Germany's Kassel Fire Brigade Successfully Manages the Refugee Crisis

As the Syrian Civil War enters its fifth year and the European Union continues to grapple with the refugee crisis, since 2015 Germany’s Kassel Fire Brigade has taken a leading role among fire brigades in the federal state of Hesse in managing and responding to the 1.2 million refugees in Germany.

Providing shelter, beds, food, sanitary facilities, and basic medical care on a long-term basis presents many day-to-day logistical challenges. To overcome these challenges, the Kassel Fire Brigade closely collaborates, coordinates, and communicates with various public safety agencies, medical services, and relief organizations in the Kassel region. The brigade keeps its ongoing response efforts organized and coordinated with well-structured action plans, straightforward communication processes, and event management technology.

Powered by Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s Intergraph Planning & Response solution, Kassel Fire Brigade has been able to centralize, visualize, and share its action plans and communication processes for event management in a common operating picture that’s accessible by all relevant agencies; whether they’re in a special operations room, a control center, or on site handling refugees. When 400 refugees show up needing assistance, Kassel Fire Brigade and its relief partners are able to quickly find shelter, food, and other resources to accommodate refugee needs. And they are able to do this across multiple relief sites in the region.

For the last two years, IPR has helped Kassel Fire Brigade clearly and comprehensively visualize ever-changing refugee relief situations; in the process they have created greater situational awareness for all parties involved. By using IPR, the brigade is able to clearly visualize legal requirements, service regulations, and individual response challenges as they pertain to the refugee crisis. Comprehensive information can be provided to, and efficiently used by, all users at the fire brigade, regional administrators, medical service providers and other relief organizations involved in the crisis at any given time.

While EU leaders exercise diplomacy and make concessions to handle the refugee crisis, the Kassel Fire Brigade is a successful, real-world example of how crisis event planning and multiple agency response can help war-weary Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans get back on their feet again.

About Matthias Alisch

Born 1962, Geographer, Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.), 1989-1996 freelance journalist, 1997-1998 Editor-in-Chief of a newly founded Geospatial Magazine, 1999-2015 Marketing Manager at Intergraph, since 2015 Head of Marketing, EMEA at Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, located in Germany.