B21F6BB4-1C5E-4341-9402-72115F03EA26 19. November 2021

Frankfurt strengthens digital warning channels

Bomb discoveries, chemical accidents, major fires, floods - if there is a serious threat to life or health in Frankfurt, all those potentially affected should be warned as quickly as possible - and told how best to act. The Frankfurt Fire Department is responsible for warning the population of so-called non-police hazards. The fire department has now significantly expanded its warning infrastructure and resources.

At the fire department's control center in Eckenheim, there is a full station for the satellite-based warning system MoWaS, which was made available by the state of Hesse and is used to control a whole series of multipliers. National and regional radio and television stations are supplied with the warning messages for prompt onward dissemination, and the available warning apps in parallel. And another interface ensures that from now on, warnings are also played out via Ströer's digital city information screens.

In Frankfurt, more than 40 screens can be found on the subway and S-Bahn tracks at Hauptwache and Konstablerwache stations alone, where they have a very high degree of visibility. At the main train station and the regional train station at the airport, at many other stations in the city and in the large malls, Ströer also broadcasts its content loops consisting of advertising, news and weather - and, if worst comes to worst, warning messages. In Frankfurt, a total of 290 of these digital and thus ad-hoc playable information surfaces are connected to the warning infrastructure through the cooperation with Ströer.

Ströer has a contract with the Federal Office for Civil Protection (BBK) and is thus an official warning multiplier. "Urgent information or notices from the police, fire department and authorities should reach the population as quickly as possible and in a targeted manner - also, or above all - in public spaces. We are delighted that we have now been able to create the conditions for this in Frankfurt and that our digital screens will now be a useful addition to the mix of warning media," says Alexander Stotz, CEO Ströer Media Deutschland GmbH.

Frankfurt is the first city to be warned at all three danger levels using Ströer displays. The MoWaS warning system distinguishes between hazard information (lowest level, e.g. a bomb defusing with a few days' notice), danger (medium level, e.g. heavy rain in critical quantities) and extreme danger (highest danger level, e.g. extreme flooding with acute danger to life). Depending on the level, radio stations are required to interrupt their programming for the warning or include the warning in their regular newscasts. Similarly, the agreement between the Frankfurt Fire Department and Ströer provides for the content loop to be interrupted or, depending on the level, for the warning to be played out within the regular loop.

"The goal is that as many people as possible can be reached with a warning message in the event of an incident. To achieve this, today you have to rely on many dissemination channels for a warning," explains Annette Rinn, head of the city's department for order, safety and fire protection. "The large screens at the central intersections in Frankfurt are ideal, not least to reach commuters or travelers who are on the move in Frankfurt."

The messages that will be on the screens are clearly marked as a warning from the fire department and contain the most important warning content: What danger is where in Frankfurt and what citizens should do (or refrain from doing) - such as avoiding the affected area at all costs.


Source/Picture: Feuerwehr Frankfurt