Fire Department Selects OnSite ERT™ to Increase On-Scene Firefighter
Ann Arbor, M
I (April 8, 2010) – It’s a problem
all too familiar for fire departments: knowing which personnel have
arrived on-scene and the location of the responders throughout the
incident. If there is an evacuation, how does the commander know
that everyone made it out? If a firefighter is becomes trapped,
there may just be a couple of minutes to find and rescue him. But
if he is safe but simply got lost in the confusion, the chief may
be sending a rescue team in for a useless but extremely dangerous
mission. What’s the cost of guessing wrong?
That stressful and dangerous situation will be a thing of the
past for the Cohoes, NY Fire Department, where department officials
are introducing new tracking technology called OnSite ERT™.
The system will replace previous, less reliable techniques to
determine crew status and locations during emergencies.
Thanks to an AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant), the Cohoes
FD will begin utilizing OnSite ERT™ at emergency scenes
starting in late Spring of 2010. The technology uses a combination
of lightweight ID tags, portable Drop Readers and Incident Command
software that provides a clear, real-time view of the emergency
scene – 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 fire commander John Ellis and technology expert Dennis
Carmichael. Following several months of research, development
and live trials at fire training events, the product is gaining
traction among fire departments nationwide, already in use by
over 50 departments from Texas to New York and Canada, with more
on the horizon.
OnSite ERT 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 tracks and
records all on-scene activity, demonstrating that rules and SOPs
were followed, helping limit legal risks in the event of a tragedy.
“For Chief Officers, OnSite ERT removes a tremendous amount
of anxiety while improving crew safety,” Ellis said. “Our
goal is to eventually see every fire department using this technology.
With OnSite ERT, the Chief might be able to send someone home
who wouldn’t have made it otherwise.”
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. OnSite ERT has recently
introduced ERT Central™, an on-line database for automatically
sharing information between mutual-aid partners, regional response,
and Emergency Operations Centers. 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
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