Updating the fire protection demand planning for a medium-sized district city

Our customer, a medium-sized town in North Rhine-Westphalia, had to update its fire protection demand plan within the legal deadline. niologic supported the city in the plan’s preparation and the computer-aided risk assessment including an optimization of sites.


Political will, organisational challenges and the municipality’s tense financial situation forced our customer to critically examine the sites of the voluntary fire brigade and the full-time fire station. A reasonable quantity of voluntary fire brigade sites in terms of primary and secondary probability of operation should be assessed, while obsolete locations were to be identified. At the same time, sites to be improved and the possible optimal location for a full-time fire and rescue station should be highlighted.


niologic imported 10 years of existing operation data from operation lists and operation control computers (iSE Cobra™), which was then cleaned up (duplicates, plausibility checks, manual research for incorrect entries). Subsequently, locations were geocoded and transferred into a grid of 500m edge length using a geographic information system (GIS). The resulting grids were assigned to various hazard categories according to recommendations made by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Cat. I to IV for ABC, TH and fire hazards) with the support of the full-time fire station’s officers. These assessments have also been incorporated into the geo information system.

Using the algorithms from  premergency premergency, an interactive hazard matrix and a risk model for the expected operation probability during the year were created from the obtained data.

At the same time, travel time isochrones were generated. Real driving tests executed by the fire brigade served as data basis. A linear optimization was applied to find an optimal speed for each road type. From the probability values for each grid a location optimization for the number and position of the necessary sites for voluntary and full-time fire and rescue stations could be obtained by numerical optimization. At the same time, a legal analysis of the maximum permitted driving speeds had to be carried out using the speed models.

The editorial compilation of the results was carried out together with the fire brigade.

Results and customer value

Numerous personnel and strategic decisions were moderated by niologic, whereby the extensive data preparation and modelling always served as an objective base for discussion. Especially the interactive use of displayed digital isochrones, the digital risk model and the proof of the underlying operations in the grid inspired the customers and the political committees to ask their own questions and to weigh them up confidently. In particular, the interactive use of data served as a bridge between the fire brigade’s executive body and local politics.