Denver, CO – The Black Forest Fire, which started north of Colorado Springs on June 11th and quickly destroyed more than 500 homes, prompted emergency responders to deploy a sophisticated digital command and control system to quickly gather and share critical incident information.
Developed by Denver-based Incident Response Technologies, Inc.(IRT), the Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite allowed responders at the Black Forest Fire to utilize new crew management displays and functions originally developed in a combined effort with the Denver Fire Department, another recent Rhodium customer.
The Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite allowed responders from three agencies – the Black Forest and Donald Wescott Fire Protection Districts and the Douglas County Emergency Operations Center – to access and share valuable real-time information including crew positions, evacuation zone mapping, fire areas and weather forecasts from computers and tablet devices.
Responders with the Black Forest and Wescott Districts acquired the Rhodium™ Suite several weeks before this fire, as part of their efforts to enhance information sharing capabilities in the aftermath of the Waldo Canyon Fire that devastated the area last year.
“We set up my tablet on the fly to show mapping of the area and capture critical information related to the fire ground such as plotting where fire activity was, and the location of dozer and hand lines. We also began tracking where our unit assets were located so that they could be easily found and tracked on the tablet,” said Chief Vinny Burns of the Wescott District.
The Chief notes that although many of his firefighters and partner agencies were new to the Rhodium product, seeing how data could be captured and shared “quickly proved the absolute worth and value of Rhodium Suite.”
In neighboring Douglas County, the Emergency Operations Center used the Rhodium™ Suite to create their Incident Action Plan (IAP). “Having the information in one place, having the ability to have real time information and the ability to push the IAP out electronically is invaluable,” said Jim Babylon, the Planning Section Chief with the Douglas County Incident Management Team. “The software is very intuitive and easy to use. The mapping is excellent and includes topographical mapping which was very valuable for this type of incident.”
The cloud-based technology is very intuitive to use and new users typically require less than 4 hours of training. Individual system tools can be taught on the fly in less than 15 minutes.
The Black Forest Fire is one of several notable incidents where the Rhodium™ Suite has been used. Emergency services used the system in response to the Cleburne Tornado in Texas last month, Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, during the 2012 tornado season, and in planning and staging for a major special event, the 2012 Denver Presidential Debate.
The system is also currently used by a variety of other incident response agencies including the Denver (CO) Fire Department, the Town of Vail (CO) Fire and Police Departments, the Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Police Departments, the Butler County (OH) Type 3 IMT, the West Valley City (UT) Fire and Police Departments, Orlando International Airport, and the Georgia State University Police Department. Currently, the Rhodium™ Suite is in use by agencies in more than 23 states.
About Incident Response Technologies Incident Response Technologies, Inc., has been providing cloud-based solutions for public safety organizations since 2005.
IRT’s flagship product, the Rhodium Incident Management Suite, is currently in use throughout the United States and Canada by Police, Fire, EMS, Emergency Management, Campus Security, and other organizations.
For more information on the Rhodium Incident Management Suite, visit IRT’s website at www.irtsoftware.com or call (866) 260-7333.
NOTE: Vinny Burns and Jim Babylon are NOT paid endorsers of IRT. Both voluntarily offered comments to IRT regarding their experiences with the Rhodium™ product.