Fire EMS

Computer-Aided Dispatch Systems: Tips for Minimizing Glitches

Issue 9 and Volume 160.

COMPUTERS ARE AN EVER-PRESENT PART OF THE modern fire service. As the current technology improves, more functionality is added to applications for dispatchers, personnel out in the field, and administrators and staff as agencies turn to computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) systems. The complexity of the applications that accompany this technology sometimes can create headaches for those agencies. Agencies can avoid many of these problems by rethinking the way they do business. As an example, taking classes will shorten the learning curve for new software for upper management-level applications. Also, help is available on the Internet in the forms of documentation, user groups, and tutorials. In my experience as a CAD vendor, an end user, and an administrator, I have seen many departments have difficulties when it came to writing specifications for a new CAD system or problems implementing a new one they had just installed. “CAD OFF THE SHELF” Most CAD vendors…

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