Frank Englert, Constantin Müller, Lukas Wagner, Jan Wissmann

Most of the fire departments in Germany rely on volunteer fire fighters. In case of an emergency, these fire fighters leave their homes or workplaces, drive to the fire department, man a fire truck, and drive to the scene of action. Currently, alarms are transmitted via one-way communication systems. While this can result in fire fighters receiving emergency calls in time, their emergency control centers may not have information about the participating fire fighters. This can be a problem if too few fire fighters answer a call. To solve this problem, we developed AlarmApp – a smartphone-based fire fighter notification system. In the event of an emergency, the system notifies fire fighters by smartphone and asks them to explicitly accept or reject the call. The system then transfers the information on the participating forces back to an online alarm management server, which enables the emergency control center in question to access it. This will help to better coordinate the costly human resources involved. Many other civil protection organisations (including some German Red Cross departments), security services, and other companies are already using AlarmApp to alert their members.