Stress-Tested on the A19 Motorway: e*BOS Alerting

28.04.2011

Official Deployment of e*BOS Alerting for Firefighters and Rescue Services in Bad Doberan and Güstrow Districts.

Stress-Tested on the A19 Motorway: e*BOS Alerting

The rural districts of Bad Doberan and Güstrow no longer alert their rescue teams by analog media, but digitally, over the non-public e*BOS alerting network. In April, just four months after the beginning of the test phase, regular operation of the alerting system began with a major emergency after the sandstorm disaster on the A19 autobahn. The e*BOS alerting area extends well beyond the two districts to include the port city of Rostock.

 

On April 8, when a sandstorm swept across the A19 south of Rostock and caused a pile-up that left eight dead and 131 injured, well over 200 fire and rescue workers were on the spot within minutes. Digital e*BOS alerting, introduced just days earlier in the Bad Doberan and Güstrow districts, had passed its first test. “The operation showed clearly that we made the right choice with this alerting system,” said Mayk Tessin, the district fire chief and head of fire and disaster prevention in the Bad Doberan district.

The non-public e*BOS alerting network, operated by e*Message, not only transmitted the alarm to the firefighters of 173 volunteer fire brigades, rescue services and emergency management offices, but also directly controlled 257 sirens in two rural districts. The alerting network is designed to accommodate more than 3,000 users. First responders are alerted by the Central Mecklenburg rescue dispatching office in Bad Doberan, which has also been responsible since November 1, 2010, for the neighbouring Güstrow district to the south.

Digital e*BOS Alerting Deployed in Record Time

As the earlier analog alerting network showed its age, the two districts had looked for a long-term alternative. Intensive market and cost analyses led to a joint call for tender, issued by the Bad Doberan district under a cooperation agreement with Güstrow. The tender procedure resulted in the choice of e*BOS alerting. In early December, just four weeks after the commission was issued, the first operational phase began with the gradual deployment of the e*BOS alerting system. Regular operation began, after a record roll-out time, just four months later.

The responders were equipped with eAlarm V alarm receivers from the initial phase on. “One great advantage is that we program the new receivers ourselves over the wireless interface using the e*BOS Alarm Receiver Manager. That makes it easy to adjust them to current conditions,” Mayk Tessin explained. “Anyone can sound an alarm,” he continued, “but the e*BOS network has such complete coverage that we even reach our commuters in Rostock. The latency is short, the coverage is total, it meets our requirements and doesn’t exceed our investment budget, because we save the cost of building, operate and maintaining our own dedicated network.”
Another advantage has also made itself felt: “We needed to act fast, since the analog alerting network had been working round the clock for 17 years, and was increasingly unreliable and in need of replacement,” said Lutz Freier, Director of Public Safety of the Güstrow district.

The rescue services and the volunteer fire brigades of the Bad Doberan and Güstrow districts in the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania respond to more than 31,000 alarms every year. Their territory, with a total area of some 3,400 km², includes the A19 and A20 autobahns and several federal highways.

Proven in Actual Operation

Thomas Leuchert, the chief administrative officer of the Bad Doberan district, said at the press conference, “In view of the redistricting to take place this year, and the recent merging of the two districts’ dispatching centres, it was quite clear that we wanted to make our choices in common in implementing unified digital alerting. The decision to issue the call for tender jointly was a good one, and we are very much pleased with the results. The e*BOS alerting system has proven itself, both in the test phase and in actual operation.”

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