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  1. #1
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default CAD - who uses what

    What CAD software do you currently use?

    Likes/Dislikes?

    Do you have experience using other software, and if so, how do they compare? Which did you prefer?

    What do you feel are important features that aren't necessarily found in all software packages?
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  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    At my FT gig, dispatching for County EMS, we use Litton/PRC Public Sector Inc. CAD....... It's OK...... We just got the newer version of it a few years ago, after having the old old version that just had a keyboard and monitor, no PCs........ Everything was in the keyboard and Monitor. They are looking to get a new CAD, but I believe they are looking for something with the integrated mapping and AVLs........

    The Comm Center for my FD uses Emergitech CAD. I can't say a whole lot about it since I've never used it, but I don't believe they are using it to it's fullest capabilities, probably because they don't know what all it can and cannot do.

    I like the Litton, because when you enter a comment into a mask, it will automatically time-stamp it. Anytime you do anything with an incident, it is time-stamped........ The Emergitech doesn't do that all the time. I guess there a couple area where a comment can be added and 1 time-stamps it, but the other doesn't. When dispatch sends us a fax of our times from Emergitech, we don't have times that they add the comments (under control, water on fire, etc).

    The Litton has to have everything typed in (enroute, on scene, etc) using abbreviations. It would be nice to have buttons to click......

  3. #3
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    We are still working the bugs out of Alteris.

    Don't get me started on that...
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  4. #4
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    My PT job (which is also my FD's center) is replacing an ancient Unix-flavored terminal database with IMC software. What I like about it: very fast queries, very easy to understand once you get the hang of it, integrated DMV/NCIC functions. Cons: It just can't handle FD dispatching, police case information, no graphical user interface... it's just out-lived its useful life.

    The software from IMC is a definite improvement. Much more secure data entry and storage, time stamping, quite flexible, somewhat customizable. I'm curious if anyone else is using it on here. I've attended a couple training sessions on it, and have begun using it at work... and I often find myself wondering "why did they do it this way" and "why can't I do _______." We no longer have integrated DMV/NCIC... will be running Linxx2010 for that. This just translates into extra steps on traffic stops, though I believe there might be plans in the works for linking IMC CAD with other terminal software for such queries and entries. AVL and mapping seem to be a little further down the road. Regardless, it is an improvement.

    My old FT job used HTE CAD. Loved command line entry, managing units through the command line, the high level of customization available, etc. Cons: wasn't true graphical user interface... was just an advanced terminal screen using IBM AS/400. Case management for police was decent, but not as efficient as newer packages. DMV/NCIC was not supported at the time... Linxx2010 used for that.

    My FT job uses Crisnet netRMS. Police case files are managed using a "file folder" analogy for storing documents. Unfortunately, the RMS portion is weak and lacks many functions as far as backfilling screens, etc. As far as "CAD" goes... it's a mess. It's basically just a blank screen with some labeled areas that you have to complete one at a time for every single call. It does not support FD dispatching, run cards, any type of advanced features, DMV/NCIC, backfilling fields from mastername/vehicle/location files. The dispatching portion is very poor and lacks needed features. We use Linxx2010 for DMV/NCIC here as well.

    I often feel as though communication personnel don't have enough input into the software design process. CAD needs to be very flexible, EASY to understand and use, straightforward, and customizable.
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  5. #5
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    Our E911 dispatch center uses Southern Softwares CAD4.25. Its a fairly new system, so theres not really many complaints from it. They did have FoxPro. It really wasnt that good. It may have been few years ago but its not now.

  6. #6
    Forum Member MrJim911's Avatar
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    We currently use HTE CAD IV. It's an old non-windows based system runing off a AS400. It's easy to use but it's OLD. HTE does offer CAD V now that is windows based, but I've heard it's not all that great.

    When we make the move into our new building next year we are getting Motorola's Printrack Gold Elite with all the bells and whistles. We are also getting their Vesta phone system and radio equipment.

    When we put the bid out we were looking at New Word and VisionAir and another I can't remember. Printrack looked better then any of them.

    My agency put one Supervisor and one Telecommunicator on each committee. (CAD committee)(Phone/Radio committee) I was on the phone/radio committee. I love the Vesta phone system and their radio set up. And I've heard great things about the CAD.

    We are also getting the Watson consoles with hydraulics....(drool). Our current airplane cockpit set up with knobs, dials and buttons will be replaced with five 19 inch touchscreen monitors. SWEET!

  7. #7
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    FoxPro... still using that as a read-only database for FD run cards at my FT job. It's hardly ideal, but better than notebooks and papers.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MrJim911

    We are also getting the Watson consoles with hydraulics....(drool). Our current airplane cockpit set up with knobs, dials and buttons will be replaced with five 19 inch touchscreen monitors. SWEET!
    We have Electralift tables. The company that makes them is out of business. We have 1 that has been broken since August.....

    We also have 19" touch screen monitors for our radios, but it's the Centracoms, I believe....... They work pretty good......

  9. #9
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    We use Intergraph Public Safety CAD. I think its good and the biggest problem is that the agency( my PD agency) is not keeping up with the vendor software or the hardware. Its to the point now that we are so behind, that the vendor doesn't really service the software too much anymore. Its out-dated and they say about 4 versions behind. I think the agency is looking at a new system so they can go out and pick it apart and make it not work. Also, we only use about 10 % of the software capibility. Thats the State for ya I guess.

  10. #10
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    We use HTE's CAD400 and we love the functionality and the reliability. It is not pretty, but it is very functional and user defineable. It is AS400, but has a GUI interface if desired and will now run on a NavaLine HTML front end to have a windows like functionality.

    Jay
    Dublin Ohio
    Last edited by jsomerville; 12-15-2004 at 01:07 PM.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
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    WeE are using PSSI CAD, it is ok but we seem to be having more and more problems. The system just can't keep up, but I think part of it is our computer. I think we have been using it for about 3 years, before that we had an old doss based CRIS/CAD system.

  12. #12
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    Default CAD-IMC

    Resq14

    We have been running IMC since 1999 here in the City of Portsmoyhth, NH. We have combined center here for Police/Fire/EMS. It seems to work ok for us. Before we got IMC we used HTE AS/400. I loved that system, especially the command line. It was great. I know that my boss is always in contact with other dept's that use IMC to try and make the fire side of dispatching more easier.

    We also moved into a new section of our pd. All of the bells a whisles. Watson Furniture with the hydrolic lift/air/heat and ligthing. Along with 3 19in computer screens to run cad and also a 19in touch screen radio screen for our Motorola Elite Centra Comm. And can u belive it they actually gave us a windows. They don't open (cause they do not want us to jump out) but at least we can see what the weather is out for people that call from MASS that want to go to Water Country. Sorry had to say that!

  13. #13
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    We switched from Logisys' FirstCall to Intergraph Public Safety's I/CAD last year. A lot of my co-workers and colleagues have gripes, and I have to agree on some aspects, but I tend to like the new system a lot better than the old one. A lot of the 'problems' are things that are simply done differently - perhaps more convoluted or taking longer than with the old system.
    --jay.

  14. #14
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAD-IMC

    Originally posted by EliotO3
    And can u belive it they actually gave us a windows. They don't open (cause they do not want us to jump out) but at least we can see what the weather is out for people that call from MASS that want to go to Water Country. Sorry had to say that!
    LOL

    Yeah I loved HTE on the AS/400... it just worked, and it worked well.

    I hadn't heard about the html front-ends... cool. But now with the full GUI version available, that's probably the way to go if you're in the market.
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  15. #15
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    Happy New Year!

    Sorry I've missed out on this discussion, and hope I can still contribute.

    We have a combined Police/Fire/EMS civilian center using Vision Aire CAD. We've had it for about 5 years and have suffered through quite a number of problems, but it works quite well now (we're still after them for some things, though). We've just started Tear & Go (or Rip & Run) at our FT Fire Stations, and they like that.

    As far as dispatch use goes, we have command line and DMV/NCIC interface, and there are a number of items that can be added to specific locations, e.g. medical info; responders; vacation checks; sprinkler alarms; hazardous materials; etc. One very nice feature is that our E911 information dumps into a New Call Screen directly, so we only need to enter the nature of call and basic information.

    Our RMS is also Vision Air, and our FD is finally looking at getting Vision Air's Fire software.

    We've had the hydraulic work stations since 99, and they are excellent. We're adding "status lights" that will show when a dispatcher is on the radio (red light) or phone (blue light). We're going to need to upgrade our radio & phone equipment in the next couple of years - using Motorola Centracom Gold (no touch screen, though).

    We did get a new logging recorder system from Voice Print International that enables us to e-mail recordings to District Attorneys, law enforcement or other requesters instead of having to make cassette tapes. This system will also (when everything is finalized) capture ANI/ALI information and radio IDs. We can add comments or colored flags to any call (comments while phone calls are in progress) and can even send calls to phones - so we can let an officer listen to a complainant's phone call while en route to the call.
    Joe O'Keefe

  16. #16
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    Default CAD System

    In Melbourne, Australia we use Intergraph I/Dispatcher - fully integrated between police, fire, ambulance and non-urgent ambulance. this system is connected to a pabx system for alert tones and voice-announcing the staff stations, and to the statewide paging system for volunteer brigades. it also uses AVL (polling) and can give verbal directions from one point to another. it accepts LAT/LONG entries to locate an event, and makes use of CommonPlace names - to give either an enhanced or reduced response to a particular premise.
    i/dispatcher, like any CAD, has its problems.. it likes to have its terminals rebooted every couple of days, however ive found it generally very thorough and fast (runs on a microwave-linked multi-site windows nt platform) for the work it handles; we have nearly 150 terminals on the network.
    EVERY event is saved and cannot be deleted, EVERY keystroke is recorded, EVERY appliance movement / status is logged and timestamped
    The system is a full GUI - spread over 3x21" flat monitors (including centracom gold for radio channels), keyboard and two mice, and features statewide digital mapping along with the color street directory overlay in most areas.
    Our organisation utilises about 50-60% of the systems full capabilities.

  17. #17
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Very impressive!
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  18. #18
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    For fire dispatching we are currently using a Microsoft Access database for running assignments backed up with paper run cards. Incident logging is done by hand in a notebook with forms that we designed in Microsoft Excel. Dispatchers are responsible for inputing run data into SunPRO RMS for fire reporting. For police dispatching we are using a locally designed UNIX based software that isn't much more than a computerized punch card with an attached RMS system.

    I would be interested to get feed back from anyone who is using/has used Orbacom Genesis I CAD. It looks like that will be replacing what we have in the not too distant future.

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    We use orbacom for our CAD, not sure what version. It provides run card info for police fire and ems, and also resourse management. The system also provided us with digital mapping for phase ii wireless. It has a lot of nice features to it (timers, for disptatch response) but they are CPU hogs and have turned them off at the moment. While I believe the system works pretty good, you will get others in my center that disagree. The other side is the support, our center has had to enter into litigation with the software vendor to correct bugs and to complete the delivery of the package as spec'ed over 3 years ago.

    Jim 33
    Lancaster County-Wide Communications

  20. #20
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    Our County does not have a CAD system! We still use the old "Box" card system.
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