Sharing Pre-Plan Data to Improve Responses

When an incident call comes in, what fire department doesn't want to respond as quickly as possible? Response, however, involves not just the speed with which firefighters must reach the scene, but executing tactics to handle the incident once on-scene...


When an incident call comes in, what fire department doesn't want to respond as quickly as possible? Response, however, involves not just the speed with which firefighters must reach the scene, but executing tactics to handle the incident once on-scene. National Fire Protection Association...


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For Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue in Silverdale, WA, the inclusion of a GPS receiver in its pre-incident planning software has proven to be indispensable when responding to calls. This is particularly true when Central Kitsap apparatus are dispatched to a residential address in the area's largely rural community.

"There's a large percentage of these with no address listed at the end of the driveway," Inspector II Roger Nordlander said, adding that the ability to locate these addresses based on GPS data embedded in First Look Pro Map (included as part of The CAD Zone's First Look Pro software) has saved valuable time and boosted response efforts.

In some instances, Nordlander explained, the GPS feature has enabled firefighter medics to arrive on-scene 10–15 minutes faster rather than driving up and down driveways or asking for further directions. This decrease in dispatch to arrival time has been critical in advanced life support (ALS) responses. In small fires or nighttime calls, it has been invaluable, the inspector added.

"It (the mapping and GPS capabilities) means increased efficiency, improved safety and a faster dispatch to crews on-scene to deal with and mitigate a condition," Nordlander said.

BOB GALVIN is a Portland, OR-based freelance writer specializing in writing about topics related to pre-incident planning software and technology designed for use by fire departments.