As we announced before the summer holidays, DBK participated in the FKB exhibition in Herning in August. Zuzana Knudsen and Martin Falkenberg, who both are System engineers working in DBK, demonstrated the new database called FleeDa. FleeDa is the web based replacement for the old way of working with Fleetmaps in Excel sheets.
FleeDa attracted a lot of people to the DBK exhibition and many of them were looking forward to the launch of FleeDa to the general user, which is planned to take place in the beginning of 2015. Presently a pilot test is running with few selected emergency service users and some terminal vendors.
In order to attract visitors to the DBK stand, visitors were invited to participate in a small, but very tough competition with 3 difficult questions. The winners price was a stay for 2 in a hotel in a Danish city. The winner, who was randomly hand-picked by DBKs Zuzana, was: Jan Holm-Rasmussen from Falck in Ballerup. He was ceremoniously handed the price by a representative from DBK.
DBK have been preparing a new database called FleeDa in which fleetmaps will be handled in the future. FleeDa will replace the many excel sheets which the Danish emergency services have used to administrate the technical details regarding their terminals until now.
At the moment FleeDa is being tested by DBKs terminal vendors: Radiocom, IHM and Motorola, together with a number of selected emergency services. The pilot project will continue until September 2014. The participants are continuously reporting inexpediencies which will be corrected in time for the commissioning which is expected to take place in 2015.
FleeDa will be available for all Danish emergency services free of charge. Additional functionality like monitoring the activity of the terminals can be purchased by license.
After a successful test period most of the Danish emergency network SINE surpassed from E1 technology to MPLS June 1st 2014.
From E1 to MPLS
The transfer from E1 to MPLS was part of an option in the contract between DBK and the Danish Government and was among other things driven by a wish from DBK to create more stability in the network. MPLS ensures high reliability which is paramount for SINE.
The process has been going on for a long time. The preparedness phase began in 2010 with testing, evaluations and contract negotiations with the vendor. Then the actual installation period followed with installation of routers, switching of sites from E1 to MPLS and execution of technical tests until the actual roll out in the summer of 2013. The project was finally approved June 1st 2014.
MPLS stands for Multi Protocol Label Switching. The technology is able to transport information from one part of the network to another regardless of the method of transportation.
DBK er i gang med at udarbejde en ny løsning til håndtering af fleetmaps. Programmet hedder FleeDa (Fleetmap Database) og vil på sigt også tilbyde andre muligheder for administrering og monitorering af beredskabets egne terminaler.
Hovedparten af FleeDa er et fleetmap-administrations modul, der skal erstatte de utallige Excel ark der i dag anvendes til håndtering af fleetmaps, og har skabt udfordinger hos alle parter. Med den nye løsning ligger alle fleetmaps i en fælles database, og hvert beredskab får adgang til de terminaler, som de selv ejer eller administrerer for andre.
Løsningen har været under forberedelse i et par år, og forventes sat i drift i løbet af 2015.
Et pilotprojekt er netop igangsat, og vil som minimum køre til og med september 2014. Formålet med pilot-projektet er at afprøve database-strukturen og den nye arbejdsgang mht. opdatering af fleetmaps. Det er alle tre terminal-leverandører: Motorola Service, IHM og Radiocom, samt udvalgte beredskaber der deltager i projektet. De indrapporterer løbende de uhensigtsmæssigheder, fejl og problemer de støder på, så FleeDa fungerer så optimalt som muligt ved idriftsættelsen. Når pilot projektet er afsluttet, uarbejder DBK en plan for udrulning af FleeDa til samtlige beredskaber på SINE.
Når den endelige løsning er klar til udrulning, vil FleeDa blive stillet gratis til rådighed for alle beredskaber på SINE. Øvrig funktionalitet kan derefter tilkøbes via licens. Priser og betalingsmåden er dog ikke fastsat endnu.
In December 2013 a user satisfaction survey was completed by DBK in order to obtain an overview of the users experience with SINE. Users from the Danish Fire Brigades, Police departments, Ambulance services, The Danish Defence, Falck etc. responded to a questionnaire on indoor- and outdoor coverage, SINE radios , 24/7 Helpdesk, fleetmaps and on the current ticket system.
Some Key Results from the user satisfaction survey are:
- The users continue to be very satisfied with the coverage and voice quality, both in normal everyday use and in noisy surroundings. The greatest challenges concerns indoor coverage.
- The users are satisfied with their radios. The majority find themselves to be adept in using the various functions in the radio terminals, however they value highly continuous information updates and practical exercises.
- Many users have contacted DBKs 24/7 Helpdesk. The majority of the users are quite familiar with which services the Helpdesk offers.
- The phone (mobile or fixed) is still the most popular way to communicate with the Helpdesk, followed by e-mail.
- The knowledge level on the current ticket system is limited. Less than 50% of the responders have tried the system and many do not know how to use it at all.
- Some users have become very proficient at updating fleet maps while others find it very difficult.
The Emergency Services represented in the user survey comes from all the five regions in Denmark. Generally the users have a positive attitude towards SINE but there is always room for improvement. DBK is currently developing the new electronic database Fleeda which makes updating and version tracking of fleet maps much more user friendly. Also a new updated ticket system is in development. Both systems will be launched later this year. The users will, of course, be thoroughly introduced to as well Fleeda as the new ticket system when they are being released.
The purpose of the user satisfaction survey is to evaluate the users’ satisfaction with SINE and with DBKs services in general. The results give DBK an opportunity to optimize our service deliveries continuously.
The 2013 survey was executed in the form of an online survey including 359 Super Users, invited from the different Danish Emergency Services. 26 % of the invited Super Users responded to the survey.
What do you do when you are dissatisfied with the indoor coverage in the part of the city that is your responsibility? You do something about it – that is the attitude at Frederiksberg Fire Brigade.
It is not an easy job to establish SINE coverage in the Danish cities. The concentration of residents – hence tall buildings, closed backyards and underground parking lots – can be a challenge when police, fire fighters, ambulance crews and other rescue operators need to communicate using their terminals during an emergency operation. It is difficult for the signals to pass through building materials as concrete and steel.
Jack Creutzberg, System Administrator at Frederiksberg Fire Brigade, dug into the technology behind SINE and took up a dialogue with Dansk Beredskabskommunikation (DBK) on the subject. The result came in the form of a DMO repeater solution, which enhances the indoor coverage in buildings and other special areas that experience poor radio coverage.
The solution is ingenious however simple: In enclosed spaces, for instance a parking cellar, the team leader brings with him a “suitcase” with a battery powered DMO repeater. When the outside rescue manager sees the signal strength beginning to fade, he tells the team leader to place the box on the floor. Continuing onwards, the team leader will, via the DMO repeater, have a clear and strong radio signal going further in, securing contact with the rest of the team. The DMO repeater has been tested during the last couple of month and the results are extremely positive.
“When we use the DMO repeater solution our rescuers can communicate unimpeded with each other. It’s a great improvement. The radio signals used to be unstable when the team leader entered a building with his fire squad, but that is not the case anymore”, says Michael Nyrand, Operational leader at Frederiksberg Fire Brigade.
When the tests are completed Frederiksberg Fire Brigade will complete a detailed report. But Jack Creutzberg and Michael Nyrand have no doubt that the solution is there to stay. The DMO repeater solution has improved the indoor coverage during operations significantly and thereby increased the safety for as well citizens as the rescuers in the fire brigade at Frederiksberg.