The world of the fire service is heavily related to tangible and tangible things. In this context, people like to think of personal protective equipment, portable pumps, pumps, rescue equipment or emergency vehicles, a dream on 4 wheels with flashing lights and a tone horn, so to speak. Intangible things like software (unfortunately) do not yet have a high priority in the fire service.
In the current discussion about digitization, however, the use of information technology is getting more and more tailwind. Organizations such as the fire brigade, ambulance or police are increasingly seeing the need for and added value for digital support, both in pre- and post-processing technologies, but also increasingly in the field.
Especially the new generation of executives, who grew up with these technologies, has already efficiently been using the potential of software, both in everyday life and in challenging operational situations.
Growing scope of software solutions
Rosenbauer has been dealing with digitization issues and the provision of standardized for over 15 years now
Rosenbauer has been dealing with digitization issues and the provision of standardized as well as customer-specific software solutions for over 15 years now. As a manufacturer of high performance firefighting technology and equipment, developments in this area are an important addition to the existing product range.
Information technology will not replace extinguishing with water in the future either, but it will provide important support in coping with a wide variety of deployment scenarios.
Step-by-step to tailor-made application software
For the development of a good software solution, many factors are necessary. In addition to the technical components, which form the basis of every development, of course many other characteristics and skills such as commitment, foresight, creativity, but also a lot of hard work are part of it.
At Rosenbauer, cooperation with the customer is very important, as is clear and effective communication. This is the only way to successfully implement software projects. At the beginning of a development there is usually a creative process. This is largely fueled by the practical application of the emergency organization.
Software development process
Many of these ideas come together in ongoing discussions with customers. This could be, for example, a request for the integration of alarm data from a fire alarm center or the idea of developing a special emergency navigation system or the electronic recording of equipment in a fire engine. Then, the actual software development process begins.
The project manager is in charge of such a software project. This records the customer-specific requirements and coordinates them with the respective software development team. In this software development process, various aspects such as maintainability, software architecture, documentation, but also quality assurance and regular communication with the customer are of great importance.
Defining demographic data and characteristics
Accordingly, the ‘right language’ has to be found between everyone involved
Accordingly, the ‘right language’ has to be found between everyone involved, but also an individual and agile way of working. A further refinement in this phase is the creation of so-called personas, i.e. a description of a fictional person who could be behind the user.
Here, demographic data and characteristics such as age, work and living environment and other personal backgrounds are described in a profile. This collected information leads to the description of the usage requirements, which serves as the basis for a first prototype. These do not necessarily have to be programmed. They can also be designed just as simple drawings, so called wireframes.
‘Front-end’ of the software
This gives a first impression of the functions needed. These can, for example, be special buttons in the so-called ‘front-end’ of the software, with which the user can interact on a tablet in the vehicle. These prototypes already give a first insight into the design of the respective surface, which is then finished in further steps using appropriate design and design rules.
Programming of the software
After these basics have been defined with the customer, the actual programming of the software can begin. A complete team of fire fighters or specialists is not necessarily required to implement software for emergency services. A good mix of experts, designers and developers usually brings specialist topics to the point better and more directly.
An idea is, therefore, not a finished piece of software. Many steps and a lot more thinking are necessary before an application can go to the customer. As Albert Einstein once stated, "Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work." It's the same with an ingenious software idea.