1. #1
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Unix/Linux Based Program

    Does anyone know of a Unix/Linux based program for a fire department. I am looking to forward a proposal for tracking alarms, personnel, equipment (SCBA, hose, etc.), and I want to avoid putting it on a Micro$oft based server. I have looked at Firehouse, Firesoft, Fireplan, Red Alert. But these are all 95/98/NT based products. There was one called firefile that I could have converted, but that version only supports NFIRS version 4.0 not 5.0. I spoke to the creator of firefile, Dick Burke, and he has re-written the software in Delphi, so we're back to the same problem. I am thinking of re-inventing the wheel if I can't get any further with this.

  2. #2
    CAFireTime
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Just curious as to why you'd want to use something Linux based?

  3. #3
    AlexB892
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    A lot of people prefer Linux-based systems because they are more secure and stable than Windows-based alternatives. Windows NT is OK, but I don't trust Win95/98 for much more than surfing the web, and certainly not for running critical activities like dispatching.

    iwood51, you may want to try submitting your question to Slashdot (www.slashdot.org). It's a website focused on Linux (not fire service related) but someone there might know something.

    ------------------
    My opinions are not necessarily those of my department. I speak only for myself.

  4. #4
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    This is a long shot, but you might try contacting either Caldera Systems or Red Hat. These were the two pioneering companies in commercially distributed OpenLinux-based OS and applications. They probably don't make what you want, but they may know of someone who does. I believe Caldera has also moved into UNIX-based systems recently. They should be willing to help if they can, since it's in their best interests to get people to use Linux.

  5. #5
    mgoguen
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Here is the url to the NFIC website where all vendors of NFIRS 5.0 are registered. http://www.nfirs.fema.gov/VendorCert.htm

    I haven't seen a unix/linux based system yet. Let me know if you find one.

    Matt Goguen

  6. #6
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I will check into them. If I don't find anything I may end up writing one myself (I'm a computer programmer by trade). Anyone else interested?

  7. #7
    AlexB892
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I was actually thinking of writing something like this also, so I'd be willing to help out. I assume this software would be developed under the GPL?

    ------------------
    My opinions are not necessarily those of my department. I speak only for myself.

  8. #8
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Unless you plan to live forever, you're on the verge of making a classic mistake. NEVER write your own software for regulatory reporting. While you will probably do a perfect job, we know that rules and requirements are always changing. People move on, retire and sometimes die.

    If you need NFIRS reporting, look at all the available software, determine which package best suits your needs and has a large, happy customer base. Then buy a piece of disposable hardware to run that program whether its Windows, Linux,UNIX or whatever. Buying software to suit any hardware or operating system preference is counter productive. You've limited yourself right from the start.

    Expect regular, regulatory updates and get active in the users group.

  9. #9
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I disagree on the point of not writing your own software.



    Yes and software companies go out of business. Empire Data Group comes to mind. They didn't go out of business, just bailed out of the fire service end of it and no longer support their product. I know that one of their customers was Albany FD (NY). I don't know what they're doing for NFIRS reporting now.


    If you have the technical expertise to do write a program, then you have the expertise to modify your programs, which to post to NFIRS compliant programs is merely exporting data in their format. It is very similar to creating front end order entry, purchase order, invoicing systems that must post through industry standard EDI formats. I have done that, and when they changed from the 3040 to the 4010 standard, it was only minor changes needed in my front end programs (due to additional fields they required). There can be nothing more significant with the NFIRS reporting. As I said, if you have the ability to do it, then there is no reason not to. Firesoft, Firehouse, Firefile, Red Alert and all the others are no different. They have to modify their programs when there's a change.
    As long as you stay within resonable programming techniques in your preferred language, there is always someone else that can pick up where you left off.
    I just want to have the stability and sense of security in a software package that I can run on an operating system that I can leave up for months, if not years, without having to worry about it. Micro$oft just doesn't cut the mustard.

    [This message has been edited by iwood51 (edited August 25, 2000).]

  10. #10
    Ritter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    IF you want stability go with an AS400 based system. We are currently using a HTE's product. WWW.HTEINC.COM.

    Spend the money and buy a program that is integrated with CAD, Fire Prevention and your mobiles.

    Additionally, the AS400 based system uses simple viewers that are configured on any system. We found that our people know point-and-click. Keep it simple! If you make any harder than that the over 50's are going to have big problems. We use Window 98 based systems that are basically used as viewers for the data that resides on the AS400. I assure you that you will not find a more stable platform. And best of all the data entered is completly accessible to to every workstation in the dept.

    IF you have any questions please contact me.

  11. #11
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I agree that an AS400 is also a stable system. I have been using SCO Unix/Xenix products since 1983 and they have always proven to be equally as stable, that's why I started this thread. I would love to find a product that can run on these platforms. I don't know the price of the software that you mentioned, but I'm sure that it's up there being designed for an AS400. I don't need CAD or mobile units at this time. We don't have paid dispatchers, we are dispatched through our county center. For my needs, I can do the whole project for less than $20,000 (Server, six workstations and Firehouse networked software) If I could do it in Unix/Linux it would be even less.

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