1. #26
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    I dispatch for the City of East Providence RI. It is a combined center dispatching for Police, Fire and EMS. EMS is Fire based so its really just two agencies. Call volume for 2007 was about 10,00 Fire/EMS and Police in the area of 45,000 CFS.

    We currently use the IMC CAD v4.6 I believe. When I started in 1997 we used two versions of the StreetGuard CAD one was Fire CAD and the other was Police CAD. Very difficult to use. Then after six months we changed to our first version of IMC. I had experience from another agency with the old DOS version of IMC back then so it wasnt a big deal to change over. Some others had a really hard time.

    I have found the IMC pretty easy to use but it has had its issues, not the least of which is lack of system maintenance from the city IT department. We used to have our own in house person but in the citys infinite wisdom they created the IT department a few years ago and took our person away. And it shows. The Fire Department has been using for the Fire Records portion of the program and they find it difficult to complete incident reports and fire prevention records. They are really looking to change to something else. But the problem is that we dispatch for Police also. We need something that can integrate everything and work well for everyone, including us.

    As you can tell it is a pretty active center and we usually only run with one fire dispatcher and one police dispatcher. No call takers or anything. If we are lucky we might have a third dispatcher on duty to act as a call taker/ data entry person. This depends if there are vacations or anything going on. Third position is not replaced with OT. Issues.

    We will see how things go in the future.

  2. #27

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    we use tritech CAD... seems ok to me, 1st system I've ever used

  3. #28
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    Default Massachusetts Dept CAD

    We us software from a company called Symposium www.symposium911.com.
    We built the system in steps:
    1st we did the CAD from the time we installed, trained paople on it and went live was about 4 months. It uses GIS layers provided from the city GIS dept. we have streets,addresses,map & lot,watermains, hydrants etc. It is also tied into our alarm monitoring (Digitize), so when a box alarm comes in it drops the info into the cad and starts an incident. It is connect to our station alerting also, once you hit the dispatch button in the CAD the tones go off in the stations selected, it is also tied into E911, when a 911 call comes in that also starts and incident for that address, if it is a cell call it use lat and lon coordinates to show where the call is coming from and puts it on the map. All the preplan and contact data comes out of Firehouse Records management software which it seemlessly handshakes with.
    2nd we added the AVL and mobile data. Command can keep track of which vehicles will arrive on scene first by looking at the map. In the units the have touchscreens that they use to put themselves on-air,responding,on-scene etc. and this automatically updates the CAD in the dispatch center. All pre-plan data that we have in Firehouse software shows up instantly when unit is dispatched along with hydrants and any other info needed in field.

    The software has worked out great.

    Need more info e-mail peabodyfire@aol.com

  4. #29

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    Currently we use an AS 400 CAD DCS out of south carolina. We just bought a new OSSI CAD/RMS/JMS/MFR/MDT system. When I started we were using VISION cad.

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    we are in the process of building our new OSSI CAD/RMS/JMS/MFR/MDT. Currently we use an AS400 design DCS out of SC. Before that we used Visions.
    J Murray
    Shift Supervisor
    Union County 911, NC

  6. #31

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    Manatee Co. (FL) ECC has been using Intergraph I/CAD since 1999. We absolutely love it. Like many agencies, we weren't using enough of the CAD system features to get as much out of it as we could. That's been changing over the past few years, especially in the area of fire dispatch.

    By utilizing the electronic run cards (rather than our old paper ones), we've been able to cut our dispatch time for structure fires and other calls by over 50%. Setting up the database took quite a while, but once it was done, maintanance has been fairly easy. We are not using the Recommend Unit feature for fire because most of the engines don't have GPS tracking, and because we have 12 separate fire districts that tend to build stations relatively close to each other at times. We use the RU feature for EMS though (county-run agency) because they just got I/Mobile-I/Tracker a few months ago.

  7. #32
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    Default IMC has Integrated CAD with Mobile MDT's

    IMC (www.imcus.com) from Massachusetts has a slick CAD system that can get a call out in about 6 seconds flat. The package is fully functional with police, fire, ems, or all three. The dispatcher enters the address and has instant access to call history, hazmats, fire plans, hydrants, cross streets, directions, hazards, SOP's, and contact information if it's a business. The best part about the system is the ability to auto-fill all dispatch data into the NFIRS report when you get back from the call. Check them out.

  8. #33
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    Anybody here use New World Systems? We just switched to that a year ago. We were using CISCO.

  9. #34
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    To BruceT

    Curious to know what type of dispatch operation you work in? Call Volume, Separate or Combined Dispatch Center, How does the FD have the Records part programmed? The FD here really hates it. Makes me wonder if we are using it right or was it programmed properly?

    Feel free to PM me with your reply.

  10. #35
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    Default Cad

    here in mac co (MO) we use Global dispatch it is ok but we are usually working for it it doesn't work for us yet. our uppers are trying to get it more user friendly
    FIREFIGHTER/DISPATCHER

  11. #36
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    Smile InterAct

    We currently use InterAct CAD, RMS, GEO and Emergency Notification (Reverse 911). Everything is very user friendly and we have had great success with them for issues and trouble tickets.

  12. #37
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    New World Systems.

  13. #38
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    Default CAD- Who uses what?

    a
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    Last edited by dnardo; 10-24-2009 at 04:06 PM.

  14. #39
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    Default Law Soft

    My dept. uses LawSoft . http://www.lawsoft-inc.com/
    Its user friendly

  15. #40
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    Our department is dispatched through the county sheriffs office, and they use HTE's CAD 3 system. Maybe it's our dispatch system, maybe it's the fact that we are treated like the bastard redheaded step children, but the system is THE SUCK for us.

    It's extremely difficult to do anything without assistance from the IT dept. @ the county, and there is virtually NO interface with our RMS software (Firehouse software). This might sound like a lot of bitching, but our county dispatch system has been held hostage by the dispatch supervisor and the head of the county IT dept for years. Thankfully they are both retiring in the next couple of years. It's sad to see the 18k plus calls that the FD's in our county run a year take a back seat to the PD's needs.

    I hope when we do upgrade, we look at something that meets our needs a little better too.

  16. #41
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    wIntegerate CAD. I think thats what its called.

  17. #42

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    Our agency just switched from VisionCad to Sungard OSSI. What the new system does well, it does very well; unfortunately, that's a pretty short list so far. Granted there will be bugs to work out in any new application, but this system seems to have been designed by people who have never worked as dispatchers.

    For example, in our jurisdiction an EMS call above Charlie level gets a PD, Fire, and EMS response. VisionCad generated one incident call and then we assigned the appropriate units to it. OSSI generates a separate call for each responding 'branch', i.e., a PD call, a Fire call, and an EMS call. We can't assign an ambulance to the Fire call, or a Fire unit to the Law call, and so on. So you have 3 calls to keep track of instead of 1.

    We e-mail the CAD reports to Fire so they can do their reports, and now it's double the work because the Fire calls don't include the EMS times. And where before it was simple to e-mail reports, now it's a laborious process involving creating and e-mailing PDF files and so on.

    Another annoyance is the fact that almost nothing can be customized by each user, i.e. I can't change the font size or color, etc., and the font used is seriously about 8 pt. or so and very difficult to read.

    Just seems counter-intuitive, not user-friendly, and incredibly clunky for something claiming to be state-of-the-art.

    Anyone else have OSSI, and if so, can you comment on what your experience has been.

  18. #43
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    [QUOTE=RadioX;959228]Our agency just switched from VisionCad to Sungard OSSI. What the new system does well, it does very well; unfortunately, that's a pretty short list so far. Granted there will be bugs to work out in any new application, but this system seems to have been designed by people who have never worked as dispatchers.

    We use OSSI too, and I agree totally, what it does well, it does great, but there are so many things that are crammed into it that it simply doesnt need and that at times can make it run slow and almost impossible to remember all of its bells and whistles and how to use them properly. Ours seems to have this annoying bug about verifying addresses for traffic stops. They never verify, even if you spell out the entire intersection our cad still won't take it. To that end you have to enter the call with a unverified address then pull the call back up and reenter the address again only to watch it verify without a hitch. Its enough to make you wanna throw it out in the parking lot and grab and pad and pen when things are busy.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEKID72737 View Post
    Ours seems to have this annoying bug about verifying addresses for traffic stops. They never verify, even if you spell out the entire intersection our cad still won't take it. To that end you have to enter the call with a unverified address then pull the call back up and reenter the address again only to watch it verify without a hitch. Its enough to make you wanna throw it out in the parking lot and grab and pad and pen when things are busy.
    Hey - I've been keeping an eye on this thread for a while... I actually work for a CAD company now but was a dispatcher for 10+ years... I don't want to hijack the thread but I would be interested to know, with regard to the verifying, if you like that it verifies at all when you do a traffic stop? I used to use a lot of abbreviations or descriptors when I'd throw in a stop (I worked on a VERY busy radio) and was happy that there wasn't any geo verification happening because it would have just mucked things up... if something came of the stop I'd open it up and verify it before I closed it. Our product works this way, too, but everyone seems to do it differently. Just trying to get some feedback for our development team (feedback from actual dispatchers!?!!? how... unusual!)

    -B

  20. #45
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    Our CAD does not verify locations for traffic stops either. I can honestly say it really doesn't bother me. If I really want it to, I can just open the ticket and make it verify, but there really isn't a need to.
    Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again.

  21. #46
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    We are in the process of setting up New World right now. Any suggestions?

  22. #47
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    Default Dispatch Software

    We are currently in the middle of implementing Red Alert from Alpine Software. This is a complete fire department CAD and management program. The advantages are it 100% customizable, it is not a recycled police program, all aspects of the program are interconnected. The Dispatch portion dovetails nicely into the NFIRS portion. Some disadvantages is it is 100% customizable (lots of data entry) we worked without CAD for so long out dispatchers are somewhat resistant when CAD tells them to send a specific piece and "that's not the way we have always done it", because everything is interconnected you have to be careful making changes because the change may impact another portion of the program you had not anticipated.

  23. #48

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    RadioX,
    I work at Sungard OSSI in CAD Support and I am also a volunteer firefighter so I stumbled across this forum. I wanted to help you out a little. The 'problem' you are having with creating multiple calls is the way the system works. However, the problem you are having with the font size is something I believe we can fix for you. If you will please contact me directly at kelli.tesh@sungardps.com I will see what I can do for you! Also, if you are having any other problems I would be more than happy to discuss them with you! Thank you,

  24. #49

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    THEKID72737,
    As I told RadioX, I work for Sungard OSSI in CAD Support. I am willing to help you out with you problem on the verifying intersections too. There is an option that will allow it to verify, however it is a system wide setting. I will be more than happy to assist you with that. Please shoot me an e-mail at kelli.tesh@sungardps.com and I will be happy to assist you!
    Thanks,

  25. #50
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    We currently have HTE CAD V, the windows based version of HTE. IT SUCKS!!!
    Not user friendly at all, very cumbersome to get anywhere, look anything up, or enter anything. Just as an example, the "in-house" feature of records of law enforcement contacts, it is a 4 step process to look anyone up! Then, once you are in a record, it's 5 more screens to get to a phone number!

    Not thought out well for use by end users....also doesn't cooperate with other systems well like the TIME system in Wisconsin. It is windows based but doesn't work like windows, the arrows up or down in a window don't work, the mouse does weird things, and sometimes when you minimize a window, it disappears and locks up.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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