Thread: FDNY GPS Units

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    Default FDNY GPS Units

    FDNY to install GPS in rigs

    Keep in mind that if what they are really saying is true about cutting 33 seconds off and that is their real intent, then good for the the mayor. I am a techie by trade and love gps and its capabilities but with it comes the "big brother is watching" when you can see the rigs moving around on a map. "Hey why you still at the deli?"

    It just amazes me that rescue rope bail out kits were removed originally and stations are closed due to funding issues, but look ma' its magic we found this cash to put GPS in all ems and fire rigs. It just scares me on the what's next front. I just fear "hey we always know where you are so just stay mobil all day and we'll close up a few more stations to pay for the project.

    Again, I love technology and the good things it has to offer us as far as mapping/routing, hydrant locations, evac zone planning for hazmat clouds, etc, but for once I found something that sort of scares me in its underlying motivation.

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    The Big Brother aspect should not be an issue. In is a public service job paid for by the public. If you are scared to stand up to scrutiny of your habits, than either fix those habits or find another job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    I always giggle when people say "Well, -this- got funded, but why not this?" I used to have the same complaints until I started writing grants for my agency... lo and behlod, it really is true... you go where the money is. In today's "Homeland Security" era, money abounds (but it getting slimmer) for various things. I'd wager FDNY found a DHS grant of some kind and nabbed it.

    (Of course, there's always the trick of hiding in a parking garage... "Sorry,boss, GPS must not be working today. :-D)
    Last edited by ResQUrCat4Free; 04-20-2006 at 02:47 PM. Reason: I can't spell worth a damn...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFTrainer
    FDNY to install GPS in rigs

    Keep in mind that if what they are really saying is true about cutting 33 seconds off and that is their real intent, then good for the the mayor. I am a techie by trade and love gps and its capabilities but with it comes the "big brother is watching" when you can see the rigs moving around on a map. "Hey why you still at the deli?"

    It just amazes me that rescue rope bail out kits were removed originally and stations are closed due to funding issues, but look ma' its magic we found this cash to put GPS in all ems and fire rigs. It just scares me on the what's next front. I just fear "hey we always know where you are so just stay mobil all day and we'll close up a few more stations to pay for the project.

    Again, I love technology and the good things it has to offer us as far as mapping/routing, hydrant locations, evac zone planning for hazmat clouds, etc, but for once I found something that sort of scares me in its underlying motivation.
    That is an anticipated 30 second savings for EMS not Fire Companies. They are an always moving resource...we are more or less in the same place all the time(Firehouse). That and it won't be used to dispatch us. Our FD dispatchers don't have the equipment and our CADs doesn't work with it.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by ResQUrCat4Free
    I always giggle when people say "Well, -this- got funded, but why not this?" I
    Do you always giggle when two men are lying DEAD in their graves & 4 are crippled for life because the job removed thier ropes because of a supposed lack of money?

    FTM-PTB

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    We've got them on all of our rigs. I haven't heard anyone here complain that "Big Brother is watching!"

    As far as being dispatched by GPS....I can recall a few times being at the store at the same time as other companies, a run would come in that would normally be ours, but because the other rig is literally 30' closer than we were...they'd get booked for that run. And sometimes the reverse.

    I didn't read the article yet. Did, by chance, this money come about by grants? What are their main objectives to put them on the fire companies if CAD is not hooked up to them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    That is an anticipated 30 second savings for EMS not Fire Companies. They are an always moving resource...we are more or less in the same place all the time(Firehouse). That and it won't be used to dispatch us. Our FD dispatchers don't have the equipment and our CADs doesn't work with it.

    FTM-PTB
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    When done right things like this really tend to work out good for a system from what I understand. But nobody likes change so it'll be intersting to watch how it rolls out.

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    I remember the talk about this when I was a dispatcher in FDNY/EMS. The REAL reason behind it....IMO is b/c most units lie about thier status to slack off between runs. A unit will show 81 x's 1 hour (at the hospital, unaval for a run) and in reality they are at thier CSL getting a bit to eat...basically they are holding a signal intentionally. This whole system is about micromanagement only. I can tell you that when a segment 1-3 job come in...(arrest, Trauma...."the real hero sh*t" ) everyone and thier brother magically becomes available and is closer.....and most will respond in anyway. I don't believe a word of what was written for the papers.......it allllll about big brother.
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    no more going into stealth mode to leave districts to go get food outside of your district

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    I agree that it will do more help than harm. I also agree with the idea that maybe sometimes you need to change your habits sometimes when it comes to going outside of your area or staying busy on purpose so you can get a break and do what you want to go and screw off somewhere, that's not right. If a company is working so hard or is so busy that they can't get a break for chow or pottie, then they should be taken out of service for rehab.

    But....a steel or aluminum salad bowl over the little antenna and all of sudden you disappear. Seen it happen in another department where a buddy of mine said they carry a salad bowl if they have to stop at someone's house or go into stealth mode for a bit.

    From what I have seen just now, it looks like a Homeland Security grant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB
    The REAL reason behind it....IMO is b/c most units lie about thier status to slack off between runs...This whole system is about micromanagement only.
    Interesting point. where I come from a good organization is where a manager does what he or she is supposed to do, and an employee does what he or she is supposed to do. This means the manager tells the employee to do something, and the employee finishes the task (without manager intervention) and then reports back to the manager for more work.

    Now, if you have units slacking off between runs, and calling unavailable when they really should be available for any runs, then yes, management needs to be more active in their lives, to ensure that the employees are doing their job properly and not slacking off.

    bottom line, if you have nothing to hide, and aren't doing anything you shouldn't be doing (ie, stuff that isn't permitted by the rules), then you shouldn't have any problem with having your apparatus location tracked.

    but if you are doing stuff that you shouldn't be doing, and you don't want management to know about, then absolutely be up in arms about the GPS tracking.

    Into which group do you fit into?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    GPS helped Toronto follow their pumper when it was "borrowed". We have it where I work and it has helped the crew responding find their way more times then for management to use it as a tracking tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    Interesting point. where I come from a good organization is where a manager does what he or she is supposed to do, and an employee does what he or she is supposed to do. This means the manager tells the employee to do something, and the employee finishes the task (without manager intervention) and then reports back to the manager for more work.

    Now, if you have units slacking off between runs, and calling unavailable when they really should be available for any runs, then yes, management needs to be more active in their lives, to ensure that the employees are doing their job properly and not slacking off.

    bottom line, if you have nothing to hide, and aren't doing anything you shouldn't be doing (ie, stuff that isn't permitted by the rules), then you shouldn't have any problem with having your apparatus location tracked.

    but if you are doing stuff that you shouldn't be doing, and you don't want management to know about, then absolutely be up in arms about the GPS tracking.

    Into which group do you fit into?

    You are taking Vinnies words out of context. He was referring to EMS, not our FD.

    If we travel to our 2nd or 3rd due area, to the FH with our EMS depot, we park IFO their qtrs. Nothing outside of the rules there. Now if there is a fire reported in the other engine company's response area, WE will be given the run, instead of the company we parked in front of, because technically we are about 15 feet closer. You are saving roughly 1 second of response time, but are putting the members in a lot more danger. If the building we are now responding to is a rehab, or some other weird situation (which we run into EVERY day), the other engine company would know the ins and outs of this building. But because we are now responding instead of them, we are without this information, and can cause a significant delay in rescues, and more importantly, a delay in water getting on the fire.

    You must also remember, Bloomturd and his cronies are saying this will help response times, and that every second counts. But yet magically, closing 6 companies does not increase response times at all. Weird, huh?
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnFyreGuy
    GPS helped Toronto follow their pumper when it was "borrowed". We have it where I work and it has helped the crew responding find their way more times then for management to use it as a tracking tool.
    That's well and good and the benefits of the system. I just hope that it is not used as a political tool to consolidate or close stations since now management will be able to track units even when out of the station.

    It has its huge pluses. We have coordinates of all our hydrants and draft sites recorded and while it doesn't track us like a blip on a radar it does give us direct routing to the nearest hydrant (hopefully a working one!)

    I know we are here to 'serve' the public, but we are also here to stay here and go home to our spouse and kids. How a monumental project such as this gets funded to help us get to the call faster yet the equipment to help us (you know the city insured employees) to go home safely from the run gets cut and only brought back after guys get killed. Its just frustrating that management originated projects get money but field originated ideas get squashed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey
    If a company is working so hard or is so busy that they can't get a break for chow or pottie, then they should be taken out of service for rehab.


    Just remember that there is a difference in EMS and FDNY. This was done IMO for EMS not FDNY. We sit in firehouses they don't. They have to sit on street corners in a 4 block by 4 block area.

    They are alound whats called a "100" (radio signal 10-100). Its thier meal time. BUT they can make themsselves available or unavailable....most of the time they are unaval. They have time and are aloud to take bathroom breaks too.....in an available status. The problem is that the way the disptach CAD sees it is different. Once they make themselves unavailalbe they are taken out of the active status on the CAD.....and placed in a different screen with all the other units that are either on a run, at the hospital, or oos for whatever else. When its busy and it always is....a dispatcher constantly has to find aval units (the CAD does it automatically, but it is up the the dispatcher to keep on the unaval units...make them go 10-98 or 10-97).
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    In total, 1,565 Fire and EMS vehicles throughout the City will be equipped with AVL at a cost of nearly $50 million.

    Thats $31948 EACH! How could you possibly spend (or justify) that? Similar units have been in truck for years and can't imagine any truckline would blow that kind of money as an add on to a $75000 tractor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    In total, 1,565 Fire and EMS vehicles throughout the City will be equipped with AVL at a cost of nearly $50 million.

    Thats $31948 EACH! How could you possibly spend (or justify) that? Similar units have been in truck for years and can't imagine any truckline would blow that kind of money as an add on to a $75000 tractor.
    Your math is technically correct, but not accurate to the situation. There will be a large amount of support equipment (computers, networking, etc.) involved in tracking so many GPS signals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chopper12
    Your math is technically correct, but not accurate to the situation. There will be a large amount of support equipment (computers, networking, etc.) involved in tracking so many GPS signals.
    Not to mention the continuing costs of maintenance, satellite bandwidth, and salad bowls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey
    But....a steel or aluminum salad bowl over the little antenna and all of sudden you disappear.

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    Hey Vinnie,

    I know what you mean. I do the same thing here with my police units all the time. They are always busy for the barking dogs or stupid child custody problems but once an armed robbery or a big fight come out, boy, they all go available quick for the "cool" calls. I feel their pain (on a smaller scale of course)


    and Gunny,

    The metal salad bowl works perfect, so I have been told, at least until your discovered to be off the screen.
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    Thumbs down

    People seem to forget that in NYC you could technically be the CLOSEST but not necessarily get there the FASTEST. Traffic, double parked delivery trucks, one-way streets, road closures, etc play a huge role in a response time. My cousin's engine company is located on a one way street. I believe FDNY administration has told them not to go wrong way on a one way out of quarters even in an emergency (someone from FDNY please correct me if I am wrong). So that means for a call they have to go around the block (or violate policy) just to respond to something 1 city block down in the opposite direction. They used to just have their men direct traffic and slowly go down the wrong way. So they might be the closest but get there 2nd due through no fault of their own.

    Like it has been said before, if the FDNY management REALLY wants to implement this for better fire responses, why doesn't their dispatch have the necessary tools? Will this information be used in future lawsuits? As the FDNY members have already stated, their rigs are parked in firehouses. If a certain unit is constantly screwing off, address THAT UNIT and don't punish the rest of the department.

    The current FDNY Commissioner is full of it. Actions speak louder than words and his actions do not match the news station sound bites.

    Good luck FDNY.
    Last edited by NYSmokey; 04-22-2006 at 05:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    You must also remember, Bloomturd and his cronies are saying this will help response times, and that every second counts. But yet magically, closing 6 companies does not increase response times at all. Weird, huh?
    Good point. Closing 6 companies to save $12 million but spending $50 million on this? But then again, as the other guys have said, these new changes apply mostly to EMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    Do you always giggle when two men are lying DEAD in their graves & 4 are crippled for life because the job removed thier ropes because of a supposed lack of money?

    FTM-PTB

    Of course I do not giggle, laugh, or otherwise take joy from an incident where any one of us are injured or killed. I enter the same burning buildings that you do, and I wish my department would buy me all the toys and gadgets that they could to ensure my safety to the best possible manner. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

    Firefighting is a dangerous job. And unfortunately, in the eyes of politicians and the tax payers, is not always the most important and our funding levels often reflect that. Should we allocate money to ensure our safety? Heck yes. Can we always? Unfortunately, no. Money is allocated based on the percieved need by those who have it above us; our goal is to make them understand what we need.

    We can only hope to do the best and safest job we can with the tools we are given and continue to beg, plead, steal, and ask for more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irons6789
    Good point. Closing 6 companies to save $12 million but spending $50 million on this? But then again, as the other guys have said, these new changes apply mostly to EMS.
    This is what you get when you place a life long bureaucrat with no experince, relevant knowledge, or understanding of Fire Department operations or Public Safety in general and top it off with too many Chiefs who are too concerned with getting 3Q's upon retirement who don't want to make waves at 9MT. Too few men who have their loyalties and principles in order in postions of command anymore. Somewhere along the line someone or someones didn't listen to those who came before them.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYSmokey

    How about taking the money from a Homeland Security Grant and sending their members to training opportunities that might not normally be available to them due to budget constraints?
    Unfortunately, that is not the way grant processes are done. When you apply for a grant, you can't say "Well, we'd like to use the money for this..." It doesn't work that way, and it's not the fault of the grant writer, the commissioner, or anyone else. When the Federal Government says "We are giving you this money to buy red helmets and blue shoes", then you can either take the money and buy red helmets and blue shoes... or don't apply.

    Some grants can be used indiscrimately, some don't. That's up to the individual grant.

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