1. #1
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    Default Mapping hydrants Locations in PSA's

    I have just undertaken a project for my department of finding all the GPS coordinates of all water sources in town. i was just wondering what everyone else was using to put into operation these locations, whether it be a map some type of CAD dispatching software and how well it was working and the pros and cons of this system.

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    martinm's Avatar
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    My station area has all hydrant locations recorded into a handheld GPS receiver. As we don't have a mobile data terminal on board the appliance as yet, the locations are also noted in the Hydrant Route File. At the moment when we arrive at a scene, we just check the book and follow the GPS until we reach the right co-ordinates. Keeps things simple, and we still have a location in case the GPS malfunctions.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    Default GPS hydrant mapping

    What a great idea. I need to get my VFD to do this, or do it myself, but I don't know much about GPS recievers. I do know the more expensive ones are more accurate, and I know there are some on ebay for under $100.00. Can you suggest a model, or at least steer me toward a brand that is good for this project? I understand no GPS unit can do it all. Thanks for educating me.

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    I have the Garmin GPSMap 60CS. When recording coordinates we drove to each hydrant and wrote them down with a street reference like "in front of house # 14"

    We have since upgraded to a laptop in our first due unit and the software we purchased was able to import this hydrant data and actually puts little red pindots on the map where the hydrant is supposed to be. It also allows you to record pertinent info about the hydrant such as main size, rated flow, etc.

    An obvious point just jumped out at me though reading somebody elses post.... a hydrant isn't the only source of water. Especially in my community. I should have thought of recording draft sites as well. I guess I just figured out this weeks driver training drill

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    Default More GPS questions

    OK, we have some new "911" maps coming out soon which will have the hydrant locations on them, but the maps will be chopped into notebook-sized sections to carry in the trucks, and it can be time-consuming to find the hydrants that way.
    Would the GPS unit speed up the process? We have a quick-reference book for finding county roads in our fire district, with only a few lines on each page, so I'm thinking of putting the GPS coordinates (or whatever they're called, I'm new to this) on the page for each road.
    Would that be faster than the laptop? I think it would be easier to convince our board to pay for GPS units (we have 2 stations) than a laptop...(well, I mean, after I so some more studying on this)

    What else do you use the laptop for? Isn't it frustrating to wait for it to boot up? One more thing I should probably clarify: we're a mostly rural district, so some of our hydrants are hidden by weeds and brush and are really hard to find, esp at night.

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    Isn't it frustrating to wait for it to boot up?
    Nope! It's never turned off. Hard wired via inverter to the rig.

    What else do you use the laptop for?
    - Preplans
    - Street maps themselves. Our base map has more or less anywhere we would go on mutual aid (barring huge disaster, in which case I'll ask for directions ) We can punch in call address and it maps it out. If you've rented a car from Hertz with the never lost system or used Mapquest (minus the inaccuracies) it is like that.
    - We are top heavy on extrication runs so we have the cd version of the Holmatro vehicle guide book as well. Punch in the vin and out comes all your vehicle info.
    - Hazmat. Punch in the placard number and you get linked to the appropriate guides(Chris, ERG, NIOSH, etc)

    Oh and get a touch screen! It's tough to type bouncing in a fire apparatus.... unless it's just my driver which is highly possible!

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    Our county is in the process of getting GPS at this time . Going to be done soon.We use dry hyd in the country so I have all these GPS points done .We will put them on a map using the GPS . Then the easy and safe thing for us is just look at the map and find closes dry hyd. WE do not have lap tops in the trucks yet .

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    Default GPS hardware & Software for water mapping

    I am in the middle of a similar project so I would appreciate any info too. Currently we are using a Magellan Map 330 handheld GPS and I have so many choices in software that I don't know where to start. Something running on a handheld PDA would be good - don't know if we can get approval to add a computer to the truck [plus I don't want to give any of our firefighters an excuse to slack off on local knowledge - technology is great but we still have to get by when it fails] If any of you guys have specific recommendations for software and/or hardware I'd like to hear them.

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    What I used was just a portable Garmin GPS module and drove to every hydrant as well as dry hydrant in town and wrote down the GPS coordinate as well as a landpoint ie. intersection of north and main. I also included some major landing zones Lifestar and Eagle one, the medivac and state police helicopters. What I was todl by our chief was that these coordinates would be types into the new dispatching computer, and when we got a call the nearest three hydrants would be shown. Up in the northern section of town, however, there are pools, and small ponds that we could draft out of. Construction as well provides a challenge, since I got all the coordinates, there has been atleast a dozen new hydrants installed in housing complexes. The most accurate method would be for the first arriving officer to confirm and relay to everyone else in his scene size-up. unfortunatly we don't have any laptops, would would be the best to show these, but when we get the dispatch, we're supposed to be told where the water sources are. I would suggest that many people get out and do this, it familiarizes you with your PSA for water sources, building structures, and other helpful things for emergency situations.

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