The technical relief agency Technisches Hilfswerk in Emmendingen, Germany, is getting active support: A Dallmeier network camera is supplying important images of deployment sites, thus helping coordinate the activities of emergency response units even better and more effectively.
The Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) is a non-profit emergency response organisation called into action in the event of disasters or accidents. The local chapter of Emmendingen was founded in 1965 and can look back on many years full of action. With more than 70 active helpers and 30 reservists as well as a 30-head youth group the Emmendingen chapter is the largest THW location in the region of South Baden.
The special section “Guidance and Communication” is responsible for directing approximately 100 to 1,000 helpers in deployment situations. These operations can be ad hoc or scheduled. For example, one of the regularly recurring fields of activity is the annual Southside Festival in Neuhausen ob Eck, with approximately 50,000 visitors. There the local chapter of Emmendingen assists the humanitarian organisation “Johanniter Unfallhilfe” with equipment, technical support and personnel. One of the tasks they deal with here is establishing lines of communication for the approximately 300 paramedical helpers and physicians who are coordinated through a mobile command centre set up by the THW.
With the aid of video recordings the operations staff can more quickly provide the appropriate responses. “We were made aware of Dallmeier by very positive word of mouth. The cameras are considered to be sturdy and reliable,” explains Eric Mühle, vice chairman of the THW sponsorship association of Emmendingen. Meanwhile, the Dallmeier network camera, which is a vandal-resistant dome camera, has already been put into operation. “Live images of the festival grounds are especially practical for guiding the response personnel. This is how the helpers can be guided to the correct location more quickly and effectively, for instance in the case of fires,” says Eric Mühle.
The camera has also proved to be a valuable tool in ad hoc emergency deployment as well. Assembly areas and message centres can be viewed here. Assembly areas are spaces in which personnel and equipment are gathered and readied for deployment to the site of operations, which is usually close by. A so-called message centre is used to keep tabs on which units are waiting in the assembly area and what they are equipped with. This message centre registers the arriving and departing units and passes the information that has been gathered on to the command centre.
Eric Mühle explains the advantages of using the camera: “It allows us to check arriving personnel and to monitor rooms at a glance, since the guidance personnel, typically grouped together as a command post, seldom or never have the opportunity to inspect the deployment or other, similar areas in person. This problem is largely eliminated with a portable camera solution. Especially the night vision functions of the camera can help in situations with dim light. After all, emergency responses hardly ever take place under blue skies and sunshine. And we can also operate the camera via WLAN through the IP interface.”