The Digital Wireless Working Group of Lower Saxony (Arbeitsgruppe Digitalfunk Niedersachsen, AGDiNi) and e*Message have launched a pilot project: starting November 1, 2003, firefighting and rescue teams in the Osnabrück district will be alerted via e*Message’s infrastructure. The pilot project will demonstrate the advantages of the e*Message solution under real-life conditions. The emergency services will test the pagers over three months—even in basements, underground car-parks and other isolated locations.
As of November 1, the Osnabrück emergency services will alert selected firefighting and rescue teams via e*Message’s infrastructure, which has been specially enhanced for this purpose. The central computer system at the emergency services’ headquarters is equipped with an alerting interface developed by CKS Systeme. The pilot project covers one third of the district, and will demonstrate the advantages of e*Message’s alerting solution under real-life conditions. Firefighters in Wallenhorst, Melle-Mitte, Oesede, Belm and Dissen, as well as rescue teams in Harderberg, Melle, Hagen and Dissen, have been provided with alphanumeric pagers. Alerting time and coverage are being tested, as well as reception in basements, underground car-parks and other isolated locations.
“Passive Alerting Procedures Will Also Be Reorganized”
The alerting solution developed by e*Message to meet the requirements of German civil defence agencies (Behörden und Organisationen mit Sicherheitsaufgaben, BOS) also permits alerting of large groups simultaneously, and can transmit messages not only to neighbouring districts, but nationwide. This is the opposite of an “insular solution”. Another unique feature is that e*Message’s alerting network already covers most of Germany, and thus saves the expense of developing thousands of new transmitting stations. Last but not least, the pagers themselves are available at unrivalled low cost.
In the State of Lower Saxony, most alerting messages are currently sent over the fire departments’ and rescue services’ private analogue radio networks. “A frequent problem is that rescue teams ask over radio where the fire or the accident is located as soon as they are alerted,” said Rainer Lange, head of the Alerting/Paging Commission (UAG 7) within the AGDiNi working group. “Passive alerting procedures must also be reorganized before the introduction of new wireless voice and data systems for police, fire departments and rescue services. This is why the AGDiNi working group is currently cataloguing, testing and analyzing the various alerting technologies. The e*Message alerting system may be the solution needed.”
On the project’s official launch in Osnabrück on October 31, Dr Dietmar Gollnick, CEO Europe and Chairman of the Executive Board of e*Message Deutschland GmbH, said, “We are pleased that the AGDiNi working group has decided to collaborate with e*Message on a pilot project. We were asked to develop such a joint project in January of this year, after the problems encountered in alerting emergency services in rural districts received attention in the press.” Dr Gollnick added, “In Lower Saxony, e*Message’s professional paging network is already being used by the German Red Cross and other emergency services, includingJohanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Malteser Hilfsdienst, and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund. In the Osnabrück district, firefighters and rescue teams now have the opportunity to test the performance of e*Message’s alerting solution, which has been specially tailored to their requirements.”
The pilot project runs until January 31, 2004. The Alerting/Paging Commission (UAG 7) of the AGDiNi working group will then compile a report on the results of the project.