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National Volunteer Fire Council recruiting first responders for survey on communications needs

Published on 11 August 2009

Firefighters discuss tactics onscene: the NVFC and ElanTech, Inc have created an online survey designed to gather data from first responders and aid the design of a new incident command software
A new online survey gathering data from first responders will aid the design of incident command software
Results will inform new geointelligence system under development by DHS

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has partnered with ElanTech to create an online survey to gather critical data from first response emergency personnel nationwide. The survey results will influence the design of an advanced new incident command software application in development by the Department of Homeland Security and ElanTech.

In the aftermath of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event, the new Incident Management & Decision Support System (IMDSS) will provide on-site incident commanders with the real-time, dynamic data they need to coordinate the efforts of first responders. It will also aggregate access to 911 calls, maps, traffic, weather, resource availability, and other critical logistical information. IMDSS will be a compact, man-portable geointelligence dashboard featuring a dynamic operating picture overlaid on imagery of the affected area.

Input from emergency personnel will be critical to ensuring that the IMDSS meets the real-world needs of first responders.

The NVFC urges emergency personnel at all levels, including emergency managers, firefighters, paramedics, and police, to take the short online survey. "This new system will offer unprecedented command and control capabilities for first responders, and having input from day one will ensure ElanTech designs the features most valuable to users on the ground," said Heather Schafer, NVFC Executive Director. "We urge the fire and emergency services to take a few minutes to contribute to this valuable Homeland Security project."

In addition to providing valuable feedback for this important new tool, survey participants will be entered in a drawing to win a fifty-dollar Visa gift card.

For more information on the survey or the IMDSS, contact Paul Seabury at or on 301-486-0600 x116. Or, to take the survey online, click here.

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