California Casitas Fire: Good things happen when technology gets out of the way.

May 2, 2016 7:13:06 PM / by David Blankinship posted in Situational Awareness, intel, Wildfire, Mapping


Battle Rhythm: Finding a good balance between technology and operations

When a fast moving brush fire struck in Ventura County California this week, the department went to work. But the most interesting part is that Ventura's fire activity over the weekend was 'just another day' for them and for Intterra - but something special for the community.

Click:Wildfire Today Article

VCFD fought the fire with all their tools - including the Ventura Situational Awareness Tool (VSAT). But it was nothing new, nothing novel - just good old fashioned hard work that was a combination of good tactics fighting a fire driven by increasing afternoon winds and spotting. VCFD has gotten so good at using VSAT to let crews contribute from wherever they are to Situational Awareness, that using the system is just part of their DNA. 

Ventura has a long history of innovation with technology and GIS - creating the original "Ventura Tools" that morphed over time into the national standard Fire Incident Mapping Tools (FIMT). And they continue to innovate - but not just with technology - rather with the willingness to make technology in the firefight a cultural norm in the department. Just another tool in the toolbox to be used when it makes the most sense.

We think that you'll agree that from Operations to Public Information and regional integration - VCFD has raised the bar by demonstrating that good information is fundamental - but not the star of the show. After all, the map didn't put the fire out - firefighters did the work, but every tool has its place. VCFD has figured out the best balance between operational adoption and technology that quietly and efficiently serves its purpose.

Thank you to VCFD, for showing us a common sense approach and operational balance!
Bonus material: VCFD Case Study
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Aircraft Intel: A Powerful Technology That Has Taken Off

Sep 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM / by Joy Collins posted in SituationAnalyst, Aircraft, Imagery, intel


Aircraft Intel Tool from SITUATIONANALYST by Intterra

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to field test a new technology even before you launch the company that's building it, but that was indeed the case with SITUATIONANALYST’s Aircraft Intel tool. Initially field tested during Cal Fire's battle with the Southern Fire Seige of 2007 and again in NorCal in 2008, Aircraft Intel—paired with a super high-tech aircraft imagery service from Range and Bearing Corporation—helped provide much-needed aid to those events as firefighters labored to understand what was happening in real time during the firefight. Ventura County Fire Department helped in subsequent years pioneer with Intterra the regular use of live Infrared support to firefighting efforts. The technology has become an everyday tool since then with a permanent home in the SITUATIONANALYST software. 

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