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Author Topic: Cranston Fire / Symposium & E9-1-1  (Read 3588 times)
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Terry Brennan
Supt. of Fire Alarm, Cranston Fire Dept. Retired
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Gender: Male
Posts: 24

« on: March 21, 2014, 05:17:02 PM »

I haven't posted in a while, figured it was time to let everyone know where we are with our latest Dispatch project. Symposium Software.

The Symposium Software, same as Westerly, is working nicely and we're still working through some minor issues. The big benefit has been our link to 9-1-1 and receiving the ALI and ANI along with the GIS mapping. No more address number issues and sound alike street name issues. Having the calls automatically populate on screen has also been a huge benefit. Our mapping includes the entire state which makes mutual aid calls much nicer and aids us with handling the Marine Task Force dispatching in the Narragansett Bay.

We are fortunate to have one of the best GIS managers in the State, Maria Giarrusso. She has been a huge help, and GIS is a large part of Symposium. We are currently working with Maria to finish our response zone layer which is no small task. The response zone layer assigns our apparatus based on polygons rather than street names, which is almost a prerequisite to using Symposium for automatic apparatus assignment. For now, we have a street name based table doing the automatic look-up until we are finished. It basically means if you're in the middle of a field, we have to pick the closest street to get the running assignment. Once the polygon layer is done, the system will know the assignment no matter where you are.

The tie-in with Firehouse for the records management end has taken a little getting used to, but we are working closely with them to tweak things and find our way around. Not the easiest software to get used to, but it has shown to be very configurable.  

We're currently finishing up tying the apparatus mobile computers into a NetMotion VPN server. The NetMotion maintains a persistent connection into our Symposium server to run the mobile side. The apparatus get almost 100% of the information that dispatch can see, as well as being able to mark themselves Responding, On Scene, At Hospital, In service, Out of Service, etc… Along with GPS tracking that shows where all the apparatus are on the map and their status. Netmotion makes logging into the system easy, and personnel don't have to worry about having to log back into the system on lost connections or having to log in twice. For anyone having to log into a domain, the netmotion VPN seems to be a great solution. (starting to sound like a netmotion salesperson.lol)

Anyway, it's been a fun and aggravating project so far. Much of it to the efforts of Asst. Chief Patenaude and his effective grant writing skills and tenacity with the State Police and 9-1-1 to get the system available for us and anyone else looking to get onto the system. Albeit not funded through the 9-1-1 excess feeding the State general fund.

Our next big project that’s almost completed is getting the Rescues off of the ridiculous DOH State Bridge system and having a reporting system that works and allows the EMT’s to tend to the patient and less time bashing the keyboard and pulling their hair out. I could write a book on how bad the State Bridge system is and what the DOH is actually using it for. (Another time…) We went with AmbuPro for our Rescue reporting and it’s being tied to Symposium to auto populate the call information. This will greatly speed up the report process.

Another project almost completed as well, is our station bell system. After almost 100 years of great service, we are retiring the station bells and using the Zetron IP based alerting system. CyberComm installed it for us and it is also tied into the Symposium dispatch system. This will automatically send out simultaneous alerts to the responding stations and free up the dispatchers having to separately signal the bells. Signaling the bells wasn't an issue on the old console. But the 7500 series console had too much lag time to effectively sound 2 or 3 bells with any speed or efficiency.

That's all for now… and I think I'm near the character limit for a post and I can hear some of you snoring.   Grin
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