When the seconds count
The ability of the rescue services to save lives is strongly correlated to how well alarms and information can be conveyed to rescue staff at a stage when the accident’s course of events can still be influenced. Lagercrantz’s subsidiary Unitronic has developed a system with personal alarm terminals which delivers this capability.
The rescue services must function non-stop, around-the-clock without interruption. The assistance should arrive quickly, and it must be the right kind of assistance, people with the right knowledge and equipment. The needs are urgent and in most cases are specific. The police, fire brigade and ambulance meet the basic needs but sometimes doctors, salvagers, divers, dog-handlers, machinery and different kinds of specialists are required in order to cope with the complex accidents that affect society. The seconds are precious and on many occasions it is speed that determines the ability to save lives and limit injuries.
Well functioning rescue coordination centres are vital to society.
When the alarm sounds the rescue coordination centre should understand the accident and send an alarm to the correct units. Each person receives a direct alarm to their personal alarm receiver device. After a powerful audiovisual alarm it provides clear information about the location of the scene of the accident and the needs.
The person receiving the alarm can acknowledge in a reliable way that the alarm was understood and at the same time provide initial information such as: are on the way or cannot come. Unfortunately, it may be the case that the rescue staff are busy with other assignments or are situated too far away to reason-ably do something. This two-way communication with particular persons and the entire group of staff makes it possible for the leader of the rescue operation to quickly locate available resources, prioritise and plan the rescue operation. Often several units receive an alarm at the same time. When the first one is on site other units can suspend their turn-out and are recalled. This restores the state of readiness for new accidents in other areas.
The German company Selectric offers alarm and information services to rescue coordination centres through an exceptionally reliable system. Naturally it is fundamental that each member of the rescue service team understands an alarm. Consequently, an alarm receiver has been developed with a powerful vibration, a strong blue light and extremely high sound. It should be capable of being understood in all possible environments, and it should be able to endure rough stuff. In addition, it should be easy to acknowledge the alarm reliably. Only having a few large buttons to choose from reduces the risk of error. Whoever receives the alarm chooses a response from a range of prepared text messages and acknowledges that the alarm has arrived.
This two-way communication is connected via the GSM network and the internet. It is continually “on-line” and cannot be intercepted or interfered with by other traffic. It delivers unbeatable reliability with alarm times of less than one second. A nationwide alarm is sent out to all within five seconds. Using the system at the rescue coordination centre, the operator can monitor each person’s activities the whole time and effectively dispatch an alarm individually or to the entire group of staff. The system classifies the acknowledgements and provides a clear presentation of which persons are available and where they are situated. With comprehensive information the leader of the rescue operation can determine which units should be directed there, which route they should take and when they are expected to reach the scene of the accident. Reserves can be kept available and informed as long as deemed necessary. Specialists and equipment can be sought as required and the rescue operation can be continually adapted to developments.
The technology which makes this possible was developed by Lagercrantz’s subsidiary Unitronic. By combining dependable communication technology such as GPRS and the internet with a newly developed protocol for information transfer Unitronic solved several questions all at once: reliability, speed, protection against interception and interference and cost efficiency. Unitronic has combined solid hardware and its software with also taking responsibility for the carrier and the transmissions in the already established GSM network. It has paved the way for a unique position on a major market in Germany.
Organising and leading rescue services has become one of the most important functions of society. The technology has evolved into an important element in emergency and rescue organisations, however, people are still the decisive resource. Therefore this link between rescue leader and individuals in the field may be the part of the rescue service which ensures that we have seconds on our side. Rapid-fire information to the right person in a situation where the accident’s course of events may still be influenced increases the chances of survival considerably.
FACTS ABOUT KRONOS
- Personal alarm terminal
- Extremely quick and reliable two-way communication via GPRS
- Push button for alarm acknowledgement and response
- Menu with pre-programmed text messages
- Easy and reliable handling
- Customised content
- Robust performance for demanding environment
- Combination of GSM network and internet
- Unlimited geographical area
- Positioning through analysis of GSM cells.
- Small initial investment
- Low operating costs