Firefighting Technology Roundup: Structure Fire Command App, Threat Software Revision


Firesoft LLC, Galena, Illinois, has launched its inaugural product, iCommand: Structure Fires. Developed by firefighters, the application (app) is designed for Apple's iPad According to Matt Oldenburg, a volunteer firefighter from Galena and one of the system's developers and the CEO and a co-founder of Firesoft LLC, "the tool will bridge the gap between firefighting and technology and bring order to otherwise chaotic and dangerous situations." The app is marketed as a "tool for incident commanders to use on the fireground that will help to reduce line-of-duty deaths and injuries."

The app, which can be used by fire departments of all sizes and types, offers real-time accountability at a glance and captures important postincident reporting data, Oldenburg notes. It also supports compliance benchmarks of NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety & Health Program, and NFPA 1561, Standard on Emergency Services Incident Management System.

Oldenburg, a West Point graduate, says the application has been nearly two years in the making, but it is decades overdue for the industry. "Our expertise in mission command, combined with a strong understanding of technology, allowed us to develop a groundbreaking approach to incident command in firefighting,"  he adds, explaining, "iCommand: Structure Fires brings time-tested concepts from military doctrine together with the latest in tablet computer technology." A primary feature, he notes, "is that the command page offers a user interface that simulates the feeling of commanding an incident with technology out of a science fiction movie."

"We spent a great deal of time and attention on programming, streamlining complex information on the backend to provide a rich graphical environment for users to operate in," says Aaron Abt, COO and Firesoft LLC co-founder. "Commanders will appreciate the practicality of iCommand. The app provides unparalleled feedback and situational awareness as the incident unfolds, and the best part is that iCommand takes minutes to learn and only hours to master," Abt concludes.

Firesoft LLC will officially launch iCommand: Structure Fires with a limited release of subscriptions at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis this April, Booth #13014. For additional information, go to


ProRAE Guardian (PRG) V.1.5 software, which has been upgraded to globally aggregate and deliver toxic gas threat data from the MultiRAE and ToxiRAE family of wireless monitors to geographically dispersed teams. It also equips incident commanders and safety managers with real-time threat data for time-critical decisions.

The upgraded version provides ongoing real-time gas detection support for existing wireless devices, with additional features including the following:

  • New Device Support--RAELink3 Mesh, ToxiRAE Pro family, MultiRAE2 family.
  • Fault Alarm Support--New alarm type for device faults like pump stall and low battery.
  • Offline Alarm Support--Ensures a minimum number of wireless monitors up and running for complete safety of a facility.
  • Runtime Privileges--The program can run without administrator privileges.

The PRG application includes a built-in cascading feature that displays real-time gas and radiation readings, alarm status, responder location and biometric information from multiple teams displayed on the same screen. The continuous transmission of real-time sensor data and alarms to the command center allows incident commanders to focus on their job by eliminating the need to report readings. The data can then be instantaneously shared and accessed securely through the Internet from virtually any location.

"This latest software upgrade addresses a critical need among incident commanders for real-time access to threat data across dispersed teams, enabling them to make time-critical decisions while addressing life-threatening situations," explains Thomas Negre, Vice President of Marketing at RAE Systems.

The PRG V.1.5 Windows software is available for download at for new and existing North America customers, or on a CD kit. The previous version of PRG expired on March 31, 2012. Existing users will need to upgrade to ProRAE Guardian V.1.5 to maintain functionality of their monitoring devices after March 31, 2012.

Related Application Notes on the use of ProRAE Guardian to monitor hazmat incidents is available at Information on how to protect and monitor public events is available at

The company's Web site is at

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Mary Jane Dittmar is senior associate editor of Fire Engineering and conference manager of FDIC. Before joining the magazine in January 1991, she served as editor of a trade magazine in the health/nutrition market and held various positions in the educational and medical advertising fields. She has a bachelor's degree in English/journalism and a master's degree in communication arts.


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