Unrecognisable firefighters and fire trucks at place of action, low-angle view, selective focus

Disaster control in NRW

T-Systems supports digitalization

November 24 2023

Emergency calls reach the fire and rescue services around the clock

But how does communication work in large-scale emergency situations? In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), in future via a T-Systems platform equipped with an open-market interface for operations control and management systems. Large-scale storms, forest fires or floods are major emergency situations for disaster control organizations. They often affect a larger region. In such emergency situations there is a great need for reporting and coordination between all agencies and supervisory authorities involved in disaster control, and sometimes even beyond these boundaries.

React faster in case of danger

Emergency warning siren for fire department and disaster control

IM NRW / Jochen Tack

In the future, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to obtain a comprehensive and uniform idea of the status quo more quickly in hazardous situations. To this end, the state's Ministry of the Interior has decided to develop the new technical platform VIDaL (networking of information for the presentation of a state-wide situation). This platform directly links all levels of crisis management. To this end, the Ministry of the Interior of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Bundesverband Professioneller Mobilfunk e.V. (PMeV, a federal association for professional mobile communications) founded a joint, cross-association expert forum. T-Systems Information Services is designing and realizing this central platform. In order to evaluate situation-relevant information nationwide, across all levels and systems, and to create situation reports quickly, it networks decentralized situation management and operations control systems.

Four components, one platform

The VIDaL networking system consists of four central components: situation platform, situation database, situation documentation service and situation modules. The latter help communication participants to transmit and receive the data being exchanged. The situation platform is used to interconnect the agencies involved and ensures the secure transportation of data. The task of the database is to store the current data on resources and units centrally, while continuously providing deployment statistics. The situation documentation service archives reports and other information. The system can be extended both vertically and horizontally.

Support in the event of disasters

In the event of a crisis, VIDaL also supports resource management. If sufficient units are not available on site, neighboring disaster control units can be identified and quickly assigned state-wide. Afterwards, the processes can be analyzed by learning from the available data, and optimized for subsequent situations. This data analysis helps responses to future events to become even better and more targeted. T-Systems has already started designing and developing the platform. The first pilot authorities should be connected to the central networking platform by 2025.

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