As a lot of fire brigades in Germany operate on a voluntary basis a common problem is, that in case of an emergency the members have to get from their current location to the fire brigade station as fast as possible. As private persons are not allowed to use any devices such as a blue flashing light, obstacles like traffic jams and other restrictions of the public traffic cause massive delays.
We developed a concept in cooperation with the “Freiwillige Feuerwehr” that enables the firefighter to get faster to the mission and at the time it prevents the misuse of our system. And that’s how it works:
Every firefighter is equipped with a wristband – FireStrap Pro. This bracelet includes the following functions: if the centre of operations receives an emergency call, every firefighter is notified via the bracelet. It vibrates and the firefighter has the choice to accept or decline to participate in the operation. When he chooses to participate he presses the green button (otherwise the red one). This action unlocks the flashing blue light which is inside his or her car. If the firefighter gets inside the bluetooth range the flashing blue light and the FireStrap Pro connect automatically. The firefighter now is able to rush through the traffic as other participants let him pass. The benefits of this concept are obvious: reduction of time needed to get to the fire brigade station and the prevention of misuse as it is not possible to use the flashing blue light without the unlocking message of the centre of operations.
In the future further extensions or features are possible. Functions which are included in the jawbone for example measuring vital signs or other measures could be incorporated in the device. Furthermore it could be connected to the CO2-Warner and vibrate if critical measured values are exceeded.
Fast and without unnecessary risks to the operation despite of traffic jams and other restraints using a flashing blue light that can be unlocked individually. No opportunity for misuse and more time to save lives. – The new FireStrap Pro.
During the last couple of days we started analyzing our data which we collected during the previous, User Research phase. Using tools like affinity diagramming and HMWs (how might we…?) which were introduced by Kalle and Alex, we came up with various ideas to improve the processes at “Freiwillige Feuerwehr Gauting”.
The final outcome was the concept to reduce the time needed for an individual member of the “freiwillige Feuerwehr” to get from his current location to the fire brigade station. We want to reduce the effects of traffic jams and other restraints
of public road traffic with a blue flashing light. As we also worked out that such a device would endorse opportunities for misuse we came up with an idea to prevent this kind of misbehaviour. With an unlock-mechanism which is controlled by the operations centre we guarantee that the blue flash light can only be turned on in case of emergency.
As a device we chose a bracelet which we named Fire Strap Pro. Technologies in use are GSM and Bluetooth.
Our ultimate goal: getting fast and without unnecessary risk to the operation despite of traffic jams and other restraints using a flashing blue light that can be unlocked individually. No opportunity for misuse and more time to save lives.
On Tuesday we went to the fire brigade station in Gauting, to do our ‘User Research’.
When we arrived at the brigade station we surprisingly recognized more than five people waiting in front of the station. They just returned from a mission, coincidentally there was a field about 150 square metre burning this afternoon.
So we fortunately had more than five people to interview.
At first we got a intruduction to the technical devices inside the fire brigades and a explanation of their purpose by a member of the professional fire brigade.
Through our interviews we found out how the professional and the voluntary fire bridage work together and what they are doing.
In total we got a lot informations for our next step in our design process.
In addition to our interviews there was a practice later, so we had the chance to see all six fire engins leaving the brigade station.