The operations centre is used to monitor an operation, the coordination of forces and for subsequent logging. The protocol is used to protect the fire brigade if the police or an insurance company want to monitor the progress of the operation. 

The operations centre is used to monitor an operation, the coordination of forces and for subsequent logging. The protocol is used to protect the fire brigade if the police or an insurance company want to monitor the progress of the operation. 




Invention design I

Project Partners

Saba Mayer, Jannis Wäder

Changing workstations

If the fire alarm system reports an alarm, a firefighter in the building must enter the control centre as soon as possible to forward the alarm, obtain information about the alarm and take notes. The whole thing has to be done within a few minutes. The person in the control centre has to switch from the manual, analogue workstation to the digital one as quickly as possible.

Currently, the workspace in the operations center has many problem areas that would be the following.


The current workspace and its problems


The current workplace is overcrowded with screens, extremely dark and far too large for the person in charge. In addition, there is a constant change between taking notes with pen and paper, radio contact and digital logging of the confusing software. Likewise, after each operation, every vehicle and its crew must fill in a sheet which then has to be manually transferred into the system by hand.


Currently, four independently running programs (documentation, radio and vehicle protocol, list of persons, navigation) are used in the operations centre, in which it is difficult to find one's way around. In general, the programs are poorly designed. The font sizes are much too small. Icons and pictures are hardly used. Buttons are not arranged logically. Small distances between the contents cause confusion. A lot of white space is used, which is bad for the eyes in a dark room.

The new operating system

Our revision of the workstation includes a software that combines all four programs with each other, and lets them communicate with each other, as well as the implementation of an ergonomic workstation with two widescreen monitors arranged one above the other, thus making it possible to always have everything important at glance.

Upper screen

The upper screen acts as an informative level with which you are not really interacting.

Bottom screen

The lower screen is the actual work area to interact with.

fire ops 1x

Upper Screen particion

The upper screen shows the following areas. The first area is the vehicle status, the second area shows the protocol, the third area the navigation and the fourth the alarm status.


Vehicle condition

This area shows all vehicles of the own fleet, as well as the fleet of all surrounding municipalities. By prssing a button you can switch between your own fleet and having an overview of all vehicles.


Different States

In addition, the vehicle status is displayed next to the vehicle type. Status one indicates that the vehicle is out of service or being serviced. status two indicates that the vehicle is ready for use at the station. status three is activated when the vehicle is on its way to the operation site or on its way back. When the vehicle arrives at the scene, status four is activated.

Process Protocol

This area logs the individual changes of the vehicles and assigns them to the respective case. In addition, all radio calls are logged and also assigned to the correct case. The third menu contains the overview of all received protocols of the individual vehicles, which are now sent to the new system per tablet to the system in the operations centre.



The navigation is used to calculate classic routes to the accident location. New in our system is now that you can send the route to any tablet of the respective vehicles so that it no longer needs to be printed.

State of Alert

In the new system, each incoming alarm is displayed on the upper screen. Information such as the location, the corresponding danger level and the corresponding disengagement order are displayed. In addition to an active alarm, it is also possible to call up an overview of all alarms simultaneously in the case of several alarms.


Bottom Screen particion

The lower screen, which represents the actual interaction area, contains a field for notes, the main area of the documentation and finally the alarm support.


Take Notes

The notes area is a classic field for notes that are important for the documentation after an assignment is over. Since you no longer have to make notes with pen and paper, you can copy your notes to the documentation area immediately.

Fire Report

The main interaction area contains five main menus: Report, vehicle database, personnel database, mailbox and settings. For the documentation you can choose between four different types of reports. After selecting a report type you will be guided step by step through the documentation. The biggest novelty in logging is the possibility to import the main part of the log from the recorded cases.


Alarm Support

The alarm support includes a hazardous substance database, rescue guides, fire alarm system overview. In addition, the weather and the water level of the surrounding rivers are displayed. You can also view map materials, contact details, and the list of people currently working.

Before and after


The old protocol sheet

The old protocol sheet

This form is completed by each driver of a vehicle after completion of an assignment. It contains a list of the crew of the vehicle, as well as the equipment used and other remarks. The form is handed in at the operations centre and digitalised there.


The new digital protocol

The new version is displayed on a tablet that is now in every vehicle. Also here you will be guided through the documentation process step by step. Thanks to the portraits of each firefighter, the group leader can now easily log who was in his team.


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© 2020 Philipp Henzler Interaction designer