The fire department has a low level of digitization throughout Germany. Growing cities, increasingly aging populations, persistent staff shortages, and climate change are placing greater strain on emergency responders. In the case of large-scale or unclear operations, the rescue forces are subject to additional stresses, as they have to be able to assess the situation completely and correctly in the shortest possible time in order to take the necessary operational measures. In this way, a dispatcher decides when the first phase of situation reconnaissance is complete, accompanied by the risk that important facts were not perceived or were perceived incorrectly due to the lack of clarity or complexity.
However, the use of state-of-the-art technologies can increase the attractiveness of the profession. In general, the safety of responders and the efficiency of operations can be significantly improved by various 5G-based digital applications, and the declining membership can be counteracted. becon GmbH is working on this kind of project, which we will explain to you in more detail in today’s article.
Together with the fire department of Schwerte, becon GmbH worked on a concept of the operational cockpit. This is to support the command and control during the reconnaissance of the situation. A wide range of information on the mission is compiled and clearly displayed in the mission cockpit to facilitate work in the field. The BMVI has selected the project for implementation funding and approved the application. Now becon GmbH is in the implementation phase with all consortium partners.
Firefighters will have access to existing data from the hydrant directory, current weather data, traffic information and more. But live data from a firefighting drone and a small reconnaissance robot are also pictorially displayed. Such external systems are to be used in the project to cover the main areas of operation of the Schwerte fire department. The flexible integration of further systems is of course possible at any time.
5G as a solution
In order for such a mission cockpit to be used effectively in a mission, it must always be ensured that a fast and stable data connection is available. With simultaneous transmission of two or more live streams, as well as the integration of additional external data sources, today’s mobile network expansion cannot guarantee stable and sufficiently fast data transmission, which is necessary for rescue operations. becon GmbH is working on a 5G pop-up network to realize this. This means that a fire truck opens its own 5G radio cell at the scene of an incident, in which the drone and the robot move. In addition, their livestreams are transmitted to the operations cockpit.
Use of diverse applications
The actual operations cockpit is designed similarly to that of an operations control vehicle. With the crucial difference that it is fully optimized for the preparation and visualization of all data. In order to make the direct benefit of such a vehicle available to all emergency forces, the use of mobile terminals with a connection to the operations cockpit is also planned. The overall system is to be structured by a role system in such a way that, depending on the respective responsibility of a firefighter, only defined functions are permitted during use.
5G with becon
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becon offers the full range of services from system integration support, interoperability testing and operational support to troubleshooting incl. call flow analysis in case of error. We are manufacturer-independent from the underlying hardware to the protocols and applications.
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The new mobile communications standard explained simply
What is 5G and what advantages does it bring? The fifth generation of mobile communications (5G) includes improved features from the last generation 4G/LTE. 5G is to be rolled out nationwide in Germany, thus eliminating the white spots (areas without mobile phone reception) in network coverage.
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