The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), is pleased to announce the implementation of a new technology called the CommandScopeTM All Hazard Pre-Incident Plan program. CommandScope gives first responders access to critical pre-plan information, both on-site and en route on their Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs), which includes maps, photographs, utility shutoff locations, floor plans, fire protection systems, hazardous material information, critical occupant information and emergency lockdown procedures about the site they have been dispatched to.
“This countywide system will allow all of our emergency personnel–fire, police, mutual aid, and more –to have immediate access to the valuable data they need when responding to a call,” said County Executive Ken Ulman. “This new technology will save us critical minutes that will ultimately help save lives and keep our first responders safe.”
New information is immediately synchronized across hundreds of devices countywide and there is a simple upload process. The building information gathered and updated will be accessible to law enforcement, hazardous response units, emergency management and first responders in other counties, provided they have a mobile device.
“Gone are the days when we store this information on paper in binders that are hard to access,” said Fire/EMS Chief William Goddard. “This technology puts the latest building details at our fingertips so we can coordinate our efforts to quickly and efficiently take action, amongst ourselves and amongst those first responders from other counties that provide us with mutual aid support.”
Already, CommandScope has successfully imported pre-plans for nearly 6,000 commercial properties in Howard County. Firefighters and paramedics have also received the necessary training to operate the system and each crew is working to complete additional pre-plans. By providing this information prior to arriving on the scene of an emergency, the Department is furthering its commitment to the Everyone Goes Home® program, which is a national focus designed to prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries.
“When first responders get to a building, even if they’ve never stepped foot in it before, CommandScope gives them an instantaneous snapshot of what they’re walking into,” said David Howorka, Executive Vice President of RealView, LLC, the Chicago-based company that developed CommandScope. “Our software program arms first responders with the ability to access the critical building details they need to save lives and assure less property damage.”