FIRE AND EMS INFORMATION NETWORK
The Fire and EMS Information Network is a free fire-related site on the Internet dedicated to the fire and EMS community. Viewership is currently more than 40,000 and increases approximately 10 percent per week; more than 40 countries have visited to date. The site recently has received national recognition for its content.
The Network has several features. “Live Chat” allows firefighters from around the world to communicate with other firefighters in real time. Firefighters also can post messages to an electronic bulletin board, and any questions they post can be answered by fellow firefighters. Also featured on the site is the free home page that any fire department can receive.
Other on-line resources offered include an on-line library, a comprehensive listing of every fire department that has a home page, products and services, government agencies, organizations, and schools and training.
Freely accessible information is the cornerstone of the site. Each week new interactive hypermedia features are added.
ACCESSING THE SITE
Anyone with an active Internet account who has World Wide Web (WWW) access can use the Network free. This includes services such as AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve, GNN, MSN, AT&T Network Services, Network MCI, and other local Internet providers. Use your WWW browser and go to the following address: http://www.fire-ems.net/
The network recommends that all users use the Netscape NavigatorTM, version 2.0 or higher, to view the site. This browser allows users to take full advantage of all the available features.
The Network resource directory contains thousands of links to other fire- and EMS-related sites. There are complete directories to government agencies, associations, unions, organizations, schools, training centers, fire research institutes, and a library on-line with several links to valuable fire- and EMS-related documents.
FREE HOME PAGE
No programming knowledge is required to receive the free home page for visiting the site. Simply fill out an easy-to-use form and the home page is created automatically. Users receive a log-in and password so they can change the information on the page any time.
Each home page contains an area for information about current or annual department events, fund-raisers, community events, training notices, and other announcements. Another feature on the home page is a section that lists each department`s apparatus and equipment. This provides valuable information on equipment resources available in a particular area. Because such information is on-line, you can access it anywhere any time of day.
For more advanced users, the Network will host premade department home pages. Simply e-mail or FTP the necessary files to the Network for placement on-line.
The Live Chat room enables users from all over the world to chat live 24 hours a day. Users with Netscape Navigator 2.0 never have to press their reload button again; messages automatically appear on your browser. NonNetscape users still can participate in the chat but have to hit the “reload” button on their browsers. Users can freely change the chat topic or perform “actions” to other users.
ELECTRONIC BULLETIN BOARD
Users can post questions and comments on the Board for any visitor. Users have found jobs, sold used apparatus, exchanged SOPs and training tips, and even found funding for new purchases here. Any user can post a message.
The Network keeps a comprehensive listing of all fire and EMS departments currently on-line. Hundreds of departments already have home pages that contain information on fire prevention, safety, apparatus, and personnel. For a free home page, visit the site mentioned earlier. If you already have a free page but it is not listed, just fill in the “Add a URL” form at the top of the page, and you will be added to the list.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DIRECTORY
The Network has a complete listing of all manufacturers and distributors on-line. Also featured is a current show list/event calendar for the fire and EMS community.
The Network was created by Cambert Ltd., an automated information systems group based in Champaign, Illinois, to help foster the exchange of information in the fire and EMS community–at the speed of light. The resource is free to anyone who visits the site; it is funded entirely by sponsor contributions.
Advertising on the Network is reserved for Cambert Ltd. clients only. These clients are allowed to sponsor the free home pages given to fire departments that visit the site. Other advertising options also are available. n