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  • What do you use your Computer for?

    For those of you with PC's or MDT's in your fire apparatus, what do you use the computers for?

    What software?

    What features?

    And....lastly, what did it cost to install the system, software, etc?

    Thanks
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  • #2
    Originally posted by ChiefKN
    For those of you with PC's or MDT's in your fire apparatus, what do you use the computers for?

    What software?

    What features?

    And....lastly, what did it cost to install the system, software, etc?

    Thanks

    We are considering putting laptops in a couple of our trucks. Any advise? Manufacturer suggestions? Software?
    J.J. Bichard, Chief
    Devola Vol. Fire Co.
    Marietta, Ohio

    "A few, serving many"

    Comment


    • #3
      We have MDTs in our trucks running Vison Mobile - absolutely USELESS IMHO.

      They don't work and don't stay connected. We've spent 5 years and close to
      $1M on this project and it's always one set of IT guys pointing at another set trying top say it's someone else's fault. If this were my money I'd be filing criminal charges.

      But enough of the rant. My suggestion is to consider using MDTs for a wireless connection to the internet and then use web applications or other software someone in your organization is comfortable administering, to get you the info you want in the field.

      Our experience is that if you need to rely on someone outside your organization to keep things running they won't be running for long.
      http://USfirefighters.net - Fire Blog
      http://mutts.orb3.net - Mutts Forum

      Comment


      • #4
        I am the research tech on our county's haz mat team, so I use the lap top that is our main response trailer for several things. I have:
        CAMEO/ALOHA/Marplot
        WISER
        Buearu of Explosives Emergency Action Plans
        ASDTR
        NIOSH Pocket Guide Package

        That's just some of the research tools I have. I have a lot of books, including the CHRIS manual. I like to have hard copies as a back up. I like to use computers but I also beleive in Murphy's Law.
        I also use the lap top to interface with our portable weather station so I can interface it with ALOHA/Marplot and keep a real time up date of possible plume tracks.
        Lastly, I have the ICS forms program from NOAA so I can fill out the proper ICS-200 forms for our haz mat team to submit to the IC during the demobilization phase of the incident.
        What I wish I had was broadband wireless Internet, but cellular coverage in the counties we respond to varies greatly from great to none.
        "Your spill is our thrill."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mdcook
          What I wish I had was broadband wireless Internet, but cellular coverage in the counties we respond to varies greatly from great to none.
          There's other solutions that just using service from a cellular company. If you're willing to put some money into it, you could set up a wireless WAN. I know it can be done, although I don't know how, there are companies that specialize in this kind of stuff. The only downside is that you will probably need to erect an antenna tower and when you're out on the scene, take an antenna and point it at it.

          Also, for those of you with MSA SCBA's, MSA came out with their ICM TxRs which is a combination HUD transmitter and PASS device, it also has a digital pressure gauge, thermometer, and battery gauge built into it. It sends it all wirelessly to a receiver that can plug into a laptop or MDT running Windows 2000 or XP. They have software that will display all this information and allows the incident commander to send evacuation orders, assign personnel to teams and a whole bunch other junk. Seems pretty neat.
          Last edited by MichaelD77; 12-09-2006, 11:05 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mobile Data Computers for vehicles

            My department has been using computers for that past 20 years, over that time frame we keep building on the system. We started with NFIRS software, added fire inspections, fire investigations, inventory and maintenance, hydrant data, pre-plan, cameo, and we just added mapping software which ties every thing together. This is done thru our terminal server in the office. We received a grant and just put inservice 3 toughbook 18 tablet pc with verizon wireless built into the computers. We connect thru a secured IP address to our terminal server and have all the information availible to us live, as well as being able to research the internet for additional information. The software we are using is from a company called Emergency Software Products, a division of Enforsys, Inc. based in NJ. The company has been in business since 1980 and has always been updated with new features, also our state fire code are on the system and we do all our fire prevention inspections from the field, once the inspection is saved it up dates the pre-plan information and is made availibly to dispatch as soon as we save the inspection.

            In Public Safety


            William Smith, Fire Marshal
            Township of Fairfield
            [email protected]
            Last edited by Chiefws; 12-10-2006, 02:35 PM. Reason: Change information
            William F. Smith
            Consultant

            W.SMITH, ASSOCIATE
            107 Pier Lane
            Fairfield, NJ 07004
            973-808-0056 Fax 973-808-0225
            e-mail: [email protected]
            http://www.wsmithassoc.com

            Comment


            • #7
              MichaelD77, it would be impossible to set up a wireless WAN in our primary response area. We are one of the only level A haz mat teams in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York and our response area covers thousands of square miles in 5 counties. I do like the idea and I thank you for the something I had not thought of, but trying to get the politicians to just talk about it, much less fund it, gives me a headache.
              One of the counties we cover has and some of the others are thinking about getting MDT's for their law enforcement. I have inquired about our team getting access to the systems to at least help with communications with that county's dispatchers, but again I hit the political/funding brick wall. That is why I am hoping that if our team gets at least part of the 43% that was originally slashed from next years budget back, we might be able to at least afford one of those cellular broadband cards and accounts with one of the cell companies in our area. That would at least give me some more access to up to date information in the parts of the counties that have broadband coverage.
              I appreciate the suggestions, thanks.
              "Your spill is our thrill."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mdcook
                MichaelD77, it would be impossible to set up a wireless WAN in our primary response area.
                I think you mean that it's not feasible right now. I wouldn't say that it's not possible, especially when the price on this stuff will only go down.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am currently running 2 Toughbook laptops in our Command vehicle and our Mutual Aid Engine. We are running WISER, 2004 ERG, and OnScene Explorer (a software package that combines Preplans, GPS base address location, etc)
                  Brian D. Saylor
                  Captain / Webmaster / IT
                  Mountville Fire Company No. 1
                  http://www.mountvillefire.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MDT's in the Apparatus

                    I've heard the best MDT setup that ties into the CAD and NFIRS system is the system from Information Management Corporation (IMC) in Grafton, Massachusetts. They have a slick user interface with large icons on the screen for easy data entry and access. You may want to find out about them at www.imcus.com and get all the details.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our Set-Up

                      We are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect our three stations together. Each station then has it's own LAN (Local Area Network) with at least one computer. Lastly each station also has a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). These are controlled in each station with the SonicWall TZ170W wireless router, VPN manager, firewall, and security appliance.

                      This allows us to run our fire department management software (Arrakis Fire Programs) at all three stations and the members to have safe and controlled internet access on their laptops.

                      We have not implemented any MDT or laptop in a mobile vehicle. We also have not set-up a server to manage the network. Both of which are planned in the near and distant future.
                      Jason
                      Paid Professional Firefighter/ EMT
                      Department Computer Administrator
                      City of Beacon, NY Fire Department (IAFF Local 3490)

                      http://www.BeaconFD.org (Department's Website)
                      http://www.BeaconCareerFirefighters.org (Job's Union Site)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        PORN














                        LMFAO,

                        just messin with ya, we just got laptops in the first run truck and the ambulance, and the software isint set up yet, no we dont use them for anything. Eventually the plan is to have GPS and Incident reporting available on them.
                        Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

                        Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
                        (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

                        My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

                        Comment

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