europe’s highest density areas for leisure boaters.
Known as the “lifeboats eye in the sky”, the CIAS aircraft operates in conjunction with Lifeboats, military helicopters, and other rescue craft. Equipped with a thermal camera, sat-nav, marine radar, and mobile phone geolocation equipment, their brand new Islander aircraft will provide the Channel Islands and adjacent waters with a technically advanced and capable asset to aid them in their searches.
Before implementing D4H, CIAS used a series of emails and Word templates to track their crew training and manage their incident reporting.
CIAS crew members complete various training modules throughout the year, both voluntary and mandatory. It was difficult to track crew training and qualifications using these methods as they were constantly changing and needing to be updated.
“D4H has replaced archaic forms of reporting and filing with something that is far more contained, with everything in one location.”
— John Fitzgerald, Search Crew Manager
CIAS discovered D4H when researching online for a software solution that would provide an effective means for managing their search and rescue crew.
Each crew member has their own profile on D4H where they can update their own information. CIAS use D4H to keep track of how up-to-date each crew member’s training is. They can clearly see who has covered what training module and when. Now, they can quickly and clearly see if any crew members are not up to date with their training and act appropriately and efficiently to resolve the matter.
“Our searches tend to be police-oriented. When a vulnerable person goes missing we search the cliff paths. D4H allows navigators, pilots, and crew to go in and provide updates from events or exercises. It’s much easier because we can access D4H as and when we need.”
— John Fitzgerald, Search Crew Manager
D4H Incident Reporting has proved very useful for the team’s after-action reports. After an event, they import screenshots of their mapping and drop them into reports. It allows them to make effective use of their time as they have all the information readily available for Air Search trustees.
“Because D4H is cloud-based, it’s so much easier when I’m out on a search. I can go in and provide updates and I can see other people’s updates. D4H makes work on the move far more effective, rather than being tied down to software that’s installed on a computer. It makes life easier for everybody, they don’t have to be at the hangar to update reports.”
—John Fitzgerald, Search Crew Manager
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