John Reilly, Deputy Chief, Mountain Lakes Volunteer Fire Department of New Jersey, and President, First-Responder Alliance Inc., has developed an App at Google exclusively for firefighters. The app has been mentioned on Google’s official blog site.
First-Responders web-based application captures pre-planning icons, layers, and photos using Google Maps. Personnel staffing levels (particularly important for volunteer departments) are monitored 24/7 using Google Latitude, and members that don't own smartphones can mark themselves as "unavailable" with a simple phone call.
Once an alert is received as an email or text message, Responders can confirm their response intent via phone call, SMS or a button on the First-Responder homepage. Responders are given turn-by-turn directions to the scene or firehouse via Google Navigation complete with an estimated time of arrival (ETA) that is adjusted for local traffic conditions. This is shared with Command in real-time. Vehicle drivers are shown directions to the scene or to any of the other pre-set destinations in the first due or participating mutual aid towns e.g. draft sites, staging areas, hospitals, etc.
Drivers and Commanders are also shown the closest hydrants to the scene including the distance (over roadways, not a straight line) and the elevation profile of the route with net elevation gain or loss. They can quickly review, as can their responding mutual aid Commanders, pre-plans specific to the scene address without any text entry... the system already knows the GPS coordinates for the scene!
Commanders can then access the rosters for all responding departments and begin accountability. Every time a responder changes location on the system a log entry is made for record-keeping. This starts the moment they phone or text the system. As responders board vehicles Officers can log them as on-board with two button clicks on their smart phone, tablet or laptop computer. They can also change the vehicles status (customized for each department, for each vehicle). All of these changes are viewable in real-time by Commanders. Accountability on-scene involves moving Responders between Units like Attack Team 1, Rehab 3, Ventilation 2.... the names and grouping of Units is completely controlled by the Department through simple web-based forms.
Reilly is launching the app through First Responder Alliance Inc., a non-profit organization, and speaking on Monday, September 12th at an internal event at Google, along with FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano, where the software will be unveiled.
See the post on Google’s official blog site at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/ten-years-later.html
Read about First Responder Alliance Inc., here at http://www.first-responder.com.