Schleswig-Flensburg, one of Germany’s largest administrative districts, has chosen the e*BOS alerting network. As of July, firefighters can be alerted over both analog and digital networks.
A new era has dawned for the 204 fire stations in the Schleswig-Flensburg district. Starting in July, they can send two types of alerting messages to firefighters: either acoustic messages over an analog network, or detailed alphanumeric messages using the digital, closed e*BOS network operated by e*Message. The digital network can alert a large number of specific addressees at once: such multicast messages can be sent to exactly those firefighters required, without disturbing those who are not needed.
“We were exclusively using a thirty-year-old radio network which was not especially developed for alerting, and did not provide the required reachability,” said Walter Behrens, a district firefighting officer. “Finding another solution was urgent. We found e*Message’s PPP technology excellent because it covers more than just one city or district. This is a decisive advantage, as many of our 7,000 volunteer firefighters work throughout the region during the day,” Behrens continued. Whether in Eckernförde or in Rendsburg, in Husum or in Flensburg—the e*BOS network reaches the volunteers wherever they are! The low-cost technology was another crucial factor: no investment was necessary for network development, operation, and maintenance, since the e*BOS network already covers all of Germany, and is even interconnected with alerting networks in neighbouring countries.
Volunteer firefighters in the Schleswig-Flensburg district respond not only to fires and disasters, but also when the population needs assistance. Sixty percent of calls are concerned with road accidents, fallen trees, flooded basements, oil spills and similar environmental accidents. “The new digital technology enables us to implement new alerting procedures,” said Behrens. “Moreover, we are currently developing a list of standardised alerting keywords for the entire Schleswig-Holstein region. This is absolutely necessary since the region will soon be composed of four different alerting zones.” The grouping of the Schleswig-Flensburg, Nordfriesland, Flensburg and Harrislee districts will be implemented in just two years. For the Schleswig-Flensburg district it was therefore crucial to chose an alerting solution that is compatible not only with the current network, but also with the future infrastructure.
When the professional firefighters and rescue services in Kiel, the state capital, faced a similar problem in April of this year, they also chose the e*BOS network. The Osnabrück district, the football World Cup venues of Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt and Leipzig, and several other cities have been using and appreciating e*Message’s alerting network for some time.