Approved projects in the “Protection and rescue in complex deployment situations” field

Protecting the public from risk is one of a government’s core tasks. This is particularly true with regard to the risks involved in complex incidents, which are caused by such things as natural disasters, technical faults or human error. Civil protection in Germany works well and is carried out by a large number of full-time and volunteer helpers in public and private organisations. The “Civil security – Protection and rescue in complex deployment situations” call for proposals is intended to promote the development of innovative organisational and technical solutions and thus support public and private players’ precautions against and response to complex incidents.

Schutz und Rettung bei komplexen Einsatzlagen

benjaminnolte /

Ongoing joint projects:

AERIUS: Alternative compressed air foam extinguishing agents – avoiding complex major incidents



Funding codes  13N13630 to 13N13633

Large-scale fires can cause unforeseen sequences of events with disastrous consequences. There is a need, particularly in complex incidents, for innovative extinguishing methods that minimise the risk posed to emergency services by toxic substances and that can be used on live electricity cables. The research partners in the AERIUS project are examining compressed air foams as potential extinguishing agents. The aim is to determine when and where it could be beneficial to use these foams. To this end, the team is analysing fires to establish how they might spread, what temperatures would be involved and what chemical substances might escape, and simulating possible scenarios.

More information  (only available in German)


FeuerWeRR: Radar coupled thermal camera with enhanced scene reconstruction capabilities for use by firefighters

Löschübung eines Lkw-Brandes in einem Straßentunnel unter realistischen Bedingungen in einer Brandsimulationsanlage.

Berufsfeuerwehr Reutlingen

Funding codes  13N13479 to 13N13482

Firefighters already use thermal cameras, which can see through thick smoke, to help them locate people and find their way around in an incident scene. However, these cameras only show a temperature allocation in two dimensions, making it difficult to discern spatial features. With state-of-the-art radar sensors, it is now possible to capture information on depth too. The aim of the partners involved in the FeuerWeRR joint project is to integrate this technology in a new, mobile thermal camera that can be used by firefighters. The new device will make it easier for  them to find their way around safely and swiftly even in complex and difficult conditions.  

FeuerWeRR project outline  (only available in German)


KOKOS: Support for cooperation with volunteer helpers in complex incidents

Freiwillige Helfer

Enrico Di Cino /

Funding codes  13N13559 to 13N13561

A number of activities are required to provide assistance and clear debris after complex incidents such as storms or floods. Increasingly, members of the public are forming self-help groups to provide assistance independently in parallel with the work performed by emergency service professionals. The partners on the KOKOS joint project are devising strategies and models with which to include the public in crisis management as an active partner. They are investigating how associations or corporate alliances, in particular, can support relief efforts by making technical resources or rooms available or mobilising helpers.

KOKOS project outline (only available in German)


ORPHEUS: Optimisation of smoke management and evacuation strategies in underground stations: Experiments and simulations

Passagiere im Brandfall auf einem sicheren Weg aus einer U-Bahnstation zu führen, das ist das Ziel von ORPHEUS

Funding codes  13N13266 to 13N13270 and 13N13281

Underground transport infrastructures play a vital role in modern cities, providing rapid and reliable transport for thousands of people. In terms of fire safety, however, they pose a particular challenge because smoke often makes the evacuation routes unusable. The ORPHEUS project is looking to develop methods to simulate the spread of smoke so that passengers can be pointed to safe evacuation routes. Particular consideration is to be given to special passenger groups such as disabled persons. Research is also being carried out into how smoke can be removed and effective strategies for communication within organisations and with passengers.

More information  (only available in German)


RAWIS: Radar warning and information system for civil protection applications

Eingestürztes Gebäude

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH/Wey

Funding codes  13N13230 to 13N13234

Severe weather, earthquakes or gas explosions can cause people to become buried in caved-in buildings or beneath landslides. In addition to rapid localisation of victims, an important aspect of the rescue effort is ensuring the area is safe in order to protect emergency service personnel from further collapsing buildings or landslides. The research partners on the RAWIS project are developing a radar-based solution to enable further movement on the ground to be detected immediately and the emergency services to be warned.  

RAWIS project outline  (only available in German)


Completed joint projects:

AHA: Automated involvement of volunteer helpers in the case of major incidents

Arbeitsplatz am Einsatzleitrechner in der Leitstelle Dortmund

Feuerwehr Dortmund

Funding codes  13N13220 to 13N13224

In the event of a disaster, the public tends to be very willing to help. To make optimum use of the potential offered by volunteer helpers, it is important that their efforts are closely coordinated with those of the emergency services. The idea behind the AHA research project was to create a smartphone app that will enable volunteers and technical equipment owned by members of the public to be registered, checked and, where required, to be incorporated into rescue efforts directly via the incident command system. AHA helped therefore ensure that appropriate assistance gets to those who need it even quicker in a disaster scenario.

More information  (only available in German)


AlphaKomm: Failure-proof situation information for communication in crisis scenarios

Komplexe Vernetzung von Versorgungssystemen in urbanen Räumen

Funding codes  13N13052 to 13N13058

Infrastructures such as energy and water supply or communication networks are interdependent. Due to the multiple interfaces between them, small faults can disrupt all of the major infrastructure as a result of cascade effects. In a crisis of this nature, it is important that infrastructure operators and authorities can communicate with one another quickly and effectively. The research partners on the AlphaKomm project were developing technical and organisational solutions designed to make that possible. These include, for instance, a solution for transmitting information in difficult conditions plus an additional mobile telephone network for all key persons to use if the normal one stops working.

AlphaKomm project outline  (only available in German)


Audime: Audiovisual medical information technology for complex missions

Massenanfall von Verletzten

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH/Reichel

Funding codes  13N13261 to 13N13265

Mass accidents involving more than 25 casualties often require numerous types of medical care, some specialised, that are not immediately available at the scene of the accident. The partners on the Audime joint project were therefore working on a system that will enable data and information to be obtained and forwarded quickly and effectively. They were also working on a solution with which to provide telemedical care through external doctors. To integrate these solutions, a single information and communication system is to be created, into which all existing systems can be incorporated.

More information  (only available in German)


Hochwasser 2013: Research into the response to the floods of June 2013

Hochwasser in Sachsen-Anhalt im Juni 2013

Funding codes  13N13016 and 13N13017

The 2002 flooding of the River Elbe caused 11.6 billion euros of damage. Since then, risk management has been expanded through new precautions and legislation. The researchers on this project examined the parallels and differences between the floods of 2002 and 2013. Their findings largely confirmed the effectiveness of the new measures. They also identified new influences such as climate change, changes in land use, economic developments and demographic change as well as potential for further improvement of flood control measures.

More information  (only available in German)


K3: Information and communication strategies for crises and disasters

Hilfsorganisationen im Einsatz

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH/Reichel

Funding codes  13N13548 to 13N13555

Providing rapid, reliable assistance in crisis situations is a demanding task for all decision makers involved. The responding organisations make their decisions based on a wide range of information and they have to coordinate their activities closely. The K3 project was working on an organisational and technical strategy for crisis communication. Its aim was to improve information sharing not only within and between the relief organisations but also with the public. The project would also be the first to analyse how rumours spread and what effect warnings on social media have.

K3 project outline  (only available in German)


KOMPASS: Knowledge and organisation to handle high volumes of patients on seagoing vessels

Kreuzfahrtschiff am Anleger

VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH/Reichel

Funding codes  13N13255 to 13N13260

With the cruise holiday business booming, ever bigger vessels, capable of holding thousands of passengers, are being built. However, the large numbers of passengers impede evacuation in the event of an accident and provision of care in a breakout of an infectious disease. In response, the partners on the KOMPASS project were developing a modular approach to emergencies on board large passenger vessels. The project is being carried out in close cooperation with operators of cruise ships, port authorities and rescue organisations. The findings will be made available to all stakeholders, in the form of recommendations and training courses.

More information (only available in German)


Muskat: A multi-sensor technology for improving security at complex scenarios with increased risk of violence

Anreise von Fußballfans

Funding codes  13N13246 to 13N13249

On weekends when there are Bundesliga matches, there are regularly more than 3,000 federal police officers and numerous local police units on duty to prevent violence between groups of fans looking for trouble. On the Muskat joint project, the partners were investigating how a combination of handheld cameras, local surveillance cameras and communication sensors can enable potential offenders to be located quickly and make it easier to prove offences. The research partners were also developing a joint communication and situation report tool and implementing the information-sharing process between the organisational units of the police force.

Muskat project outline  (only available in German)


PRAKOS: Practices and communication for active incident response


VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH/Reichel

Funding codes  13N13323 to 13N13328

Disasters such as storms or major accidents can affect anyone. The response to such incidents depends on various factors, including how those involved perceive and handle the situation. This can differ considerably from region to region and is mainly determined by previous experience and personal preparedness. By looking at specific incidents, the research partners on the PRAKOS project were identifying the aspects of risk culture that result in efficient responses. Knowledge about specific risk culture types provides a basis upon which to formulate precise instructions to help ensure an effective response to major incidents.

PRAKOS project outline  (only available in German)


SMARTER: Smartphone-based communication networks for emergency response

Überschwemmung in Thüringen

mb67 –

Funding codes  13N13403 to 13N13406

When a disaster occurs, a great deal of information needs to be communicated in a short amount of time. This can overburden mobile phone networks and prevent them from working reliably. To counter this problem, partners on the SMARTER joint research project are developing a solution that will allow direct connections between standard mobile telephones.  This will create local networks that will continue to be available even if the mobile telephone networks shut down. This in turn will enable authorities to ascertain the situation swiftly and helpers to find out quickly where they are needed.  

More information  (only available in German)