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Most of the fire brigades in Baden-Württemberg are volunteer forces, hence creating the need for readily available and reliable alerting and communication systems for these forces as well. Digital Pagers are the standard means of alerting but, due to their limited reliability, alternative and complementary methods like Apps, SMS, etc. are also used by these volunteer forces. Regarding communication at the scene, the transition from open analogue to encrypted digital radio systems has been on its way for nearly 20 years. As of today, new technology is available for police forces whilst fire brigades still have to use analogue systems. This contribution analyses the situation, past and present, planning and attempts at improvement.