Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,922

    Default Accountability System

    Two phased question here.

    First off, we are looking at doing an accountability system for our
    regional grant. Software, laptops, and data acquisition device for
    each department, handheld scanners with wireless connection to the
    laptops for each FD truck/engine.

    This would allow each department to use the same system, for
    it to be compatabile with everyone, and to use the system not only
    for accountability, but for inventory, recordkeeping, etc.

    We envision hardened laptops, and hardened scanners, much like you
    see at your local Wal-mart, Home Depot, etc.

    First off, does anyone think that this would NOT be a good regional grant?

    Secondly, so that we don't re-invent the wheel, does anyone know of a
    system already sold that does all this FOR THE FIRE SERVICE?

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Scotland, CT,USA
    Posts
    28

    Default

    There is the GRACE accountbility system that has options for using their computer or they suggest a Panasonic laptop with their software pkg. The laptop option is real nice since you can also use it for preplans,haz mat info, add wireless and utilize Google Earth for aerial photos if you do a lot of wildland fire, the list for uses goes on and on (cost/benefit). The problem is if they will rate the project appropriately. We got our first grant last year for head to toe turnout gear but was rejected on the same above accountability system. Had to take a reduction in order to get the gear. I heard many accountability systems were dropped from otherwise successful grants apps. Even the GRACE rep want to know of any feed back I heard as to why they were being dropped. I have just heard, and this is rumor, that the systems aren't being used on scene because they are a computer system and unless you use it often, it can be like any other new computer application that doesn't get used often, cumbersome. We got the notice of reduction just as the whole PASS devise failures were coming to light on MSNBC/NBS to boot! Never actually heard the exact brand of devises that were failing, but I believe from the type they were describing, it is the brand we use. Good luck with the grant, sound like a good regional app. if it is written well.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    4,249

    Default

    I like the way you're thinking. I'm assuming your talking about accountability tags with bar codes, scan them when they get on scene, then use the computer to account for them.

    If AGF isn't playing with the systems well, I wonder if you could use something like the Excellerator program or something similar to buy the equipment?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,922

    Default

    I had not thought about the Excelerator program, this would seem to be a great fit. Good idea!

    I envision a system that would not NEED the computers on the scene in most instances - rather just one of the scanners. Those things **should** be able to keep a basic inventory program - which is what an accountability program is - in is raw form - in its internal memory.

    That way, one is not bound by the laptop, but the laptop can be a good management tool - espically on a large incident.

  5. #5
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    7,288

    Default

    Someone was developing or has a system that is all mini-tags. Not Touch and Track, that worked so well that it's been in boxes in the attic since 6 months after got them. The people that wrote the software for the Grace system have it. Somewhere around here I have the info, I'll dig it up on a brain break and post it.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    53

    Default

    We were award an ops grant this year and the Grace system was removed completely from our award as well. Not sure why and Grace was not sure eaither. The salesman said that the City of Houston had been awarded the system in the past...not sure what changed this year; probably just cost it's an expensive system.

  7. #7
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    7,288

    Default

    Houston got it way back when 2003 I think. One of the departments I wrote for SW of Houston got it pulled also this year. Not sure why, no explanation given.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    We were awarded the Grace system as part of AFG 2005. Offered a reduction from $24,000 to $3,000--wrote back and cited the narrative on the benefits of a PASS device not integrated with SCBA. Got it reinstated to $20,000. We placed the system in service in December, 2005. Now that it's been in service for 16 months, we have 5 mutual aid partners who would like to do a regional for AFG 2007--one of our selling points for 2005 was to try to build an interoperable system.

    In my opinion, an integrated PASS is only functional for those in SCBA, and only while they are wearing the pack. CVA risk, apparatus risk, collapse evac, etc don't apply only to those on air. Hence, the 2-way comm adds a tremendous safety valve over integrated PASS or key-tag system on the market.

    From the first time i saw the Grace system with evac, it looked like a natural for a regional application. Scalable, functional, not reliant on an air pack, and so on. If there is an issue, it is cost. On a regional basis, some dept's could be issued the laptop based system, some the "big yellow box" (great audible alarm that you don't get in the laptop). I'm not sure if Grace offers a software license that could be installed on a laptop already in service, but that could bring the cost down a bit and improve cost/benefit.

    PASS that integrates with SCBA ensures that entry team members have a PASS device, and that's a good thing. But, when our dept runs an MVA at night, everybody pulls their T-Pass 3 tag and if anybody falls we'll get a signal. At night, in a driving rain--that could make a world of difference.

    earl (my opinion only, your mileage may vary)

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    Oh, and the selling point to me personally....

    Factory fire, 0-dark thirty, sleety snow. After 3 bottles of air, i took off my pack and pulled soffit for a while. Once i was totally out of gas, i went to our engine on the D side, had a water, then strolled into the woods behind the engine for a "personal break". As i stood there feeling my heart pound, i wondered how long it would take for anybody to notice i wasn't around if the heart pounded too hard. An integrated PASS will never solve that.

    There's a limit to the buddy system, and my buddies appreciate that!!

    earl

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Udall, Kansas
    Posts
    434

    Thumbs up We love the Grace System

    All but one department in my county have receieved the Grace System via FIRE Act Grants (2002-2005). Most are using the big yellow box - one has the laptop version.

    We use both a tagged system and the Grace System together - when a firefighter arrives on scene their Grace PASS shows on our display as not activated. The safety officer then will contact the firefighter for both their Grace PASS Key and their accoutability tag.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,922

    Default

    With the Grace system, how does it account for people who are not wearing a PASS device?

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    It doesn't. But, each device is self-contained, and hanging on the FF's coat regardless of whether FFis wearing SCBA. Motion only or motion/heat versions are available. To work best, everybody on scene should have one on. The SCBA-integrated device becomes a redundant system.

    The advantages:
    Radio signal works two-way. (can send evac signal)
    Motion or heat activation alerts someone on the exterior, not relying just on sound. (So command doesn't have to be close enough to hear)
    FF's w/o SCBA on still have motion sensor. (not everyone packs up, and those who do eventually remove them)
    Receiver is scalable to 1,100 or so devices. (Multiple departments log on scene to each receiver--everybody has recordof who was there and when they arrived/left, and knows if anybody goes down)
    Evac signal can go to an individual, a group or all-call.

    With the increased likelihood of a CVA after physical activity, and the degree of physical activity interior firefighting presents--it seems crazy that we remove our PASS devices with our air packs.

    Not a perfect system, but the best i've seen. I think it's best used with a livestock tag system for entry personnel--but that's my opinion.

    earl

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Udall, Kansas
    Posts
    434

    Default Shows everyone on scene

    The cool thing about the Grace System is that it shows anyone who's on scene with a Grace device - whether they have removed the key to activate the motion sensor or not.

    We use a dual system - the Grace System and a 2 tag system (tag 1 goes to IC, tag 2 is given to sector/safety when interior - gives them a quick way to know if someone is still inside.

    The evac tones on the Grace System is also great - it shows if each firefighter acknowledges the evac signal. Our SOG states you don't acknowledge until you have safely exited the hot zone.

  14. #14
    Forum Member SLY4420's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,950

    Default

    Somewhat related question:

    When applying for SCBA, there is a "with integrated PASS and accountability" or "with integrated PASS without accountability" selection. I didn't see anything in the program guidance as far as which would be seen as a higher priority. To be honest, I don't know much about integrated accountability systems themselves to begin with. We have integrated PASS devices on our packs purchased in 2000. I just need a way to fill them now!

  15. #15
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    7,288

    Default

    The ones with accountability obviously have more benefit but also cost more per pack and also with the related command pieces. I'd think With would score better since that basically automates accountability, but in most cases the cost would push the price too high for the range of cost-benefit for most departments.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    And while it's a great idea, the SCBA-integrated accountability system still only accounts for those wearing packs.

    earl

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Grants for portable radios
    By dmleblanc in forum Federal FIRE ACT Grants & Funding
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-17-2006, 01:49 PM
  2. Grant for Accountability System and Containment System
    By redtrucks in forum Federal FIRE ACT Grants & Funding
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-17-2006, 08:52 AM
  3. Accountability System Info.
    By BrentDenny in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-08-2003, 11:02 AM
  4. accountability system
    By rp ruma in forum Meet and Greet
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-13-1999, 03:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts