Using live video for improving emergency response stakeholders` situational awareness and dynamic decision-making


  • Kristine Steen-Tveit University of Agder



The use of video for information collection and decision support for emergency stakeholders is highly relevant for future crisis management (Steen-Tveit et al., 2021). Not having the opportunity to see what is to be assessed in various crises scenarios is a significant obstacle to decision-making processes (Ek & Svedlund, 2015), and a lack of sufficient relevant information is a well-known limitation in crisis management (e.g., Van den Homberg et al., 2018).

The positive effects of using live video for information collection have been documented in studies related to collaboration between emergency management stakeholders (Bergstrand & Landgren, 2009) and interaction between the public and emergency management stakeholders (e.g., Bolle et al 2011). The information from videos can provide valuable information to increase emergency response stakeholders' situational awareness, provide an effective basis for decision-making, and aid the stakeholders to develop a common situational understanding. On the other hand, in the research on the use of video, it is often implicit that the video shows objective relevant facts for various situations. For example, body-worn cameras are considered "independent non-biased witnesses" of events (Lapowsky, 2014). But there are arguments that the understanding of video as "objective" is a misunderstanding, and that both how people interpret the video, and the format of the video itself, can be a basis for biased decisions (Granot, 2018). Also, some studies report that live video can introduce issues such as information overload and privacy breaches (Neustaedter et al., 2018).

Using live video for information collection in various settings in crisis management will become even more important in the future (Sæther, 2022), and there is still limited documentation of the impact video has on situational awareness, work processes, and decision-making. Research on this is therefore considered important and necessary. By observing the video systems during exercises, analyzing video recordings, and collecting data from experts through interviews and surveys, this postdoctoral project aims to investigate how the emergency response stakeholders in first responder agencies can utilize live video in the best way possible for improving situational awareness and dynamic decision-making.






Work in progress