GUEST BLOGGER: Lt. Chris Rogers, Kirkland Fire Department, WA. (Editor's note: A special thanks to Lt. Rogers for taking the time to share his insights on the future of technology, preplanning, and geospatial issues facing our industry. The opportunity to exchange ideas with the brightest minds in the fire service is one of the best aspects of our job here at Intterra.)
The future is looking bright and shiny when it comes to all of the new technology becoming available to public safety officials. It's exciting to think that the advanced systems currently emerging will be perfected in the coming years and even more powerful technology will be developed.
For folks in the fire service, some of the most promising breakthroughs are in the area or geospatial mapping and the tremendous advantages it will provide to everyone on the ground. In the next five years, you are going to start to see increasing use of geospatial data to enhance the safety of responders and give them the edge they need to better protect people and prevent tragedies.
There has been a lot of hustle and bustle going on over here at the Intterra offices and after months of developing, testing, improving and more testing, we can finally say that our labors have come to fruition. Without further ado, we are incredibly proud to introduce to you the SA Field Tool App.
We live in a big world and with that comes the ongoing challenge of creating accurate addresses. These days, it's nearly impossible to find someone who hasn't been disappointed by the confusion of the current addressing system. what3words is a program drastically changing the way specific locations are found around the world.
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.
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.
Life in the Super Bowl Command Post
It's been a fun week at work! All the hard work of the past few months building up a Special Events app for Super Bowl 50 first responders has paid off. This week, we're helping them manage all the events and incidents that come with an event like SB50.
Using whatever device they have (phone, tablet, laptop), a responder can not only see where all the 'routine' incidents and responders are in real time, they can see managed response decisions, see data about incidents, access geoanalytics to help allocate resources, and communicate via maps about the special events that are ongoing this week.
This year's Super Bowl will be heavily influenced by Colorado - the Broncos featuring legendary QB Peyton Manning and SITUATIONANALYST by Intterra. Will the Bronco's win? Well, that's a completely different blog post.... Will the regional First Responders have hi-def situational awareness with all thier systems tied together - that we do know about.
Intterra and Santa Clara County Fire created the regional situational awareness platform for SB50. It ties together all departments, event and venue planning, and tracking systems to create a complete picture of all of the events related to SB50 + every 911 call and unit in the region.
Here are some highlights:
- Situational Awareness for all special events, parties, practice fields and venues.
- Integrated tracking of all Public Safety cooperators and regional 911 incidents (live).
- A Special Events planning framework that integrates information for ALL phases of the events.