To Track Bath, NY Firefighters At Emergencies
Ann Arbor, MI
(February 9, 2010) – It’s
a problem all too familiar for volunteer fire departments: knowing
which personnel have arrived on-scene and the location of the responders
throughout the incident. If something happens and an evacuation
needs to be called, how does the Incident Commander know if everyone
is out safely if he doesn’t know who is on-scene? What do
If someone is trapped, there may just be a couple of minutes
to find and rescue them. If everyone did make it out, the commander
will be sending a rescue team in for a useless but extremely dangerous
mission. What’s the cost if they guess wrong?
That stressful and dangerous situation will be a thing of the
past for Bath, NY Volunteer Fire Department, now that department
officials are introducing new tracking technology called OnSite
ERT™. The technology will replace previous, less reliable
techniques to determine crew status during fire-related emergencies.
Thanks to an Assistance to Firefighters Grant, starting early
Spring of 2010, the Bath VFD will begin utilizing OnSite ERT™
on the scene of emergencies. The technology uses a combination
of lightweight ID tags, portable drop readers and incident command
software that provides a clear sense of an emergency scene in
real time – all from the screen of a laptop.
OnSite ERT, a portable and rapidly deployable system for tracking
and monitoring first responders and equipment, is the brainchild
of retired firefighter John Ellis and technology expert Dennis
Carmichael. Following several months of research, development
and live trials at mock emergency scenes, the product is gaining
traction among fire departments nationwide, already in use by
over 45 departments from Texas to New York and Canada with more
on the horizon.
The OnSite ERT system has also proven beneficial for use in mutual-aid
events, streamlining response and improving post-incident reporting
and performance analysis, which helps departments comply with
federal rules in place for emergency situations. The system provides
electronic data demonstrating that rules were followed on scene,
which helps limit legal risks in the event of a tragedy.
“For commanders on scene, OnSite ERT removes a tremendous
amount of anxiety while also contributing to the safety of the
crew,” Ellis said. “Our dream is to one day see every
fire department using this technology. With OnSite ERT, fire departments
might be able to send someone home who wouldn’t have made
About OnSite ERT
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, OnSite ERT offers a portable and
rapidly-deployable system for tracking and locating personnel
and equipment on-scene at emergency events. First installed in
early 2006 in Michigan, OnSite ERT has earned a number of awards
and accolades, including recognition at the Michigan Homeland
Security Consortium’s SELECT awards. OnSite ERT is on the
DHS Authorized Equipment List and is approved for grant purchase.
For more information, go to www.OnSiteERT.com.
Jason Kapica, ERT Systems, 734-327-9532
Click for a Printable Version