e*Message has set up a 24-hour hotline for the German flood regions and provided immediate disaster aid free of charge. The current floods in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg have severely damaged both terrestrial and mobile telephone networks. e*Message has therefore provided regional rescue services with pagers to enable them to communicate. Alerting messages are sent over e*Message’s satellite network. Professional firefighters in Dresden, Cottbus, Jerichower Land and other districts were the first to be equipped with pagers.
Saxony and Bavaria are hit worst by the current floods, which have severely damaged and in some places completely disabled the terrestrial and mobile telephone networks, and cut off electrical power. Hundreds of thousands of people are affected in cities including Dresden, Freiberg, Döbeln, Grimma, Torgau and Aue, and in a number of rural districts including Sächsische Schweiz, Weisseritzkreis and Mittlerer Erzgebirgskreis. e*Message immediately responded to the disaster and provided the rescue teams with pagers free of charge so that they can stay informed. Alerting messages are sent over e*Message’s satellite network, whose redundant structure ensures availability even under extreme conditions. The pager network is independent from power mains and is not subject to traffic congestion.
Professional firefighters in Dresden, Cottbus and the Jerichower Land district were the first to be equipped with pagers. “We are pleased to be able to help improve the situation somewhat,” said Dr Dietmar Gollnick, CEO Europe and Chairman of the Executive Board of e*Message Deutschland. “This free offer is open to all government agencies and rescue organizations who need to communicate in the flood regions. Our network is functioning perfectly in spite of the disaster, and permits communication even in basements. We have set up a 24-hour hotline for all aid workers (030 4171 1400), and we hope to be able to help as many people as possible.”
According to Gollnick, the recent events underscore the necessity of the nationwide radio network for Germany’s civil defence agencies and organizations (Behörden und Organisationen mit Sicherheitsaufgaben, BOS), which should be available by 2006. e*Message is currently working on integrating its services in the future BOS network, but the company’s modern infrastructure, which provides low latency and excellent indoor reception, is already available. The advantages of e*Message’s alternative solutions were confirmed in a survey published in 2001 by the German Central Civil Defence Agency, which stated that pagers were “an optimum solution for alerting individuals.”