EMEREC in Switzerland: Valuable Support for Complicated Missions

The two cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden are located in the heart of Switzerland, nestled in beautiful mountain landscapes with high peaks, green valleys, and picturesque lakes. However, this geography also brings with it many natural hazards to which the fire departments must adapt - among other things with the help of the EMEREC operational management system.

Since 2017, the fire departments of the Swiss cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden have joined forces to form a fire department inspectorate. Over 80,000 inhabitants live in the operational area, which is largely rural. In addition to the specific geographical conditions, there are other challenges for the fire department: busy motorways with tunnels, three airfields, and a number of larger companies. There are also well-known tourist destinations with large hotels, ski resorts, and hiking areas, as well as many cable cars.

 

Beautiful Nature also Brings with it Risks

The scenic backdrop is impressive, but the beautiful nature also holds dangers: "Streams, avalanches, lakes, storms, droughts leading to forest fires or flash floods have posed great challenges in recent years," says Stefan Enz from the Obwalden/Nidwalden fire department inspectorate. In addition to this, there is heavy traffic and sometimes accidents on the busy transit routes. The fire departments in the region must therefore be prepared for and, above all, equipped for many dangers - from standard fires, through technical operations, to major catastrophes and natural disasters.

 

Fire Departments rely on EMEREC

In order to maintain an overview of these challenging tasks, the Obwalden/Nidwalden fire departments inspectorate has adopted the EMEREC operations management system from Rosenbauer. "We have all operational plans, building information, and much more data pre-entered into the system. Thus, we always have the latest operational plans and essential data. Likewise, we can always query information on natural disasters when we are at the site of the operation," explains Stefan Enz. The benefits of the system are obvious to him: "It is easy to use, clear, requires little training, and is also available offline."

A special partnership brings with it additional benefits: Rosenbauer's local distribution partner, Ecosafe, not only supplies its customers with the hardware and software for EMEREC, but also with its content. Ecosafe also creates a large number of contingency plans for emergency response organizations throughout  Switzerland and is well acquainted with the dangers present in the region.

 

Keeping an Overview with EMEREC

Thanks to EMEREC, it is possible to maintain an overview and to provide an up-to-date, uniform picture of the situation for all participating emergency services, especially in the case of large-scale operations such as natural disasters with multiple operational sites. Communication and the exchange of information are essential success factors in the coordination and successful undertaking of such scenarios. However, the operations management system not only provides practical support in large-scale operations, but also in the everyday activities of the inspectorate's 19 fire departments.

For Stefan Enz, it is clear that the modern EMEREC operations management system will continue to grow in importance over the coming years. Additional functions are already planned for implementation in the foreseeable future within the Obwalden/Nidwalden fire department inspectorate. "EMEREC is already a valuable and helpful aid when managing missions. The use of this intelligent technology will certainly be expanded in the future."