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Case Study – Rosenbauer relies on comprehensive GPS app support

Based in Austria, Rosenbauer International AG is the world’s leading manufacturer of fire fighting and crisis prevention technology and services. Developed in-house, the company has been marketing a software solution for operational support and command under the name EMEREC since 2010. EMEREC has been augmented with the GPS app MapTrip 112.

A diverse group of Rosenbauer customers use EMEREC: professional, company-based as well as voluntary fire departments, all of which are widely represented in the DACH region. EMEREC supports them from alerting to on-site access through providing relevant information during command operations.

The objectives

  • Enabling the fire department to reach the scene of the incident faster
  • Making sure that the vehicles always take the best available route to the scene of the incident
  • Taking local road closures, construction sites, etc. into account in the navigation

The approach

  • Integration of GPS App MapTrip 112 into the control center of the fire department
  • Expanding local map data with roads/paths/access roads not mapped (yet)
  • Use of the MapTrip 112 editor in the control center to integrate road closures, detours, etc.
  • Constant synchronization of all terminals with the control center computer

The results – A GPS App for Rosenbauer

  • Automatic address transfer into the emergency operation navigation system without additional interaction – simple and fast
  • Always up-to-date “local” map data
  • Fastest route based on real-time traffic data and up-to-the-minute local road closure information
  • Special driving rights for one-way streets, pedestrian zones, roads closed to trucks, etc.

How to get to the scene of the incident without losing any time

MapTrip 112, infoware’s special GPS app for emergency vehicles, is successfully integrated in Rosenbauer’s EMEREC software and assists emergency sevices.

The Austrian global market leader in fire-fighting technology soon realized that it could assist emergency services to get to the scene of the incident even faster. The company achieved this by incorporating a navigation system in its EMEREC operations management software. However, it is not easy to meet the requirements of the heterogeneous fire department structures of the DACH region.

In addition, the end users also expressed the need to possibly integrate local information. The navigation professionals of infoware GmbH from Bonn with their MapTrip 112 flashing lights and siren navigation software was identified as the matching partner. Meanwhile, about 30 % of EMEREC are supplied with the integrated special navigation system, with demand consistently growing.

Do I really need it? I know my way!

Fire departments had been rather skeptical about navigation devices for a long time. One reason for this was that emergency personnel usually know their region and the corresponding routes quite well. Secondly, standard navigation systems are also not very helpful for deployment in situations such as these, because they only guide vehicles along standard routes. Also, the manual input of the target coordinates in each vehicle is tedious. When speed is essential, there is no time for that. But it is the younger emergency personnel in particular who are keen to use the electronic support, because they are used to dealing with apps and different devices.

“I think a good navigation system for emergency operations is a real help nowadays because it takes the pressure off the driver. We also notice that acceptance by fire departments is steadily growing.”

– Thomas Hartinger, Head of Telematics and Information Systems at Rosenbauer.

Special navigation is essential to reach the scene of the incident quickly

Deployment response times are set by law and complying with these laws is a top priority. With traffic constantly increasing, especially in high population density areas, special navigation offers real added value to emergency services.

It always guides the emergency vehicles along the best available route. To better meet the needs of the fire department in daily use, Rosenbauer and infoware have worked closely together to develop a number of useful additional features for MapTrip 112. 

Automatic transfer of address data to the navigation system

The control computer transfers the coordinates of the scene of the incident directly to EMEREC and automatically to all tablets on board of the individual vehicles. It also transfers the coordinates to the mobile devices of the individual emergency personnel. This saves time during deployment. The navigation starts automatically and the drivers are directed as quickly as possible to the scene of the incident, taking realtime traffic data into account. This also works via the smartphonebased EMEREC Mobile solution when the emergency services are  alerted via their mobile device.

“In every city the fire burns differently” – or perhaps not

This expression is a direct translation of the original German expression and is often used in the local fire-fighting industry. It means that individual cities and regions use their own respective processes on how to execute deployment. This also applies to driving on certain roads.   

How are new roads or roads not yet mapped taken into account? May fire trucks drive against the traffic in one-way streets? How big is the radius around the scene of the incident where fire trucks may do this? How does the city disseminate information about local short-term road closures?

“Each control center has the option to customize the navigation in EMEREC. infoware has developed some useful tools for this that we have fully integrated,”

– Hartinger reveals.
Photo: C-Stummer

Regular expansion of the standard map data

A data structuring process is used to integrate additional map data in the existing map data, such as access roads, new roads or even company premises. The constant synchronization between the central computer and the navigation system ensures that drivers without any knowledge of local conditions are guided as safely and quickly as possible to the scene of the incident.

Too wide, too high or trucks just not welcome?

The rules that apply to trucks do not necessarily apply to fire trucks. They can drive on certain roads closed to trucks, provided the dimensions of the vehicle allow it. Individual rules can also be defined for one-way streets and pedestrian zones to allow them to be used in case of emergency.

Safely bypass all road closures

Road closures necessitated by temporary roadwork sites or events can be promptly entered by the dispatchers via the editor in EMEREC and synchronized in real time. At the time of deployment, the drivers have all the available updated traffic information and can concentrate entirely on the route itself and on the deployment data. can be promptly entered by the dispatchers via the editor in EMEREC and synchronized in real time. At the time of deployment, the drivers have all the available updated traffic information and can concentrate entirely on the ride itself and on the deployment data.

Learn more about MapTrip 112 >