AMEOS Hospital – A WinGuard success story

AMEOS Hospital

"We often had false alarms in certain areas of the hospital. We wanted to reduce the direct costs of unnecessary firefighting operations as much as possible, as well as the indirect costs caused by the disruption to the hospital's workflow. It is at least as important to comply with the fire department's amended regulations in order to be able to react as quickly as possible in an emergency. Areas such as the operating theaters or our blood bank must not be affected by a fire under any circumstances. The faster response time and, above all, the ability to follow the incident closely at the control center and implement suitable measures in a planned manner is one of the decisive advantages for us."
Christian Lührs
Team leader technology

The challenge – efficient safety and security management at a hospital

The AMEOS Klinikum Am Bürgerpark Bremerhaven is a state-of-the-art healthcare facility. Whether for pneumology, intensive care and respiratory medicine, radiology/nuclear medicine or other medical disciplines, the latest technologies are available to doctors and patients. The philosophy of an innovative healthcare facility also includes reliable security and building management at all times. Fire protection is a particularly high priority. At the AMEOS Clinic, the combination of a fire alarm system with the vendor neutral Physical Security Information Management system WinGuard ensures maximum security safety and efficiency.

It is not uncommon for a hospital to decide to modernize its physical security management system for special reasons from other areas. In the case of AMEOS in Bremerhaven in 2019, it was the acquisition and investment protection of a new endoscopy unit with very expensive measuring and examination equipment. Fire is one of the greatest risks, which can be significantly reduced by state-of-the-art fire detection technology. In addition, modern fire protection also has an impact on insurance in the event of a claim. In order to cover expensive technology under a fire insurance policy, insurers check exactly how high the potential risk of damage is and what precautions have been taken to prevent damage. This is the basis for determining whether insurance cover is granted, and the amount of the sum insured. A fire alarm system in conjunction with a modern and highly automated security and building management system significantly benefits investment and insurance cover.

Another reason for the new safety concept was a change in the fire department’s alarm chain regulations. Previously, there were two alarm levels. When the fire alarms in the hospital went off, there was a so-called pre-alarm, in which the control center had a response time of 30 seconds to acknowledge receipt of an alarm message. There was then an investigation period of two to three minutes during which the control center staff had to investigate and verify the alarm. However, this investigation time was prohibited by the fire department. The reason given: The investigation must not be carried out exclusively from the control center but must always take place as close as possible to the scene of the incident, for example at the station, for a faster response.

This requirement can be met very easily with an integrated security and building management system. Each area in the hospital is equipped with a corresponding workstation that is connected to the management system. This shows the staff exactly where the alarm has been triggered. With this information, they can very quickly start an on-site investigation. At the same time, all the information comes together in the control center to trigger and coordinate the appropriate response.

The scope

  • 8 WinGuard clients
  • 2.000 datapoints
  • Esser fire alarm system
  • CAD support
  • Scheduler

The system concept – WinGuard as a complete solution

“Our fire alarm system was already networked, but there were several teams that had to respond to an alarm within a certain time. Overall, too many people were involved, and the alarm chain was too long by today’s standards. In addition, without a modern control station solution, we had no efficient way of intelligently controlling the fire alarm system or adapting its configuration accordingly, for example after structural changes,” explains Christian Lührs, Team Leader Technology, AMEOS Klinikum Am Bürgerpark in Bremerhaven.

The clinic operator was also very interested in an optimized fire alarm system that is integrated into a security and building management solution from an economic point of view. The previous process sequences in the event of the fire alarm system being triggered often led to false alarms and thus to the fire department being called out unnecessarily. Up to 90 percent of these false alarms are triggered by the consumption of cigarettes, which is prohibited throughout the hospital, and occasionally also by the build-up of dust during construction work. These false alarms not only significantly disrupt operational processes, but also cause costs of around 500 euros for each fire department call-out.

Perfect solution with a trusted partner

Once the need for a modern fire alarm system had been identified at AMEOS Klinikum and the decision had been made, the long-standing technology partner Johnson Controls was consulted. The recommendation: to integrate the existing fire protection system into the WinGuard security and building management solution. With this solution, the hospital can not only meet the requirements of the fire department and the insurance company, but also significantly reduce the number of false alarms with unnecessary callouts of the fire department. In addition, the hospital has the option of controlling the entire system centrally.

The vendor neutral WinGuard security and building management system from Advancis is used. This networked solution as an integrated Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system optimizes the warning chain, simplifies administration, and optimizes security throughout the hospital. At the WinGuard operator workstations, the responsible personnel can control the integrated fire alarm system via a standardized user interface and act immediately in the event of an incident. In the event of an incoming alarm, the local control center and the responsible personnel on site are informed via a screen and by text message, e-mail, or telephone. The automation of the necessary actions in an emergency, the central documentation of all events coupled with comprehensive reporting options are further decisive advantages of the centralized security and building management system.

Another important feature is the quick and easy adaptation. The route maps for the fire brigade and escape routes in the hospital can change quickly due to structural changes, for example. In the past, necessary adjustments could only be made by the fire department and usually manually. Today, the hospital can enter the route map changes itself at the control center to save time and share the new plans with the fire department as a printout or digitally. The result: cost savings of between 50 and 100 euros per route map with around 50 route map adjustments per year. This means that everyone involved is always up to date, which can be crucial in the event of a fire. Since using WinGuard, the hospital has increased the overall efficiency of the now largely paperless planning and implementation by an average of 20 percent, while at the same time freeing up around ten percent of personnel capacity for other important tasks.

The advantages

  • As a vendor-neutral platform, WinGuard integrates all existing security, building and information technology systems
  • Visualization of incident reports as well as guided instructions for resolving the situation and initiating appropriate actions
  • Automation of detector de-/reactivations and scheduling of maintenance dates
  • Reminders for regular maintenance appointments
  • Organizational integration into overarching security concepts
  • Seamless documentation of all security-relevant processes

Homogeneous user interface

Alarm visualization

The clear graphic in WinGuard shows a ward overview in the hospital. The alarms of the fire alarm system are visualized uniformly in the user interface. It is easy to locate them in the large hospital grounds and the personnel responsibilities are displayed.


On-site security is further enhanced by the time control module. Users can use it to make calendars, schedules, automatic actions and switching operations (planned and monitored system controls) available in WinGuard.

Fire brigade card printing

In the event of a fire alarm, maps are automatically printed out at the fire department’s arrival point so that the emergency services can immediately proceed to the scene of the incident. In addition, WinGuard is prepared to print out these route maps again for firefighters who are alerted later. The user also receives a detailed action text with location and system-specific information, e.g. fastest access route.

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