Digital tools for incident commanders
From chef to software entrepreneur: Sascha Pomp has always been a firefighter at heart. At INTERSCHUTZ, he and his company, Eurocommand, will be showcasing digital solutions for integrated operational command24 Jan 2020
Sascha Pomp has always been passionate about the fire service and the work it does. Having served as a crew chief and equipment maintenance officer in Halstenbek, Schleswig-Holstein, he has a thorough understanding of what is involved – including the problems.
And one of the main problem areas he encountered was equipment management, a task which back then, in the 1980s, was still intensely manual, involving logbooks, file cards and various other paper records. So he rolled up his sleeves and developed a software application to get the problem under control. "I’ve always been a great believer in do-it-yourself,"he says. That was 30 years ago. "Softflex", which is what the first generation of his digital solution was called, is now a respected company with big-name customers and major partners: Eurocommand GmbH.
Presenting new products at INTERSCHUTZ 2020
This June, Eurocommand will be presenting 15 new products at INTERSCHUTZ 2020, the world’s leading trade fair for the fire and rescue services, civil protection, safety and security.
Sascha Pomp originally trained as a chef, but then changed tack and retrained as a business administrator – a qualification that stood him in good stead later on when he decided to set up his own company. But he remained captivated by the idea of helping the fire sector – and indeed by the realization that many of the more problematic areas of everyday emergency response work could be made simpler through the use of new technology. This passion for the fire service saw him complete training as a unit commander (Gruppenführer), as a platoon commander (Zugführer), and then as a group commander (Verbandführer). Ultimately he became a trainer in several fire service disciplines and currently works, alongside his responsibilities at Eurocommand, as a teaching fellow at the Schleswig-Holstein State Fire Training Academy. Sascha Pomp is also a member of numerous expert bodies at state and national level.
His company’s aim, right from the beginning, was to provide government agencies and other organizations responsible for safety and security with integrated emergency, risk and crisis management solutions and operational support software for stationary and mobile incident command centers. The key to that was the development of the CommandX platform. “The task was to deliver an intuitive operational support system that leverages all available data to give incident commanders a transparent overview of their incident situations at all times," Pomp explains. “The CommandX platform is an electronic management assistant for incident commanders."
Eurocommand now has over 500 major customers all around Germany, several of which have as many as 30 stationary command centers. This customer base is drawn primarily from the fire service, the police and the rescue and disaster relief services, although it also includes private first-responder organizations and industrial companies with critical infrastructure. In terms of reference projects, Pomp points to the city of Hamburg, which commissioned Eurocommand to implement a shared, integrated solution, spanning all hierarchical levels, for the police and fire services, and which made the company the general contractor in charge of video and media technology, software and interactivity for the G20 Summit in 2017.
Another reference project is the integrated CommandX solution the company developed for the Berlin Fire Department. The department’s dispatch center, central command and all stations and command vehicles are now equipped with technology by Eurocommand. The company’s technology also played a key role in the extremely rapid and effective emergency response to the peat fire in Meppen in 2018. It provided an integrated platform for all the first-responder crews involved and delivered essential real-time situation updates. “We offer solutions for all environments and situations where technical infrastructure for safety or security is required," says Pomp. “That includes airports. For Cologne Bonn Airport we developed an integrated solution that supports the airport’s crisis management group, safety and security service and fire brigade in the event of emergencies."
Demand for CommandX and its associated products is strong and growing all the time. The entire ecosystem is extensive and includes modules for reporting, incident manpower management, callout logs, situation map viewers, task management and even simple to-do lists. Eurocommand also provides specialized solutions for applications such as patient management. Among much else, this includes administration of rescue equipment and resources, patient documentation including georeferencing (assigning real-world coordinates to individual pixels on photos and plans), rapid patient triaging and status recording, diagnosis recording, assignment to transportation, and flexible interfaces to external systems in the event of mass-casualty incidents.
Awarded for products
Eurocommand GmbH is a growing company with a core staff of around 25 and plans to take on further personnel at its Halstenbek, Schleswig-Holstein, headquarters in 2020. The company also draws on independent contractors as and when required. Sascha Pomp is the founder of the company and its managing partner. He and two other partners, a security firm and a software development company, each hold one third of the company’s capital. In the spring of 2019, the German Fire Protection Association (GFPA) awarded Eurocommand the "Safety made in Germany” seal of quality for its CommandX software. The seal, initiated in 2015, is awarded for products and services with proven excellent quality in fire protection, industrial safety, disaster relief and civil protection applications. At the award ceremony in May 2019, GFPA President Dirk Aschenbrenner described the software as an example of the new ways of mastering complexity in emergency management that are made possible by digitalization.
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