1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6

    Default GPS for apparatus

    Hi,

    We are a small volunteer dept and are thinking about purchasing some GPS units for some of our apparatus. We are thinking of the portable dash-mount units for driving directions. Some of our rural calls can get tricky and with a new mutual aid agreement coming on we may be extending into some unfamiliar territory.

    Does anyone use these now? What suggestions/models would you reccomend.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    PaladinKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,413

    Default

    Garmin nüvi® 1200

    A very good basic unit. About $150-$170 depending on where you shop.

    You can go all out and spend up to $500 for Garmin's ultra model, but you just need to decide what you need.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Jonnee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,256

    Default

    You guys don't know your district?

    Do you all use MDC's, mobile data computers?

    All that stuff you need can be programmed into the cad system so you get it on the mdc.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    If they're that rural, I doubt that have MDT's in the trucks.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    1,035

    Default

    I've found that paper map books work better in our area. We have garmin's in our rigs, but don't use them. I can look it up in the map book in the same time it takes to punch it into the GPS. I've also found that although the GPS's get you close, they have sent me in the wrong direction at T intersections before. The actual address was over 1/4 mile off.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    213

    Default

    GPS units can be a toss up. They can get you directly where you need to go on the shortest route possible, or even alert you of heavy traffic that you might not have known about, but they can also turn you off in all directions. In my town we have a few roads that are barely passable in the summer and fall, in the winter they turn into snow machine trails. The gps units cant tell what season it is and it will tell you to turn down that road because it might be the shortest distance from A to B.
    Although for us in our ambulance the gps unit works well and gets us where we need to go. They really help when you go into mutual aid territory you dont usually hit. We have map books of our coverage area but once we start heading off to points unknown in neighboring towns its nice to atleast have an idea of where to go especially at night when road signs and house numbers are harder to see.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Yeah, I know a GPS isn't the be all/end all and having used them in a POV they can be inaccurate and you still need to have some idea of where you are going. No MDCs in our area.

    Of course we are familiar with our rural territory but some addresses can be tricky, and some of the younger guys are not as familiar as the veterans. One of the concerns is we will be integrated into the MABAS system early in '10 and will be extending our mutual aid runs farther outside our normal territory.

  8. #8
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,740

    Post Well............

    We use GPS to steal other Companies' Fires........ Here's How - Some Companies use GPS, Some don't. One used a GPS which showed a direct route to the Fire. We used a Paper Map Page that showed the ONLY way to the Fire. The Rig with the GPS got to the end of a Dead End Street and Could see the Fire in front of them, ACROSS THE CREEK. We came in as our map showed, and got a couple of Lines off while they were turning around........

    This scenario has happened more than once in my part of the world. Another time, a GPS Unit told a responding Chief to Turn Right. He Didn't, since he was ON A Bridge. GPS showed an intersection, but there was none, one road went over the other via a Bridge, no off ramps, etc..........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pa Wilds
    Posts
    599

    Default

    CGFD12: Our most effective use for a GPS has been with communicating L.Z. positions to the chopper crews when not utilizing one of the pre-determined landing zones listed in our preplans. A logger trapped in a clear cut operation can be safely hand caried to the bird, if the pilot can be told where to set down close to the accident. In some of our coverage area, it might be 6 or 8 miles from the accident to the preplanned L.Z. With 12 to 30 inches of snow in the woods, transport by snow sled or 4 wheeler might take an hour or more. From the air, one hollow looks just like the last one unless you use a GPS. There is no substitute for memorizing your streets, roads, trails & paths and the routes of access to every location in your district. The GPS can help, but there is no substitute for human knowledge.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    JAMAICA IOWA U.S.A.
    Posts
    347

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CGFD12 View Post
    Of course we are familiar with our rural territory but some addresses can be tricky, and some of the younger guys are not as familiar as the veterans. One of the concerns is we will be integrated into the MABAS system early in '10 and will be extending our mutual aid runs farther outside our normal territory.
    That's why you team your younger folks with experience during training.

    A very good training session is performing 911 hunts and is good for the newbie's to learn the area. it's also doubles as a communcations training.

    Have you officer's setup up command at station with maps and pick out locations for them to go too. If you have rurual hydrants then include those locations also so they know where they are when the time comes. If you don't have a training channel programmed in your radio's and not PO dispatch a couple of cheap pre-paid phones do the trick. Happy hunting

    I also would like to add that technology is great but when it fails it is worthless. Remember those units run on electric and one blown fuse can mean life or death. Place map books of your area and Mutual aid area in each unit. Another suggestion is the have map's on the walls so they can look before they fly out the door not knowing where Waldo is ?
    Last edited by mtndew21; 12-18-2009 at 03:04 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    islandfire03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,662

    Talking

    Another issue with relying on them is that the data they work from is notoriously bad in rural areas. They rely on e911 database info which in many areas has not been completed or was done several years ago and newer roads and driveways are not logged in the database. When you have these new roads that are a mile or two in length it's easy to not get them logged. Codes offices id supposed to update the info , but it's not one of their priorities.
    We tried them here and found that more times than not it was wrong and sent you in the wrong direction.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Good replies, thanks guys. I can't disagree with anything that has been said. We do have map books in our trucks and at the station. The GPS would be an enhancement I suppose.

    Maybe purchasing one or two and doing some drills with them would be a good idea. We might find we prefer the maps in the end anyway....

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    We use them. We LIKE them. They are a Tool just like many others.Basic area knowledge ALONG with a GP assist can make for a better day.MAKE SURE you do regular updates,my Garmin left a little to be desired when I got it. After I intalled the latest update it was great.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    66

    Default Gps

    We have the portable Garmin unit that mounts to the dash on all of our apparatus. We only use them when we are going to another city and even then we back it up w/ a mapbook. No one has had problems with the Garmin, but like all new things, change is hard.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I think its the garmin 105w that is under a $100 at best buy. but like everyone has said dont rely on it a 100 percent, back it up with a map book. better safe then sorry.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    360

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KuhShise View Post
    CGFD12: Our most effective use for a GPS has been with communicating L.Z. positions to the chopper crews when not utilizing one of the pre-determined landing zones listed in our preplans...
    Couldn't agree more. We also mapped out year round water sources in the surrounding mountains. Works well if other similarly EQ'd depts respond for forest fires, etc.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    I think every rig in the fire service should have a GPS, but every chaufer in the fire service should know his territory up until his fourth due area at a minimum. GPS should be a back up and tool for going out of your normal area only.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6

    Default

    For those that have GPS in apparatus, if your department owns several GPS of the same model, how do you do the information updates?

    I don't personally own a GPS but I believe you pay for a "subscription" to update the info periodically. If I bought 4 GPS I'd hope I wouldn't need to purchase 4 subscriptions, just one to update all the units.

    Any experience with this?

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    voyager9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I would find a unit that allows you to add your own layers. That way you can include hydrants and other points of interest like LZ's, drafting points. I think some of the newer ones even have wireless (802.11) for map/layer updates. If so you could update your layers daily (for road/hydrant out of service.. flooding..etc).

    We don't have GPS, but just put in MDT's with an external GPS receiver. I haven't been too satisfied with them, however. Seems as though by the time the GPS gets a position fix we're already half-way there. I think that problem is caused by the GPS loosing power when the truck is shut off so it has to 'start over' every time.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  20. #20
    Banned

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    15

    Default

    We have Garmin Gps in all of the pumpers and the rescue. They are nice to know what road is coming up next and for landing the helicopter they do have a few perks also.

  21. #21
    Banned

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    15

    Default Gps on trucks

    My department is a volunteer department. We have gps on all of the pumpers and the rescue trucks. They are nice to know what roads are coming up and to land the hellicopter. They do have perks like suction cup mounts fall down and people not shutting them off.

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Long time no Sea
    Posts
    2,253

    Default

    Hey, My Garmin GPS in my car is my newest bestest girl buddy. Except when I steer off course for a hot dog and then the damn thing won't shut up. That's when my spouse likes it because it doesn't make her look like such a bad navigator.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. FDNY GPS Units
    By FFTrainer in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 04-25-2006, 12:05 AM
  2. GPS
    By Uncharged in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-25-2004, 12:21 AM
  3. PASS Devices + GPS = ??
    By NeilMcD in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-10-2003, 09:55 PM
  4. GPS Tracking - Tampa Fire Dpt.
    By Firebug030 in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-02-2002, 10:39 AM
  5. GPS GPS GPS
    By vogelfuer in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-27-2001, 11:28 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register