Software aids World Cup emergency planning

Researchers at Salford University have developed a piece of software that has been used to plan for emergencies in South Africa’s World Cup stadiums.

The software is said to mark a real step forward in planning for emergency medical scenarios, as it replaces physical models using toy building blocks to represent people or resources that were unable to show complex data, move ahead in real time or be captured as snapshots for later reviews.

By using confidential data provided by the South African authorities, the software has been used by emergency services to simulate a range of scenarios that result in casualties.

The software is based on models used in hospitals to plan for an influx of casualties following a major incident. It was developed by the university’s Lee Griffiths, a computer-science researcher, and one of his students, Dr Jane Mooney, a physician who works at Salford Royal Hospital.

Griffiths said: ’Scenario planning for major events is standard practice, but we felt that the toy-blocks-style physical process that is typically used could be improved using technology. By using a games engine we’ve created something that is far more flexible, informative and can be adapted simply by inputting data from any event.’