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Thread: Firefighter Response System

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    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
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    Default Firefighter Response System

    We recently began using a demo of this system. You program a 1-800 number into your cel phone speed dial and dial it when responding. It goes to a website that instantly records your response status and displays it on a webpage. We placed a pc monitor in the wndow of our radio room so that it can be seen from the apparatus bay.

    I am sorta on the fence as to whether we should actually buy this or not. It works good in theory but the reality is not everyone (me included) remembers to dial their cel phone when responding.

    Is anyone else using this?? Some input would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    We recently began using a demo of this system. You program a 1-800 number into your cel phone speed dial and dial it when responding. It goes to a website that instantly records your response status and displays it on a webpage. We placed a pc monitor in the wndow of our radio room so that it can be seen from the apparatus bay.

    I am sorta on the fence as to whether we should actually buy this or not. It works good in theory but the reality is not everyone (me included) remembers to dial their cel phone when responding.

    Is anyone else using this?? Some input would be great.

    http://www.advancedfrs.com/Default.aspx
    If you're talking about Iamresponding.com, we are in the process of setting it up now. It has some other pretty neat features that we are already using, such as notifying members of drills, event, vehicles out of service, etc. The price seems reasonable. Will post here after we've had it for a while, let you know how it's doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    If you're talking about Iamresponding.com, we are in the process of setting it up now. It has some other pretty neat features that we are already using, such as notifying members of drills, event, vehicles out of service, etc. The price seems reasonable. Will post here after we've had it for a while, let you know how it's doing.
    This system looks very similar to IAMRESPONDING.We've been using the IAMRESPONDING system for about 2.5 years now. It's been great for our combination FD, which recalls off duty and call personnel on a fairly routine basis. Not to mention the number of other uses.

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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    If you're talking about Iamresponding.com, we are in the process of setting it up now. It has some other pretty neat features that we are already using, such as notifying members of drills, event, vehicles out of service, etc. The price seems reasonable. Will post here after we've had it for a while, let you know how it's doing.
    We used them. It was great until the price started increasing every year... I turned it off then.

    It has subsequently been reactivated by the new Chief.

    It was nice, but I thought it got kind of pricey.
    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.

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    In theory, this has sounded like a good system, BUT, vehicle crash's are the 2nd leading cause of the FF fatality's, and you want them to make a phone call while driving?? Yeah yeah, you're supposed to call BEFORE you get into your car, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

    Even if it is a programmed number that you just have to dial, it's still going to be a distraction to the responder.

    Just my $0.02.
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    If its like Iamresponding.com, there should be a default response for if you dial and don't do any further inputs. If you put it on speed dial it shouldn't be that hard to use. As you are going out of the house, hit the speed dial button and put the phone on the seat/cupholder/wherever. Get to the firehouse/scene, hit the end call button and put it wherever. If you don't have enough composure to do that when you get a run, maybe wrapping your car around the tree because you did it while driving isn't the worst thing that can happen.

    Its a good system, I like it. Lets you see if its worth it to wait a little bit before you roll a piece of apparatus. (such as an MVA and you see you have two more EMTs responding to the station and they should be there any second).

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    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    If its like Iamresponding.com, there should be a default response for if you dial and don't do any further inputs. If you put it on speed dial it shouldn't be that hard to use. As you are going out of the house, hit the speed dial button and put the phone on the seat/cupholder/wherever. Get to the firehouse/scene, hit the end call button and put it wherever. If you don't have enough composure to do that when you get a run, maybe wrapping your car around the tree because you did it while driving isn't the worst thing that can happen.

    Its a good system, I like it. Lets you see if its worth it to wait a little bit before you roll a piece of apparatus. (such as an MVA and you see you have two more EMTs responding to the station and they should be there any second).
    I'm not familiar with Iamresponding. With this setup there are 3 options, responding, responding delayed and out of district\unavailable. They correspond with a number on your phone. You just press that number for a few seconds, it dials and sets your status. You don't even need to listen to the phone, just hang up after 10 seconds or so. I usually press it on my way out the door (when I remember)

    I suppose it can be another distraction while driving but really no more than turning on the defroster or w\s wipers.

    As stated in my original post, the biggest problem so far is that half the guys forget to use it making it unreliable. This should improve over time I would think.
    Last edited by Blulakr; 10-24-2010 at 12:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    We used them. It was great until the price started increasing every year... I turned it off then.

    It has subsequently been reactivated by the new Chief.

    It was nice, but I thought it got kind of pricey.
    There may be some confusion here that I would be happy to help clear up. Subscription fees for IamResponding.com have not increased since the product was launched. IamResponding.com pioneered this technology, and was the very first to ever offer this type of system. I'd be happy to answer any questions, and can be contacted at DSeidberg@emergencysmc.com (I own the company).

    We certainly don't advoate driving while on the phone. You simply press one pre-programmed speed dial button, and then drop your phone. Nothing more. If you don't hang up on us, we'll hang up on you!

    Thanks, and be safe!

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    A neighboring department looked at it, but I don't think they got very far into the experiment.

    I have mixed feelings on it.

    If I'm first into the station, I'm getting the engine fired up and ready to roll. Usually by the time I have it parked on the ramp, there's somebody there to roll with me and we're on our way.

    And we usually have a pretty good idea of who to expect at the station, and when, for most calls.

    The place it could really be useful would be if we could do it on a county-wide basis, but our county dispatchers have enough to do without monitoring another screen, especially if they have multiple dispatches ongoing.
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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dseidberg View Post
    There may be some confusion here that I would be happy to help clear up. Subscription fees for IamResponding.com have not increased since the product was launched. IamResponding.com pioneered this technology, and was the very first to ever offer this type of system. I'd be happy to answer any questions, and can be contacted at DSeidberg@emergencysmc.com (I own the company).

    We certainly don't advoate driving while on the phone. You simply press one pre-programmed speed dial button, and then drop your phone. Nothing more. If you don't hang up on us, we'll hang up on you!

    Thanks, and be safe!
    You're right... it wasn't iamresponding.. my bad.

    It was edispatch.

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    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.

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    Sounds like a nice system to let the guys know at the station that someone is enroute.

    But isn't this like texting while driving?? That's a bad thing.
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    the iamresponding system is so quick you should be able to spare the 5 seconds before you pull out of the driveway. There should be no issue of doing it while driving. If your concerned better get rid of alpha pagers, someone might try to read it while driving.

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    Another IAmResponding department here.

    Get dispatched, as I grab my keys off the kitchen table, pickup cell phone, press speed-dial #3, put phone back on table, walk out door.

    Ya, it's that quick.

    If I am out of the area and have a delayed response time...press speed-dial #4.

    The system disconnects the call itself.

    We are placing a 32" screen in the bays. Drivers can sit in the truck, look at the screen, and know who's on the way and when they should be there.

    It's a system that benefits us and our responses. It won't work for everyone.

    Other features it offers are a great convenience. Guys going out of town for a day or more can schedule it on the system and other FF's will know not to expect that guy to show up. With our Chief's using that system, it lets everyone know there won't be one there first, which is fairly normal in our situation.

    No, I don't work for them. We are just happy users.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Another IAmResponding department here.

    Get dispatched, as I grab my keys off the kitchen table, pickup cell phone, press speed-dial #3, put phone back on table, walk out door.

    Ya, it's that quick.

    If I am out of the area and have a delayed response time...press speed-dial #4.

    The system disconnects the call itself.

    We are placing a 32" screen in the bays. Drivers can sit in the truck, look at the screen, and know who's on the way and when they should be there.

    It's a system that benefits us and our responses. It won't work for everyone.

    Other features it offers are a great convenience. Guys going out of town for a day or more can schedule it on the system and other FF's will know not to expect that guy to show up. With our Chief's using that system, it lets everyone know there won't be one there first, which is fairly normal in our situation.

    No, I don't work for them. We are just happy users.
    We do have this system, with displays in the engine bays and on the Chief's vehicle computer.

    Good to know who is coming, especially during the day.
    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.

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    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    We've been using I Am Responding county-wide where I volunteer for a couple of years. We love the system. It helps us quite a bit, as we have members spread throughout the response district (each station has about a 75 sq mile first-due), and POV response is a necessary evil for us, so being able to get to the station and determine who's coming to the station or going to the scene is a great help.

    We installed a monitor in the bay that can be seen as soon as you walk in the door, so members getting on the rigs know whether they ought to respond right away, or hold the rigs for a minute, as members might be right around the corner.

    As for the concern about texting while driving, it's negligible. It's a phone call that literally takes less than 5 seconds. Using the speed-dial on my phone, I can call, indicate my destination, and hang up in the time it takes to walk from my couch to the steps going down my back porch. Less than 5 seconds. In the chance we catch a call when I'm actually driving, it's a press of two buttons on the phone, which don't even require me to look at the screen.
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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Less than 5 seconds. In the chance we catch a call when I'm actually driving, it's a press of two buttons on the phone, which don't even require me to look at the screen.
    Don't be fooled... those folks who are crying about the texting while driving all dial their cellphones while driving.

    There is a difference between dialing a phone number and having a texting conversation.
    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.

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    We've been using IAR for a few years. For the most part we're happy with it.

    The usefullness of the responding feature is depends on how many people use it.. I think we have about 50% adoption but some still refuse or forget to call when they're coming up for calls.

    The scheduling feature is pretty nice. We schedule who's in-house for duty crews as well as recommend people who are available from home put themselves on the schedule. Makes it easy to see the depth of our bench.. again, depending on adoption.

    The feature we use the most is for texting/alerting. Allows you to send a text/email to individuals or groups. If it looks like we're light, then an officer can send a text out to make sure people know to come up. Similarly if we have a adhoc crew (say, for an Eagles game) a text can get sent to tell folks to relax for a few hours.

    One question for those who have set up stations in your bays.. how do you handle logging into the system? We have the same setup but it requires that someone manually log in any time the computer is rebooted.. I've tried to set it up to automatically log in but there's no easy way short of modifying their javascript.

    I also wish their scheduling/calendar feature integrated with outlook or CalDAV. Keeping a duty crew schedule up to date is a PITA when it has to be done per-individual instead of adding people to an appointment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    As for the concern about texting while driving, it's negligible. It's a phone call that literally takes less than 5 seconds. Using the speed-dial on my phone, I can call, indicate my destination, and hang up in the time it takes to walk from my couch to the steps going down my back porch.
    Agreed. Most of the time I use the default response.. so I just speed-dial then put the phone down and the system hangs up when its done. Non-default responses add maybe 5 seconds to enter 1-9 after dialing (which could be added to another speed dial if needed).
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    If I had my "Wishes were Fishes"-hat on I'd ask for the ability to get data directly in JSON format rather then having to use the IAR web page. This would allow me to build a client specific for our needs. Right now we're trying to develop a high-level portal that would include IAR-information as well as call/dispatch info, weather-radar..etc. It's easier to pull JSON and write our own client then it is to try to fit the existing URL on to another frame/DIV.. Anyway, I rant..
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    We've been using the IAR on a trial basis. As the first driver in the station it's nice to see who is coming. I don't think we have used all of the features yet. But, I think the Chief's may choose to keep it.

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