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On-board engine mapping software or tools?

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  • On-board engine mapping software or tools?

    Our FD has struggled for years to get our dispatch (which handles the county fire, city fire, county law and city law enforcement) to implement a platform that would allow us to implement the use of MDT's in our engine. The big $$$$ associated with implementing a glamorous mobile data terminal system just isn't available. So we're looking at other options.

    I am looking for departments that are using some sort of mapping tool in their engine. Any uses that are outside of the norm would be greatly appreciated.

    Just some ideas we have been throwing around:

    - Wireless connection through a mounted laptop
    - Using Google Maps
    - Investigating all other GPS/Map software that may work

    The main things we are trying to accomplish are:

    - Want a map with directions to the call (priority 1)
    - Ideally a map w/ directions would be pushed to the engine automatically when the dispatch comes in. However, this may = too much $
    - Will eventually need to access preplans of buildings etc
    Last edited by LowKey; 05-22-2008, 03:03 PM.

  • #2
    Try the low cost, highly effective approach and just learn your territory.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MemphisE34a View Post
      Try the low cost, highly effective approach and just learn your territory.
      Man, why didn't we think of that? Haha, very funny we actually do that. However the issues are the city is growing very fast, lots of new hires that are not local, no engineer position per se (so everyone drives), the hours required in the first year is in the 200 range to learn the 1500 streets and get a 90% on the test.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LowKey View Post
        Man, why didn't we think of that? Haha, very funny we actually do that. However the issues are the city is growing very fast, lots of new hires that are not local, no engineer position per se (so everyone drives), the hours required in the first year is in the 200 range to learn the 1500 streets and get a 90% on the test.
        While they aren't used in Engines and Ladders, the GPS navigators from GARMIN are what our staff and support vehilces use to get around the city.

        FTM-PTB

        Comment


        • #5
          We use a program called FirstLook Pro. It contains preplans and specific building info and also does GPS navigation. Our IT consultant has looked into having the calls pushed to the laptop upon dispatch, but I don't know what he has found out.
          If i hear more, I'll post it.
          The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mdt's Excellent Tool

            Originally posted by LowKey View Post
            Our FD has struggled for years to get our dispatch (which handles the county fire, city fire, county law and city law enforcement) to implement a platform that would allow us to implement the use of MDT's in our engine. The big $$$$ associated with implementing a glamorous mobile data terminal system just isn't available. So we're looking at other options.

            I am looking for departments that are using some sort of mapping tool in their engine. Any uses that are outside of the norm would be greatly appreciated.

            Just some ideas we have been throwing around:

            - Wireless connection through a mounted laptop
            - Using Google Maps
            - Investigating all other GPS/Map software that may work

            The main things we are trying to accomplish are:

            - Want a map with directions to the call (priority 1)
            - Ideally a map w/ directions would be pushed to the engine automatically when the dispatch comes in. However, this may = too much $
            - Will eventually need to access preplans of buildings etc
            We have mounted our city maps onto the laptops in PDF format, they work awesome. They are very detailed, show hydrants and preplans also, they are easily updated. Our system happens to be synced with our CAD system which allows auto population of address fields as well as live dispatch updates while responding to calls, this has been a major advancement for our department. We are also able to access all Medical Protocols as well as Fire SOP's. All of our units both engines and rescues are ALS, so this is crucial information. These types of systems can be expensive, but with the right support you can accomplish alot on a small budget.

            Comment


            • #7
              LowKey - thanks for the PM. I'll send you my contact info shortly.

              Since you checked out alseageo, I would also have you look into a software called Franson GPS Gate (I think AlseaGeo might even be able to get you a break on the price). It will use google maps an your onbaord GPS's to track your vehicles. We use this to see where out units are, and to send the closest available aid. It's like LookingGlass from HTE for $15 a vehicle instead of $5000.

              I think the server software + 5-10 licences cost me $100.

              We had thought about going the google maps route, but I was a little leary of depending on our internet connection for all our mapping needs. Thats why we went with AlseaGeo. That way, everything is in the hard drive acessable at any time.

              SOrry no spell checker on this post... hope you can understand it.

              We also tried to stay away from automatic routing ( IE the red line from you to the call locaion ) because it stops people from thinking. Also unless you have a dynamic system that takes into consideration for street closiers, adn traffic, its hard to know the best route.

              I'd love to discuss this with you further, so feel free to call anytime. I'm working the typical 24/48 west coast shift ( today is A shift which I'm assigned ). But you can call the station and someone will get the message to me also.

              Brent Gaskey
              Lebanon Fire District
              Lebanon, OR

              541-451-1901
              FireOps.net - Let your Fire Geek Show

              Comment

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