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German Red Cross relies on TRAKA for home emergency service

The German Red Cross (DRK) has installed a state-of-the-art key and data protection system from Traka to control its home emergency service in Kreisverband Bitburg-Prüm.

Over 650 households in the Kreisverband Bitburg-Prüm district are connected to the DRK home emergency call centre. To ensure fast response, the service works closely with the DRK emergency medical service, which maintains eight emergency centres within the district. At each centre, keys to the participating residents’ houses and apartments are now retained in 11 specially-designed secure, L-Series steel key cabinets, supplied and installed by Traka. Each cabinet holds up to 180 sets of keys.

In the event of an emergency call out, instant access to medical information and the correct keys is crucial. Thanks to Traka’s intelligent solution, printed medical sheets and manual key management is a thing of the past.

At the DRK centre, unique PINs are used to identify residents and their addresses and to gain access to their electronic records of pre-existing conditions and medication.

Upon receiving an alarm call, the DRK rescue control centre alerts the home emergency personnel giving the PIN of the person requiring help. The PIN is then used to log into the DRK system and gain access to the details of the patient. This information is automatically printed out and enables paramedics attending the emergency to provide the most appropriate care.

An authorised emergency medical service employee then logs into the relevant Traka L-Series key cabinet using fingerprint recognition to verify his or her identity. The cabinet houses intelligent iFobs, each containing an electronic data chip, to which keys are securely attached for each of the participating residents’ homes.

These iFobs are permanently fixed to the keys to define and control exactly the person or group-related use of the keys. Data for each key is electronically forwarded to the server and controlled on a PC. An administrator of the home emergency call service is responsible for granting and withdrawing permission for access to keys and all data of the home emergency participants and users of the keys. No names and addresses are stored on the iFobs however, only numbers identify addresses with keys.

Upon successful log-in, the cabinet door opens automatically and indicates, by means of illuminated LED lights, the correct iFob to be taken which can then be withdrawn immediately. The inbuilt Traka32 software prevents removal of incorrect iFobs and the whole procedure, taking less than a minute, is simply reversed when returning keys. The software records details of all operations including which sets of keys have been accessed, when and by whom. The system is fully audited and reports are easily generated for monitoring users and key activity.

Prior to the introduction of the Traka system, medical records of participating residents were kept on printed medical sheets that were stored in secure filing cabinets at each of the eight emergency centres. This method of information management was both time consuming and inefficient and has now been discontinued.

The Traka system was supplied and installed by the company’s German distributor which is headed up by Friedel Hacker. Commenting on the DRK project, he says, "The complete DRK home emergency service in Kreisverband Bitburg-Prüm has been transformed. With the Traka system, paper records have been scrapped and overall response times have been cut dramatically. DRK are very pleased and, most importantly, the residents in the scheme are now extremely confident in the excellence of the care they receive in the event of an emergency."

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