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  1. #1
    ricky
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default mobile computing

    My department's goal is to equip our three frontline engines with laptops in 1999. We hope to include map pages, preplans, emergency info, 800 data burst from 911 and our CAD, ect... . If anyone has any history with a vendor or any other information about this subject please contact me with your comments. Thanks in advance for your time. rwr.fire@worldnet.att.net


  2. #2
    Steve Makky Sr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    That's a big job. How are you going to link the MCD's back to your comm-center? Is this 800 link going to be your department's own infrastructure, CDPD from a cellular company or a common carrier like ARDIS or RAM? Lots of options are available.

    Usually a server would have be set up to link the field to the CAD system and to 9-1-1 and make everything talk to each other.

    My goals are to have a similar system available in the next 5 to 10 years but first we will be upgrading 9-1-1 PSAP equipment in favor of one that will support phase 2 wireless AVL. Probably with a GIS server.

    While I don't have any specific vendor info (because you'll probably have more than one vendor involved) a successful project revolves around knowing what you want, how you want it and how you're going to get there specifically laid out in your specs and RFP document. If you don't write it down, you might not get what you're looking for. I hope you have a reputable consultant on the job for you, looking at these aspects.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    cwerner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    There is an issue that I am looking into and that involves the use of laptops in vehicles. There have been some reports that average laptops in fire apparatus or other vehicles like police cars experience a 20% failure rate within the first year. I think the specifications will be key to successful procurement. There are some laptops that meet military specs and while they are more expensive, they probably are best suited to meet the needs of the fire service -- if you know what I mean. Charles

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  4. #4
    Dallas
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I am in the middle of working on my department's mobile data implementation. The best thing that we have done is hire a system integrator. In our case we contracted with TRW. They have a great deal of experience in the public safety industry and also with military major projects.

    This is a very complex task with numerous options for most components and there is no way that we have the expertise to do it ourselves. Our system will support about 2000 subscriber units when it is fully implemented which will probably be in several years.

    I would strongly recommend a system integrator, or at the very least spending some dollars on a top notch consultant if you are doing a system of any size at all.


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    Dallas Lipp
    Lieutenant
    Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service
    Montgomery Co., MD

  5. #5
    cwerner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    To Dallas:

    Can you tell us the type of mobile data terminal that you all will be installing? Is it a true MDT or is it actually a computer to function as a MDT?

    Thanks.

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  6. #6
    Dallas
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    We are actually implementing mobile data using mobile computer terminals. There are four different permutations that we are looking into, laptops or modular systems, and ruggedize or off-the-shelf hardware.

    We are literally just now getting the proposals back from the vendors and getting ready to evaluate them to decide what options appear to be the best solutions for our various needs. We hope to have this process completed in the next month or two and begin a phased implementation this summer.

    This is a major multi-year project as we are also in the process of purchasing a new radio system and all of this will require a new communications center to hold all the equipment. We can't fit everything in the existing center.

    The plan is to implement mobile data with automatic vehicle location and on-board navigation. In addition we are bringing a new records management system on-line, with a new CAD system.

    We are trying to figure out what to do with our spare time. :-)



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    Dallas Lipp
    Lieutenant
    Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service
    Montgomery Co., MD

  7. #7
    cwerner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Dallas:

    Thanks for the update. Please keep us updated with your process and decisions as to type of eqpt you choose.

    We too are in the process of implementing a new radio system, followed by some sort of MDT system.

    And if you get a chance, send us some of your "spare time". :-)

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