This week we are looking at an app that can be used by an incident commander for scene management and accountability. In addition quite frankly it could be used by the first arriving member in a small department, in conjunction with an iPhone to keep track of personnel as they arrive and as they deploy. I cannot possibly review every feature of this app here because it has a ton of features that are all important and great. Lets begin by looking at some screen shots.
Pretty easy opening screen, one button to touch to begin incident. I must also tell you that a great feature of the app is that after the first time you load it it takes you to a website where you can customize it for your own department. Add your personnel, your apparatus, mutual aid and designations for the fire ground the way you use it in your department. 100% customizable. After the first synch with the website you no longer need to be connected to use the software after that, it is on your device with all of your data. No connectivity.
The first screen you come to is all incident objectives. You see here I have clicked on some to indicate pending, handled or unsecured, meaning you have not addressed them. As you move along the bottom of the screen you come to assignments, lets go there next.
This is where you choose the stuff that you have already preprogrammed from the website. A real quick drop down list and you put check marks next to whatever apparatus is coming or whatever personnel are coming or arriving. The quick add feature let’s you type someone in on the spot.
You are then presented with a list of resources that need to be assigned.
In this example engine 1 is highlighted and I am sending them to floor 1 for fire attack. (You pick all of the items and terms on these selection wheels)
Now you see the screen has been chosen that places the companies in their respective geographic sectors or locations. Lets go to the next button across the bottom with the timer called PAR.
Now I have a view of where every company or resource is by location, but I also have how long they have been assigned in that area. The software will prompt you at whatever time you designate. I have mine set for 15 minutes based upon air consumption, but you can select whatever you want. Wen a unit gets close to time it will turn yellow from green and when the time elapses it will turn red and sound an audible signal to catch you attention.
If a unit gives a mayday, you select that units and acknowledge it. It then moves to the top of the list like the next example and shows the total time assigned, as well as the total elapsed time of the mayday. See below.
You can also take photos of the incident with your ipad or iPhone and they will become part of the log for this event. Each and every action selection or change of status you make is recorded and documented in a log which you can email to yourself as a PDF file.
In closing I would say this app needs to be part of any fire department arsenal that is using iPads and iPhones in the field. The cost of this app versus the cost of complicated accountability systems costing thousands of dollars is really negligible.
Incidentally how much is the safety of your firefighters worth anyway?
The IPAR App is highly recommended and it is available in the iTunes Store.
Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
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