Ten fire brigades - one system: information management with EMEREC

At first glance, Aurich is just an ordinary Lower Saxony county town. But in terms of firefighting, it differs from many other towns of its size: While there is often only one large, centrally located fire station in such towns, ten different local fire brigades are responsible for firefighting in Aurich. When coordinating an operation, the mobile EMEREC information management system plays a crucial role. 

 

The municipality of Aurich covers almost 200 km² (77 sq mi) of Lower Saxony - and the distances between individual districts are correspondingly large. Furthermore, from the central districts, fire departments need more than 15 minutes to reach operations on the outskirts. This is too long for people in immediate danger.

One town, many fire departments

Since 2008, Aurich has taken a new path: Ten fire brigades are distributed across the municipality's 21 districts, in order to reach any part of the town within a few minutes. Each local fire brigade is fully equipped to independently deal with smaller operations. For larger challenges, other brigades can be alerted. Special vehicles and equipment are distributed between the various stations throughout the urban area. In sending out alerts, the EMEREC information management system from Rosenbauer plays an important role.

All information at a glance

When firefighters are rushing to an operation, they have the same information available thanks to the EMEREC Alarm Monitors (EAM): What type of deployment is this? Where is the scene? A single glance at the EAM is enough to answer these and other questions. The EAM is especially practical for the squad leader: Via the EMEREC app for smartphones, you can log in or out for individual operations. Because of this, colleagues can be aware of who will participate and determine the size of the force available for deployment. The squad leader can also quickly determine whether they need to alert more brigades. The main alert is still sent out via siren and pager, but fire department members can also be notified by the EMEREC app.

Networked activities between fire brigades

The full advantages of EMEREC become especially clear in the event of larger incidents. Through the network, all alerted fire services have the same current operational information available at all times. This simplifies the cooperation of several units enormously, and EMEREC also lightens the load of the team leader: In seconds, fire contingency plans are at hand, the vehicle rescue card database can be opened, and information on hazardous materials can be obtained.

Major fires, gas leaks, and hazardous materials

Aurich, in 2010, was one of the first fire brigades in Germany to use EMEREC. Since then, the mobile information management system has proved itself on many occasions. The fire service is sent on approximately 450 deployments per year - the majority of these being rescue missions. A particular challenge for the fire departments is presented by two major industrial companies located in the north and south of the township. Not only are chemical companies and metal processing production facilities located in the 80-hectare industrial area to the north, but also ENERCON, the largest German wind turbine manufacturer with more than 18,000 employees worldwide. Many production companies, particularly from the chemical industry, are also located in the south of the city.

 

In addition to intervening in smaller fires or traffic accidents, the various fire services from across Aurich are also continually engaged in challenging and difficult operations. Major fires, hazardous material spills in industrial firms, or gas leaks in schools are just a few examples. Here, EMEREC often proves itself - whether for simple information gathering, or for coordination of the various fire departments in major operations.