1. #1
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    Default Looking for Wireless Network and Laptop Information

    I am proposing outfitting all of our apparatus with Laptops and having them work over a wireless network with connection to dispatch. This is for a school project that I hope to incorporate into a reality for my Dept through the possibility of Grants. Problem is I don't know where to start, I have been Googling things and reading some information. But we are in the Northeast, Metrowest in Massachusetts, and I have read that we would want the most rugged systems. But this is what I would like the system to accomplish:


    GPS and turn by turn directions to incident scene

    Pre Plan information including Hydrant, Box, Electrical Room locations, etc.

    Information gathered for different locations, dog on scene, "enter through side door", knox box on Beta side of building, etc

    Cameo and other Emergency Response Software

    Communication with Dispatch

    Possibility of having PDA's on the Wireless system as well for Officers

    Am I reaching for too much, again, this is a school project but something I would like to implement at some time in the future with Grant Monies. Can somebody point me in the right direction.

    Thanks

    Jeff

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    Jeff, I can help you with some of the items. We just outfitted an engine and rescue truck with Dell's semi-rugged laptops. They are not as tough as the Toughbooks, but they are about half the price. We figured we would choose the semi-rugged with a solid-state hard drive because we have no real intentions of removing the laptops and using them outside the cab area.

    The laptops have both a built-in Sprint mobile data card and a wireless b/g card. This allows us to connect to our department wireless while we are in the station (good for updating software and receiving call information) and also allows a backup connection through Sprint for when we are on the road.

    While the project is in its very infant stages, I am exploring the possibility of using Google Earth to store pertinent hydrant information as overlays to their maps. MS Streets and Trips with a GPS receiver will work well for street directions. We have also recently ordered the computer program sold by Hurst for vehicle extrication. That program receives bi-weekly updates to its vehicle databases. I also added all of the ICS forms just in case we need them while on scene.

    In the future, we are looking to interface with our dispatch center's CAD system and a program another department is using for pre-plan and hydrant information.

  3. #3
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    Jeff,

    That is an ambitious project to say the least! But probably a project worth doing.

    Before you start, you should consider whether there are any regional projects also starting up to accomplish the same things or some of what you want to accomplish.

    All of the “Information” pieces such as the pre-fire plans, CAMEO and the DOT Guidebook are the easy part as you are simply installing the computer and installing/maintaining software. Even the GPS directions are more of an application than anything else.

    AVL (automatic vehicle locator), and communication over the laptop are more difficult since you need the network. You might have choices such as using one of the commercial cell companies such as Spring/Nextel, AT&T, Verizon, etc.) at $30 - $50 per vehicle per month. Or you can deploy your own system using a commercial radio system (more up front costs).

    We currently have laptops in each apparatus that have Cameo, DOT Guidebook, and a home grown Pre-Fire plan and mapping solution that we wrote and maintain ourselves. This was developed to replace a failed Motorola initiative to do mapping and pre-fire plans. There is a regional project to provide AVL and "instant messaging" between units and dispatch which is similar to the current regional Police MDT project. So far it has limited deployment.

    Brian

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    Default Wireless CAD

    Our Department has been wireless for the past 2 year. We have Panasonic CF-30 toughbooks mounted on all aparartus and our fire prevention uses CF-19 Tablet PC computer. We use verizon wireless broadband, we have a terminal server 2003. All our fire department RMS software run on the server. Incident Reporting, Personnel and training, inventory and maintenance, hydrant data base, fire inspections, fire investigations, pre-plan and mapping. Our pre-plan data interfaces with our fire inspection software, they can attach floor plans, digital photo's, video, etc. to each property. The mapping software shows hydrant and buildings. From the mapping you can click on a property and veiw a list of tenants, click on the tenants name and it takes you into the property information.

    We have been using the software for the past 18 years and the company has customized some of the informstion for us. If any work like I can post the company information.

    W.Smith, Fire Marshal
    Bureau of Fire Prevention
    wsmith@fairfieldnj.org
    www.fairfieldnj.org

  5. #5
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    Marshall Smith,

    If you could post the company information or send me a PM of the information, that would be great. I need this info for a class but it has to be a project that we could implement at our Department and I would like to apply for grants to move it forward, any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Jeff

  6. #6
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    The name of the Company is called Emergency Software Products based in Roseland, NJ. www.emergencysoftware.com

  7. #7
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    I'll go in further a little later when I have time.

    But you have Cell Card options
    Or you can invest in "mesh" networking but it is $$$.
    We were looking at $20 million for 400 Sq miles
    Josh Ball
    FF/EMT - Zoneton Fire Protection District
    PSO II - Louisville International Airport
    Deputy - Bullitt County Sheriff's Office

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