The City of St. Louis is implementing new technologies to strengthen city-wide emergency response including the all-digital CommandScopeTM pre-plan technology. St. Louis fire fighters will now have critical knowledge of more than 2,000 “target hazard” buildings across the municipality, vastly improving their chances of saving lives and reducing property damage in cases of emergency.
The broader technology installation is a collaborative effort in which NewComm Wireless Services, based outside of Boston, provided hardware and system integration. More than 1 million people will benefit from the use of the software program.
“The CommandScope installation is an investment to better serve firefighters for the collective safety of building occupants and the public,” says St. Louis Deputy Fire Chief Michael Arras. “The technology is simple and easy to use so firefighters get quick access to critical building information. Now, information is all in paper notebooks that are hard to update and are not practical to use in an emergency. Trying to remember a building’s information a year or two after a survey was completed isn’t easy.
“In addition, it is almost impossible to update and keep current,” he continues. “We need to keep our data up to date otherwise the information becomes somewhat useless.”
The city is first installing in primarily high-occupancy and high cost-buildings that impact the city’s health, safety and economy. Busch Stadium has already undergone its installation. Other prominent buildings include landmarks such as City Museum, the Gateway Arch and City Hall, but also will include the AT&T building, the Metropolitan Square Building and the US Bank Building.
By activating CommandScope, St. Louis provides its fire department with instant en route and on-site access to site plans, floor plans, hazardous material details, utility shut-off locations, geographical maps, fire hydrants locations, lists of persons with special needs and other critical building and infrastructure information. St. Louis first responders can upload and sync building information that is then shareable across organizations and can be updated in real-time.
“A lot is asked of our nation’s first responders and we understand they work with limited resources,” says David Howorka, executive vice president of RealView. “CommandScope provides easy to use, inexpensive technology that quickly educates responders and protects all stakeholders. First responders, then, are prepared to act with knowledge rather than trial and error, saving lives and reducing property damage.”