Rescue Data Sheets for Fire Services
The continual optimisation of vehicle safety is an important development goal for the German automotive industry and plays a major role in the ongoing improvement of road safety in Germany. Whereas more than 20,000 deaths occurred in road traffic accidents in the 1970s, in 2013 there were only approx. 3,300 fatalities – even though many more vehicles are on the roads today. The casualty figures continue to fall, yet still demand further effort.
However, life-saving safety features also affect the way people are rescued. Continuing development of vehicle technology increases the demands placed on emergency rescue teams when dealing with vehicles involved in accidents. The requests from emergency personnel about the technical systems installed in vehicles, especially pyrotechnic components such as airbags and belt tensioners, special features of the chassis and the vehicle drive train have led to the introduction of standardised presentations ofcomprehensive technical information in the form of vehicle-model-specific rescue data sheets.
The rescue data sheet provides the emergency services at the scene of an accident with detailed information to help them rescue the patient in an appropriate manner. A data sheet contains all the information relevant to rescuing a person from the vehicle. This includes a diagram of the vehicle with various components marked on it (tank, battery, airbag, belt tensioners, structural reinforcements, high voltage components and cables, etc.) and possibly additional information. The form for the data sheets was drawn up in co-operation with the German Fire Protection Association (GFPA) and emergency doctors (see GFPA guidelines).
Rescue data sheets now exist for nearly all vehicle models (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) that are sold in Germany. There are currently over 1,200 different data sheets – and the number is increasing every day. In this regard Germany is a world-wide pioneer in total coverage with information to support the emergency services at the scene of an accident.
To deal effectively and securely with the large number of rescue data sheets and keep them up-to-date, at the beginning of 2013 the VDA, in collaboration with the Association of International Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK) and the German Federal Ministry of Transport, made it possible for the emergency services to rapidly identify a damaged vehicle by sending a request to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) based on its licence plates.
On behalf of the VDA and VDIK members, the Deutsche Automobil Treuhand (DAT, Deutsche Automobil Treuhand) has created a software (SilverDAT FRS) that links KBA vehicle data with the corresponding rescue data sheet through a database at the emergency service control centre. The rescue data sheet database is updated regularly by the DAT in close co-operation with the vehicle manufacturers, so that the latest vehicle information is always available for fire services. Conversions and refits that have to be registered, e.g. a switch to gas propulsion, are displayed automatically, without any extra input required from the vehicle’s owner. The DAT software is offered to all fire services and emergency control centres in Germany and can be ordered directly from the DAT.
The DAT program (SilverDAT FRS) and the request using the vehicle’s licence plates give the fire services a practicable information system that has to be seen as an important component of medical technology for accident rescue. As many rescue data sheets are also available in several languages, the system can be transferred to other countries around the world. The DAT-FRS software already provides for an interface to the future automatic emergency call system (eCall).
a) The contents of these Internet pages are intended exclusively for trained members of the rescue services for the technical rescue of persons from vehicles at the scene of an accident in Germany and may only be used for this purpose.
b) Responsibility for the content of these rescue data sheets and for ensuring that it is up-to-date rests solely with the manufacturers compiling them.