Terminology support for crisis management and rescue operations in Norway


For large events the Police, Fire, and health services have to collaborate to save lives. In Norway, these services use different terminologies, potentially preventing efficient coordination among the agencies. The effective response in critical situations depends on clear and rapid communication with a common understanding of terms used for time, place, roles and actions.

The Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre provides the rescue Handbook (in Norwegian) with definitions of terms and abbreviations to be used as the basis for the collaboration across sectors. However, the definitions cannot be easily searched if they are only available in a PDF document.

In the INSITU project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, these terms become searchable and clickable directly from a text, as it can be seen in the image below showing a term clicked from the rescue handbook, “masseskadetriage” (Triage – meaning the principle or practice of sorting emergency patients – or casualties in battle or in a disaster – into categories of priority for treatment). The solution is implemented using Tingtun Termer.

User testing indicates that easier access to relevant term definitions with INSITU Termer gives better understanding of the information. Easier access can encourage organisations to develop and maintain their term definitions.

The project has also included a selection of international sources, among which there are IATE, GEMET (General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus) and Wordnet. References to ETSI standards and EUR-Lex are also made clickable in a way similar to the one employed for terms.

For the INSITU project the definitions are always shown from the rescue Handbook before any other hits that may be available from other terminology sources. This is done to contribute to the harmonisation of terms across sectors.

The INSITU project has delivered solutions and recommendations to solve some of the challenges for communication across sectors in Norway.
Large incidents like the forest fire in Sweden in 2018 call for international collaboration. Therefore, it is important now to explore how the Norwegian experience from INSITU can be extended to address communication challenges across borders and languages. You can contact the INSITU project for further details.