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EmergencyMessenger: A text based communication concept for indoor firefighting

: Betz, M.; Wulf, V.


Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-, Special Interest Group on Computer and Human Interaction -SIGCHI-:
CHI 2014. One of a CHInd. The 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Conference proceedings : Toronto, Canada, April 26 - May 1
New York: ACM, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4503-2473-1
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) <32, 2014, Toronto>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Finding and rescuing missing or injured people or fighting fire inside burning buildings is a central challenge for fire brigades. To ensure the safety of indoor work, monitoring the operations of firefighting units is crucial. As in most countries, firefighters in Germany utilize radio sets to estab-lish voice communication between indoor operating units and the supervisory structure outside. Based on findings from a long term ethnographic study in cooperation with different German fire brigades over a time span of more than 5 years we analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of the current voice over radio communication tactics and techniques. We designed and evaluated a complementary text based communication device-the EMERGENCY-MESSENGER-to support the time critical work of indoor units working under harsh conditions, wearing Self-Contained-Breathing-Apparatus (SCBA). We conducted 13 full scale training missions including extensive debriefings to design and evaluate the communication concept and the corresponding device.