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Wildlife Rescue and xMatters

Improving Animal Rescue Response Times through WIRES

Wildlife Rescue and xMatters

Everbridge’s xMatters Digital Service Availability Platform is Improving Animal Rescue Response Times through WIRES in Australia.

Australia Flood Disaster 2022

The recent flood/storm weather events across QLD and NSW were unprecedented in scale, and the repercussions on communities, the environment and our native wildlife was devastating.

During this event, which began in late February and continued on throughout March and April, we had dedicated Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES) staff managing flood calls from the community, vets and volunteers. In the month of March alone, WIRES received around 10,000 rescue calls and more than 1,000 of these were flood and storm related calls and rescues, adding significant pressure to our WIRES Rescue Office and volunteers. This was approximately a 20% increase in calls in affected areas over this period, and we believe this was only a fraction of the real impact on wildlife as mobile reception in these areas was limited and flood waters were often too dangerous to enter for search and recovery efforts by the community.

During this period xMatters proved to be invaluable yet again, providing us with the ability to get notifications out to volunteers in affected areas in a timely and efficient manner. We had hundreds of volunteers and key staff in these areas, many who were carrying out search and rescue where they could do safely, whilst often having been impacted directly by the flooding themselves. We were able to quickly create new xMatters groups to target for rescue notifications, allowing us to contact our primary response team and exclude volunteers who had been isolated or significantly impacted.

We also deployed two WIRES emergency response staff and vehicles to affected regions and were able to maintain regular contact and allocate urgent rescues to them via xMatters.

Access for rescue teams was extremely difficult in the immediate aftermath, and we needed to focus on 24/7 phone support for people dealing with displaced wildlife, and urgent logistical support for our volunteers. Many animals in care needed to be evacuated. Without xMatters working away in the background, this task would have been impossible.

Many of the rescue call outs and outcomes were tragic; in many cases animals were found already deceased, including wombats washed out of burrows to the beach, and many displaced turtles, snakes, and wildlife seeking refuge in people’s homes.

More positively, hundreds of exhausted animals were rescued, including orphaned joeys, wombats and bandicoots, echidnas and many waterlogged birds.

Australia Flood Aftermath 2022

The aftermath of this event was tragic in insurmountable scale, but we believe that with our coordinated emergency response efforts and our sophisticated xMatters software we provided the best possible outcomes for our precious wildlife. We continue to build on lessons learned from these events and believe that we are becoming more equipped to handle them. Sadly, we must be prepared to anticipate such events to be regular occurrences until our world can take our environmental issues with the utmost seriousness they deserve.

We are now underway creating improved workflows and teams on xMatters to ensure the best possible response for future disasters, integrating valuable resources that will be easily accessible to responding volunteers. The ability to instantly create new workflows, dynamic teams, and groups on xMatters means we can respond to a range of events and cater to specific circumstances.

Another State Comes on Board with xMatters

We now have 5,263 users across four states in Australia from 10 different wildlife rescue organisations. Soon we will be welcoming on board the only wildlife organisation in our national capital (ACT), introducing xMatters to them and sharing its value and vital importance for wildlife rescue. XMatters has changed the way we are able to respond to wildlife in crisis, resulting in faster response times and ultimately less suffering for animals across Australia.

We hope to have the group in ACT up and running very shortly; they are very excited to be given access to xMatters as well as training and support from WIRES. Similar to other organisations we have brought on board with xMatters, this ACT organisation currently contacts volunteers one by one to find a suitable rescuer for wildlife in need. With xMatters they will now have the ability to target hundreds of volunteers instantaneously. We have seen the impact this has had on other organisations and we are sure that ACT too will see these benefits from the day we go live, significantly improving outcomes for wildlife. We have xMatters ready to go for them, with a custom workflow and messaging form to cater to their needs and rescue scenarios, and look forward to providing you with an update once they are up and running.

xMatters working with Wires

We are very happy to share with you our latest WIRES high viz safety vests, that display and recognise the support of Everbridge to our organisation and volunteers. These vests keep our volunteers safe whilst out and about on rescues and various other activities, while educating the public on who we are and what we do, and highlighting the wonderful support of Everbridge who make our mission all the more attainable.

More Improvements Ahead in 2022

As xMatters is now part of the Everbridge suite of products and Everbridge are global specialists in emergency management, we are looking forward to working more closely with their broader team in the latter half of 2022, to explore how some of their other software can further enhance our wildlife rescue outcomes.

We are so grateful for your support – together we can achieve extraordinary things to ensure more animals get the second chance at life in the wild they deserve.

This Koala and her joey are currently in care in one of our new rehabilitation facilities South of Sydney. They are both doing well. The mum is a “repeat offender,” having been in care with WIRES a few times. She was previously in care with twins (which is very rare for koalas).

xMatters saving wildlife

wildlife rescue in severe weather

wildlife rescue