“We have had quite a few interested parties with either (some) or all parts of the business, and we’re just trying to work out the right path forward,” said Sternson by phone.
ARQ, meanwhile, is pushing ahead with its goal of taking the product Australia-wide and Sternson said it has been approached by other states.
“If you cross from New South Wales to Victoria, you probably shouldn’t have to switch off one app and pick up the next one because you’re in Albury or Wodonga,” he said, referring to the two cities 8 kilometres apart but in different states.
A spokeswoman for South Australia’s Fire and Emergency Services Commission, which launched its app in December, said it “welcomes the opportunity for a more consistent approach”.
Victoria’s Emergency Management Victoria, which has an emergency app, was not immediately available for comment.
The devastating bushfire season has been fanned by strong winds, high temperatures and three years of drought. Halfway into summer, fires have destroyed 10.3 million hectares, killed 28 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.
Sternson, who had a family member lose a farm in the fires, said his support team risked exhaustion due to “the time it’s been going for”, particularly since some staff were personally affected.
“You can see out there how communities have come together and how different people are trying to support the (fire) fighting and the rebuild,” he said.
“This is our way of being able to support the service.”