It's been exceptionally dry here in Colorado. We've seen very little rain or snow in the last several months, and it's creating the potential for an explosive wildfire season. Fire departments all over Colorado are taking the time to prepare themselves in the coming weeks for whatever the future may bring, and several agencies have already deployed Intterra's Situation Analyst (SA) & its Field Tool.
"Wicked Good!" Oh yeah, something wicked good is coming your way from Intterra.
The Developers (a.k.a. "the Devs") and database gurus that I work among in our tech pit here at Intterra are super jazzed. After completing a ton of research earlier this year, they've learned new programming languages for a faster data structure and have been heads-down for weeks now building something we know you're going to appreciate. It's not just a new front-end look, it's an entirely new Intterra System Framework.
Had you told me 3 years ago that in 2016 I was going to be riding in the passenger’s seat to help Colorado’s experts in wildland firefighting get their hands on a new fire prediction model, I would have kind of squinted my eyes at you (that’s my puzzled look, not angry) and said, “Come again?"
For that matter, you could have said that to me in January of this year and I might have had the same response—that’s just how quickly new, cool data integrations heat up at Intterra.
We recently enjoyed a significant milestone in our joint venture with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to add the latest exploration into the CAWFE® model for fire prediction. That’s CAWFE®, sounds a lot like “coffee” with emphasis on the front-end “caw." After years of research and development, NCAR and DFPC unveiled the Colorado Fire Prediction System to a group of trusted users via SituationAnalyst (SA).
Hate to break it to you, but fixing the IT problem is up to you, not to the young successors that you will promote next.
People talk about data, information, and analysis all the time. As a fire chief you have to listen, but you may not always feel comfortable with what you’re hearing. You tend to think about how hard it is to analyze data or how little control you have over the vast majority of it. Not to mention that the systems that hold this data (think CAD, Records Management, EPCR) live in other organizations like police departments and communication centers. Let’s face it, the information you need is not only hard to comprehend, but also hard to obtain.
Intterra is excited to announce that there are several new updates to the SituationAnalyst software. Read on to see how the newest features of SA can benefit your department this summer!
While I'm the world's biggest fan of SITUATIONANALYST™ (SA), I think it probably falls into the category of "everybody-thinks-their-baby-is-the-cutest"... So I think it's probably important for me to slow down and offer you my top ten reasons SITUATIONANALYST is the best little platform out there.
Sure, you've been on fires or worked in departments where you have seen SA up on a big screen for a briefing, or heard people talking about it. And you may have even played with it a bit yourself—but I'm guessing you are one of those people that says something like, "I really like it, but I don't really know all the things it can do." (TRANSLATION: My Chief likes it, but I'm not sure how I would use it for me.)
You probably know the basics of how to use SITUATIONANALYST, but it's actually a lot more capable than you might think. From productivity hacks to buried features, I've put together a list of ten things you likely don't know SA can do.
Being Serious About Preplanning Means You’re Serious About Safety
Preplanning is always a tedious process in a fire department. The information collected in the field has to be sent to staff, then fed into databases and maps, then sent back to staff for use in the field. Often, it doesn't happen consistently. Preplanning requires that everyone in the process is equally and actively concerned about the accuracy and timeliness of the data in order to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. With shift and personnel changes there is plenty of opportunity for missteps and disconnects in the process. It can be frustrating, and in the end sometimes the plans don't get updated.
A Better Way
We understand that firefighters want painless processes with as few steps as possible—and in order for meaningful adoption to occur, any new solution must be easy to use with great results.
That’s where SITUATIONANALYST (SA) comes into play. With SA you can use the technology you already have in your pocket or on the engine—almost any phone, tablet,or laptop works. Use it with SA to collect pre-incident plans for structures or for wildlands as easily as you would check the weather.
It is critical that firefighters begin to see technology as an emergency response tool. Choose it with the same care you would an engine or protective gear.
As an experienced Fire Officer you have been exposed to so much. Fires, medical calls that break your heart, funny moments, and heroic actions of your crew that no one else will ever know about. It is certainly a career of experiences.
You have to make the tough decisions, and you care about your team as firefighters, colleagues, numbskulls, and friends. Your legacy is important but the most important thing is that everybody comes back home. So, it matters to you the tools you use: on the apparatus and in the station. You care deeply about your teams being ready for any emergency. You make sure that they work with the best quality and most reliable tools—from halligans to hoses, and everything in between.
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.
Fire Teams in Oregon and Washington Receive High Tech Assistance from the Colorado DFPC
Colorado is a state that has a great deal of experience fighting wildfires. It also has some advanced resources for making that challenge more manageable. Colorado's Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) sent one of its two Multi-Mission Aircraft to Oregon and Washington this summer, providing an impressive array of technology to support firefighting efforts.