Michael Hirsch, 40, has taken over as Vice President of the Fire business unit in the Bosch Building Technologies division. Most recently, as Vice President, he was responsible for key account management for major customers in the European system integrator business at Bosch Building Technologies. In his new role, the business economist will be responsible for strategy, research & development, product management, marketing, and sales for Bosch’s comprehensive portfolio of fire alarm s...
During the outbreak of COVID-19 Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited (Hunter) had the privilege to work in partnership with Kent and Medway Towns Fire Authority, as National leads for PPE and Clothing within the fire sector and the UK Government to co-ordinate, source, manufacture, and supply vital PPE to the frontline emergency services and health sectors as part of what has now become the UK National Framework for Fire and public sector organizations and other parts of the UK’s critical infr...
Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business, launches a new Professional Services division to provide a range of specialist IT security and software support services to new and existing clients, as well as third-party integrators and installers. The Professional Services division will support clients with server and operating systems upgrade planning and implementation, secure and resilient cyber network design and testing, as well as advanced system programming and migration a...
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved deployment of fully automated commercial drone flights, paving the way eventually for new and expanded uses of unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs) in a variety of applications - including the fire market. The approval is narrow in scope and applies to a single company - American Robotics Inc., which petitioned the change. Reese Mozer, the CEO and Founder of American Robotics, has predicted a $100 billion market to provide drone services...
Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), an industry body comprised of stakeholders from all facets of the security, safety and building automation space, has announced joining Euralarm, the association of European manufacturers, installers and service providers from the electronic fire safety and security industry. By joining the Security Section within Euralarm, OSSA will contribute valuable expertise in the domain of Internet of Things (IoT), while leveraging on Euralarm’s profound...
With distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine accelerating around the globe, hopes are high that society can reclaim a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy in the coming months. Organizations may look to call many of their remote workers back to physical buildings as the vaccine rollout continues. However, there are unique new challenges to in-person work in a post-pandemic world, as organizations who have maintained in-person workforces can attest. Managing an in-person workforce in 2021 Marc Bognar,...
Following significant requests from customers, Apollo Fire Detectors have expanded their portfolio of free webinars and virtual CPD’s. In order to continue providing its training service throughout the national lockdown, Apollo released a selection of over 15 virtual courses in May 2020. The courses have been a huge success with thousands of attendees from over 30 countries taken advantage of the weekly sessions. Due to this success, and COVID-19 restrictions being in place once again in the UK, Apollo have released six new courses in their latest series of online events which are scheduled until the end of March. False alarm reduction All registrants receive a recording of the webinar after the event The new courses include product webinars on ‘How the Apollo Test Set can save you time on-site’ and the flush-mounted Soteria Dimension. Plus, CPD’s on: ‘Fire Safety in Healthcare buildings UK’ which has been CPD certified by the FIA (Fire Industry Association) ‘False Alarm Reduction’ and a very current topic ‘Protecting High-rise residential buildings from fire’. All webinars are being hosted via Microsoft Teams Events, which allows participants to watch live and interact with presenters via a moderated Q&A. All registrants receive a recording of the webinar after the event, so those who don’t make the live event can watch it on demand. Training feedback forms Technical support Engineer, Warren Moyle who hosts the events said “We’ve been thrilled with the uptake of our online sessions and are grateful that people around the world have been willing to invest in their professional development and learn more about our products.” “Each new course has been designed based on popular requests from the training feedback forms which has been insightful. The sessions have enabled us to reach people around the world we haven’t reached before, so this could be the future of our training courses.”
Over the past few months, the AW Technology team has been extremely busy with the highly anticipated FIREX 2019 international exhibition, ongoing management of customers, identification of new clients and the development of existing and new technology. However, as always with AW Technology, the team is always looking forward with the aim to continue as the industry’s renowned innovator. The AW Technology team sat down with Business Development Manager, Chris Atkiss, to find out more about the business’ plans moving forward. Business philosophy of continuous development Chris Atkiss stated, “We’ve always got one eye on the future. In our industry that must be the case if you want to be successful. While I’ve not been here for all our past 25 years of history, I’m fully committed to our core business philosophy of continuous improvement and development.” He adds, “We’re really excited about what the future holds for AW Technology, and it’s encouraging to see how the industry is reacting to some of the innovations and products that we’re proposing to introduce into the market. We’re fortunate to have a real energetic mix of youth and experience at AW Technology, and we truly believe that this eclectic blend continues to put us ahead of our competition.” 9000 series CO Calibrator In terms of specifics, we’re all hugely looking forward to the launch of our 9000 series CO Calibrator" Chris continues, “In terms of specifics, we’re all hugely looking forward to the launch of our 9000 series CO Calibrator, which is the latest addition to our cutting-edge product portfolio. The 9000 series utilizes the latest technology, and combined with AW Technology’s expertise in the industry, delivers a truly pioneering approach towards calibrating Carbon Monoxide detection products.” He further added, “The product is ideally suited to be used for calibrating and testing CO alarm and detection products in high volume manufacture and is supported by the very latest software to ensure maximum output and performance.” FIREX 2019 international exhibition Chris concludes, “FIREX 2019 international exhibition provided the perfect platform for us to first introduce the 9000 series into the market and we were delighted with the reaction that we received. This feedback has continued over the subsequent weeks, and we’re now fully focused on the product release date, which will be announced in due course.”
The video-based fire detection Aviotec IP starlight 8000 from Bosch can now be used in environments without visible light. With the help of newly developed AI algorithms for video analytics, Aviotec's firmware version 7.72 is now able to reliably detect smoke and flames even with pure infrared lighting. Up to now, it was already possible with Aviotec to reliably detect flames and smoke in difficult lighting conditions down to a minimum of 2 Lux. Expanded field of application There are many applications in dark environments in which the new version of Aviotec offers an optimal solution for customers. Wherever there is a high fire hazard or a high fire load, for example in logistics and production, Aviotec in combination with IR-lighting is a suitable fire protection system to detect fires as they occur. Operators of warehouses that contain packaging material and are not illuminated at night or warehouses that have no lighting at all can benefit from this, for example, so that the risk of fire is significantly reduced from the outset due to lack of electricity. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) does not require the installation of power lines for Aviotec. In conjunction with IR lighting, Aviotec's new firmware version also reduces the risk of fire in industries that work in two shifts and do not use conventional lighting at night. Aviotec also offers a reliable solution for aircraft hangars, where visible interior lighting has been deliberately omitted for reasons of burglary protection outside working hours. The same applies to archives with particularly valuable documents and correspondingly high fire load. In all these cases, Aviotec ensures a particularly fast and reliable fire detection, since fires can be detected directly at the source of the fire without the need for the smoke to reach a fire detector. Video-based fire detection Aviotec can be used in almost all areas of fire protection, whether in daylight or poor lighting conditions "From daylight to poor lighting conditions to situations where there is no visible light at all - since the market launch of Aviotec in 2016, we have continuously been setting new benchmarks in video-based fire detection,” comments Soeren Wittmann, Product Manager at Bosch Building Technologies. "This means that this promising technology can now be used in almost all areas of fire protection." Additional benefits of video surveillance and analysis The intelligent video analytics is directly integrated into Aviotec. In all environments, the installed cameras can be used simultaneously for fire detection and video surveillance, further reducing the installation and operating costs considerably. VdS and CSIRO TS010 certified solution As the first solution for video-based fire detection, Aviotec has already passed the demanding test procedure of VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH in 2018. Not only functionality and reliability were confirmed, but also the high immunity against false alarms. In addition, Aviotec IP starlight 8000 received certification according to the Australian standard CSIRO TS010 for video-based fire detection systems in April 2019. The firmware version 7.72 of Aviotec IP starlight 8000 is now available. Operators of existing Aviotec solutions can upgrade their system to the new version by a free firmware update.
UNION is urging security installers to ensure they are ready for the new UKCA mark, which is replacing CE marking for products sold in Great Britain. This includes products such as fire-resistant and emergency locks, panic exit devices and door closers. The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is the new product marking system that will be used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain. It covers most goods that previously required the CE marking. CE marked products From 1 January 2021, all new products launched in Great Britain must be UKCA marked, with the CE mark no longer being recognized in the UK from 1 January 2022. For existing CE marked products, there will be a ‘coexistence’ period until 31st December 2021, where these goods can continue to be sold in Great Britain until then. UKCA marking must be undertaken by a UK-recognized ‘approved body’ During this timeframe, it is expected that manufacturers will take steps to ensure existing CE marked products will have the UKCA mark applied in time for 1 January 2022, when the CE mark will cease to be recognized in the UK. UKCA marking must be undertaken by a UK-recognized ‘approved body’. An EU notified body, which would previously have been called upon for CE marking, cannot be used for UKCA marking. Northern Ireland protocol To meet this need, UNION is already taking measures to ensure all the relevant UK product marking deadlines are met. The company is ensuring all of its new products launched into Great Britain from 1 January 2021 will be certified using a UK approved body and have the UKCA mark applied. Then, for its range of existing CE marked products, UNION is already progressing UKCA marking for these solutions too, ensuring they are properly certified in time for the 1 January 2022 deadline. All relevant documents, such as labels, product packaging, marketing materials and instruction manuals, are being updated accordingly as well. It’s important to note that products being sold in Northern Ireland will be subject to a different set of criteria, covering UKNI and CE marking under the Northern Ireland Protocol. Door opening solutions It is everyone’s responsibility throughout the supply chain to ensure that properly certified products are specified" Richard Bromley, Business Development Director at the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, said: “Understanding the new rules and regulations surrounding the UKCA mark, and the deadlines when CE marking will no longer apply for products sold into Great Britain, can be a lot for security professionals to get their heads around. As such, we want to reassure our customers that they can have every confidence that our products will be properly certified to the appropriate UK product marking standards, meeting the fast-approaching UKCA and UKNI deadlines.” “Nevertheless, it is everyone’s responsibility throughout the supply chain to ensure that properly certified products are specified. As such, we would urge security installers to make sure they do have a solid understanding of what the correct product marking entails and the timescales that are being worked towards.” “It is vital that security products and door opening solutions with the appropriate product marking are being specified and installed. If you do have any questions or concerns surrounding the new UK product marking, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to go over these with you.”
What is the status of the operational fleet? Which vehicles are ready for operation? What condition are they in? Where are the vehicles now? What and how much operating and extinguishing agents (water, foam, etc.) do they have on board? RDS Connected Fleet RDS Connected Fleet provides this and all other information required to prepare for operations. Connected Fleet is the further development of the proven service for fire vehicle management system with new hardware, user interface and functions. It not only provides real-time information on the ‘state of health’ of an operational fleet, but also logs all vehicle-related data including error messages for post-operational briefings. Fire departments, therefore, have a complete overview of their vehicle fleet at all times and can manage it digitally with Connected Fleet in an easy, quick and efficient way. Full operational documentation of the fleet Connected Fleet produces complete operational documentation for each vehicle Connected Fleet produces complete operational documentation for each vehicle. As soon as it leaves the station and until it returns after an operation, the data is recorded and evaluated. In addition to driving parameters such as speeds, brake actuations, engine speeds, distances traveled and live positions, etc., this also includes information such as when the warning devices were switched on, when the vehicle arrived at the operational site, when it left the installation position or the defined area of operation (geo-fencing), when firefighting work began and how much water or foam and what pump pressure was used to extinguish the fire, to name a few. Automated service planning and management Connected Fleet monitors the technical condition and operational readiness of the vehicle at the same time. Any malfunctions, faults or defects that occur are recorded in real time, described in detail and pro-actively reported to the vehicle operator. Service planning and management is also largely automated with Connected Fleet providing information on upcoming service dates, for example, the next maintenance date for the built-in pump or portable pump, creating lists of defects and documenting maintenance work in the process. The various operating manuals will be stored in Connected Fleet. High-performance telematics modules New, high-performance telematics modules form the interface in the vehicle that docks onto the CAN-Bus. They serve as Connected Hubs for GPS and internet and open up the possibility of setting up a secure WLAN and improving remote services (e.g., remote diagnosis). The Connected Hubs are already integrated in new Rosenbauer vehicles, and there will be a retrofit package for older models. A separate module is available for third-party vehicles and vehicles without CAN-Bus, as well as for vehicles that are to be retrofitted with a GPS connection (e.g., to display the live position). Intuitive user interface and software Connected Fleet can now be used with all common web browsers and mobile operating systems The software and the user interface (UI) were also revised. Connected Fleet can now be used with all common web browsers (Chrome, Safari and Firefox) and mobile operating systems (iOS, Android). It is consistently intuitive to use. The operating routines have been simplified, the interactive design (User Experience/UX) optimized for smartphones and the symbol language of the new Rosenbauer control system RFC LCS adopted. This ensures a uniform operating environment from vehicle control to fleet management. The software can also be used without hardware, for example, to keep a logbook. Enhanced security in data traffic The latest encryption techniques ensure the greatest possible security in data traffic. In addition, the data is hosted on the cloud computing platform Microsoft Azure and, therefore, in Europe. This also ensures a higher speed. In addition, GPS and error messages are now sent with priority and are always available in real time. Numerous fire departments have participated in the development of Connected Fleet, tested the range of functions and, above all, contributed their feedback to the optimization of the user interface. Integrated digital solutions into the fleet First and foremost the Vienna professional fire service, which has been using the Rosenbauer vehicle management system for many years now to manage a fleet of some 80 vehicles. Live operation of Connected Fleet will start on December 15, 2020. All development partners will switch to the new system this year and all other existing customers from January 2021 onwards free of charge. Further digital solutions are in the works and will be available in the course of the coming year to continually simplify the daily work of fire departments.
‘Simple and worry-free Life Safety compliance’, this is what American Fire Protection Group, Inc. (AFPG) delivers every single day, even during a global pandemic such as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The current uncertain environment has required everyone to change the way they do business. One thing that has not changed, however, is the requirement to have a licensed Life Safety company conduct annual, quarterly, and other code-compliant inspections of Life Safety systems and equipment. High importance to Life Safety AFPG remains open while adhering to the guidelines set forth for essential businesses American Fire Protection Group, Inc. cares deeply about Life Safety. Staying compliant with inspections is equally as important now as it was before these uncertain times. Even if a facility is empty or vacated, there are still fire risks. And for an essential business that is currently open, the facility needs to be inspected and serviced to ensure the safety of all employees and patrons. AFPG remains open while adhering to the guidelines set forth for essential businesses and is committed to the safety of their team members and customers. Because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the company has taken necessary precautions to prevent further spread of the virus. This includes committing to social distancing, limiting crew sizes, wearing face masks and gloves, and eliminating tool sharing. Life Safety services for commercial businesses American Fire Protection Group, Inc. provides a wide range of Life Safety services for all commercial businesses. They offer inspections, service and maintenance on the Life Safety Systems, including: Fire Sprinkler Systems Fire Alarm Systems Special Hazard Systems Backflows Fire Extinguishers Kitchen Hood Systems Emergency Exit Lights Wireless Alarm Monitoring Each service that AFPG offers can be aligned with a specific schedule and with minimal disruption to any business. As one of the premier Life Safety solutions provider, the company’s goal is to help bring peace of mind. They are committed to doing their part in keeping customers, employees and communities safe, which remains a top priority.
In any business, fire can cause significant damage and substantial loss of revenue, assets, or productivity due to a period of downtime. However, fires can be prevented through continuous temperature monitoring, as it can detect hot spots or rising temperatures that may lead to a fire. Temperature monitoring, in combination with effective suppression systems, can largely reduce fire risk and safeguard your teams, assets and the environment. How thermal imaging supports fire detection and suppression An effective method of monitoring temperature to aid fire detection and suppression is thermal imaging. Many thermal imaging cameras can work in conjunction with fire detection systems, by providing automatic alerts Thermal imaging cameras work by measuring infrared radiation. Invisible to the human eye, infrared radiation is detectable to thermal cameras, as it releases heat. Thermal imaging cameras measure the amount of heat (or infrared radiation) released from an object or in an area. The findings are then converted into images or videos, which show ‘hot spots’ as bright, orange-like markings, in comparison to cooler areas, which appear dark and blue-like. Thermal imaging cameras are described as ‘non-contact’, as they have the ability to monitor temperatures from a significant distance, providing view is not obstructed. Working In Conjunction Many thermal imaging cameras can work in conjunction with fire detection systems, by providing automatic alerts when the temperature reaches or exceeds a certain limit, or increases at a fast pace. These alerts then trigger an alarm, allowing for quick response and mitigation of high temperatures, reducing the risk of a fire breaking out or spreading. The ability to detect heat or hot spots that are invisible to the naked eye, and untraceable by traditional fire detection methods, such as smoke detectors, prove Temperature monitoring can largely reduce fire risk and safeguard your teamsthermal imaging cameras to be an incredibly effective addition to any business’ fire detection system. Thermal imaging cameras can be connected with fire suppression systems, allowing you to entirely automate your response to fires, meaning you can focus on the safe evacuation of your teams. Systems can be integrated to allow your suppression solution to be automatically released if high temperatures are detected, for example. The benefits of thermal imaging Using thermal imaging to support fire detection and suppression has a variety of benefits, including: Detecting high temperatures before a fire breaks out – the fundamental benefit of thermal imaging is the ability to detect heat or monitor rises in heat before a fire begins. This allows for appropriate measures to be carried out to lower temperatures to avoid risk of a fire breaking out. It can also help to identify shortfalls in existing fire prevention measures, which may have resulted in the increase in temperature, allowing for the rectification of these issues. Detecting smaller flames – due to the ability to monitor subtle temperature changes, thermal imaging has the capability to detect and alert to small fires in early stages, which conventional smoke detectors may not be able to detect. Monitoring even in low-light – as thermal imaging cameras do not require light to be able to capture an image, they are ideal for use in low-light environments. This allows for continuous monitoring at night when facilities are unoccupied, providing 24/7 protection. Protecting in multiple ways – thermal imaging can be used not only for fire detection and prevention, but also for security purposes and equipment monitoring. Their constant monitoring will record any trespassers on-site and can be connected with security alarms to notify facilities owners or managers of a break-in. In addition, the temperature of equipment can be consistently monitored, highlighting any faults that may occur when the facility is vacant Where is thermal imaging best used? Thermal imaging cameras can be an effective form of fire detection in a variety of settings. However, they are often most suitable for use in environments which work with combustible materials, have unconventional infrastructures or have operations involving open flames: Environments working with combustible materials – many businesses, such as construction, waste facilities, manufacturing and agriculture, work with combustible materials. This increases the risk of fire, as combustible materials can easily cause a fire to begin and spread if combined with heat or other ignition sources. Thermal imaging cameras can monitor these operations consistently, to quickly detect increases in heat that could result in spontaneous combustion. Facilities with unconventional infrastructures – across a facility, there are a number of components which can present fire risk. Often, these components are in areas that are difficult to monitor on an ongoing basis. Thermal imaging cameras can monitor specific areas or pieces of equipment, such as boilers or furnaces, to continuously monitor temperatures and alert to any abnormal increases in temperature. Operations working with open flames – in facilities where open flames are used in normal operations, such as on construction sites, thermal cameras can monitor existing flames. This ensures the active fire is effectively and safely contained to one area Thermal imaging cameras are an effective method of enhancing your fire detection and suppression systems, by monitoring temperatures 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to protect your teams, assets and the environment.
Technology and innovation are shaping the future of the fire industry. During 2020, TheBigRedGuide.com published many articles touching on research, development, and new technologies. This roundup will review some of the most popular articles, including links to the original content. Thermal Imaging & Augmented Reality (AR) Combining thermal imaging and augmented reality (AR) enables firefighters to see through smoke, in effect enhancing their vision in the life-threatening environment of a fire. AR capabilities can be deployed in a visor attached to a helmet, and an affixed thermal camera captures the images. The most recent prototype of such a product is a robust helmet design that withstands rough treatment. The system also includes software processing that augments thermal images to enable firefighters to see the outline of objects more clearly, thus enabling their detection in the field. Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) The fire research program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Missoula, Mont., enhanced firefighter safety by improving metrics for determining firefighter safety zones and escape routes, improving and modernizing determination of fire danger, and developing systems and applications such as the Wildfire Safety Evaluator (WiSE) and WildfireSAFE to facilitate the use of these metrics by wildland firefighters. The program has also pioneered the development of metrics for scenario planning and assessing wildfire risk to communities. Internet of Things (IoT) The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding the variety of technical capabilities deployed in the interest of public safety, and smart cities are leveraging IoT data to provide insights and improve operations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is promoting technology development through its Science and Technology Directorate’s SCITI (pronounced “city”) solutions lab. SCITI stands for Smart City and Internet of Things Innovation. Crowd Management & Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has developed a computerized tool to provide data Crowd management can be critical in a fire emergency – or in almost any other emergency situation. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has undertaken a project to develop a computerized tool to provide data and situational awareness about crowds based on computer vision analysis of the video. Crowds have become an unusual occurrence during the COVID-19 pandemic, but sooner or later, life will be returning to normal. When it does, the safety consequences of poor crowd management will again become top-of-mind for many in the emergency response fields. Complexity Of GPS Coordinates A solution to address the complexity of GPS coordinates in an emergency situation, “what3words” is an easy way to identify precise locations using a unique combination of three words. The benefits of what3words for fire and emergency services agencies are already being realized. what3words addresses are shorter, easier to understand over the phone, and built-in error prevention technology allows emergency services to immediately verify the location and correct mistakes. Drones For Firefighting And Fire Prevention Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are expanding their usefulness in the arenas of firefighting and fire prevention, whether in a downtown business district or in fire-prone wildlands. Among other benefits, drones can provide situational awareness, guide emergency response, and perform dangerous duties while keeping fire personnel safe. Drones provide a new solution for extinguishing fires in high-rise buildings, which can occur beyond the reach of fire nozzles and rescue ladders. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Students and faculty at Hongik University are developing AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms The fire service worldwide collects a lot of data, and a university in Seoul, South Korea, is researching how to crunch the numbers using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the probability of fires more accurately and to direct fire departments’ assets where they will do the most good. Students and faculty at Hongik University are developing AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms into a model that can predict the probability of fires and enable authorities to take action to make the city safer. The project has used the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio, a Web portal for data scientist developers. The researchers ran various ML modules until they were able to predict fires with 90% accuracy. Firefighters Health Wellness, mental toughness, and psychological self-care for firefighters are available in the palms of their hands; in a smart phone app. Fire and police agencies can provide their officers access to these and other self-help tools in an app that reflects each agency’s identity and design choices. Employees can be assured that the use of the app is totally confidential. Tracking Exposure Tracking firefighters’ exposure to smoke and cancer-causing materials is important when it comes to assessing liability claims, worker's compensation, and coverage for occupational health claims. Tracking and documenting exposure data for firefighters is easier than ever using the National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) Exposure Tracker App, developed by the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) as part of the NFORS Analytics Data System.
Wildfires represent extreme instances of the deadly destructiveness of fire. There seem to be more wildfires every year, and there are certainly larger and more deadly wildfires all over the world than ever before. Wildfires dominate the public perception of the most extreme consequences of fire. This look back at 2020 will highlight some of the articles about wildfires published by TheBigRedGuide.com, with links to the full-length original articles. The wildfire season in 11 Western U.S. states started out slower than last year. In the first half of the season, wildfires in the Arctic reached new levels, especially in Alaska and Siberia. Larger fires burning Wildfires in the West killed 160 people and caused $40 billion in damage in the past two years, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The trend is toward larger fires burning more acres – especially in years that are warm. Early in 2020, Australia was the epicenter of a wildfire disaster. Persistent heat and drought exacerbated the wildfires, and there have been fires in every Australian state, although New South Wales has been hardest hit. Strong winds have spread smoke and fire rapidly and led to fatalities. Big cities like Melbourne and Sydney have been affected; large fires have damaged homes in the outer suburbs and smoke has destroyed air quality in urban areas. Whole towns have been engulfed in flames. Active wildfire season Another cause of recent wildfires was lightning with more than 10,000 lightning strikes sparking 376 fires In the context of wildfires, even seemingly minor events can have a very large impact. For example, an explosion of blue-colored smoke on Sept. 5, 2020, in Yucalpa, California, was the beginning of a large wildfire in El Dorado Ranch Park. The pyrotechnic device was essentially a smoke bomb designed to send plumes of pink or blue smoke rising into the air, designating the gender of an expected baby. Another cause of recent wildfires was lightning with more than 10,000 lightning strikes sparking 376 fires on Aug 16 and 17, 2020. The global pandemic presented complications for firefighters during what will the active wildfire season. Firefighting manpower could be diminished by the pandemic; training sessions have been canceled, postponed, or conducted remotely. And travel risks undermine the traditional approach of calling on firefighters from throughout the country or around the world to help fight the wildfires. Addressing forest management Social distancing is at odds with the teamwork and camaraderie that characterize firefighting units. Communal basecamps where everyone eats and sleeps together are unworkable during the pandemic. Instead, smaller camps are the rule, and packaged meals are delivered to each camp. Smaller teams reduce the need for widespread quarantine if someone tests positive for the novel coronavirus. Drones are a tool to address forest management and wildfire prevention. Drones are finding multiple uses when it comes to fighting and preventing wildfires. One application is to drop self-igniting ‘dragon eggs’ that spark smaller fires to trim back overgrown forests and help prevent more destructive megafires. The dragon egg system is made up of self-igniting plastic spheres – about the size of a ping-pong ball. Dragon eggs have been an industry standard for years, usually dropped from planes or helicopters. Burnable plant material Researchers are looking to apply new approaches in address the risk of wildfires The spheres are filled with potassium permanganate powder and injected with glycol as an igniter just as they are being dropped. The reaction sets the balls ablaze after about 30 seconds, which is enough time for them to bounce to the ground through a forest canopy. Researchers are looking to apply new approaches in address the risk of wildfires. They include tools such as deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand wildfires and to control their intensity. The model could be used to reveal areas of greatest risk for wildfires. A new deep learning model uses remote sensing and satellite data to trace fuel moisture levels across 12 Western states, in effect tracking the amount of easily burnable plant material and how dry it is. Damaging impacts of wildfires Science shows clearly that the way to reduce the damaging impacts of wildfires and threats to life and property is to proactively manage ecosystems that evolved with fire. This means reintroducing fire in the right ways and places combined with mimicking the effects of fire on forest structure through mechanical treatments. “Rocky Mountain Research Station's Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program (RMRS) focuses on the science of risk management from ways that they can treat fuels and mitigate risks to helping communities assess and mitigate risk and be more resilient,” says Thomas C. Dzomba, Deputy Program Manager and Director of the Fire Modeling Institute. Understanding the underlying causes of wildfires enables us to control them better over the long haul. Enhancing fire science With a primary goal of enhancing fire science, the lab also impacts operational fire response One element is climate change, which has created conditions prone to wildfires by increasing heat, changing rain and snow patterns, and shifting plant communities. But there are also other contributing factors in the growing scale and intensity of wildfires. One is the condition of the forests in Australia, California, and other areas where the incidence of wildfires has increased. In California, for example, it is well known that the forests are unhealthy and in need of more prescribed burns and other thinning efforts. On the front line of turning data into useful information to advance fire science is the WIFIRE Lab at the University of California San Diego. The WIFIRE lab grew out of a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). With a primary goal of enhancing fire science, the lab also impacts operational fire response, increasingly in real time. Wildfire risk monitoring The tragic Camp Fire in November 2018, which burned for 17 days in Butte County, near the city of Paradise, Calif., has prompted research to improve risk management and monitoring of wildfires in the future. The vision of the research is ‘a computational platform for multi-level wildfire risk assessment.’ The researchers seek to redefine wildfire risk monitoring and management to provide a platform that can be used by wildfire managers, emergency responders and utility companies to plan for, respond to, and mitigate the risk of wildfires. In Australia, new resources are addressing the growth of wildfires. Preventing and controlling wildfires Andrew and Nicola Forrest have committed 50 million Australian dollars (US$35 million) to the Fire and Flood Resilience initiative through Minderoo Foundation, with a goal of raising an additional 450 million (US$320 million) in direct or in-kind support over the life of the program. The goal of the ambitious investment is to make Australia the pioneer in fire and flood resistance by the year 2025 The goal of the ambitious investment is to make Australia the pioneer in fire and flood resistance by the year 2025. It is an audacious vision that requires an innovative approach, and the organization takes inspiration from the U.S. Apollo mission of the 1960s. In effect, it will be a ‘moonshot’ to advance the cause of preventing and controlling wildfires. Specifically, the first mission, Fire Shield, seeks to ensure no dangerous bushfire in Australia will burn longer than an hour by 2025. Local fire departments The biggest risk of property damage and injury from wildfires comes at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which is defined as areas where structures and the built environment begin to intermingle with wildland vegetation. More and more such areas are being created as humans move near wildland areas to take advantage of their natural beauty and privacy. The ‘Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!)’ Program works to increase engagement by local fire departments with residents that live in areas at risk of wildland fires. A program of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ offers the tools and resources for fire departments to provide more understanding of the risk of wildland fires and the actions residents should take to reduce the risk.
Science shows clearly that the way to reduce the damaging impacts of wildfires and threats to life and property is to proactively manage ecosystems that evolved with fire. This means reintroducing fire in the right ways and places combined with mimicking the effects of fire on forest structure through mechanical treatments. “Rocky Mountain Research Station's Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program (RMRS) focuses on the science of risk management from ways that they can treat fuels and mitigate risks to helping communities assess and mitigate risk and be more resilient,” says Thomas C. Dzomba, Deputy Program Manager and Director of the Fire Modeling Institute. Missoula Fire Lab During the current fire season, the Missoula fire sciences lab has made two major contributions: Risk Management Assessment Team Support The Risk Management Assessment Team has directly supported incidents across the west providing maps, real-time weather, terrain, control feature, and fire behavior data and information to help fire managers determine the best courses of action and probabilities of success for various suppression tactics and strategies. Modeled Risk Of Spread Of COVID-19 Early in the season they modeled the risk of spread of COVID-19 in fire camp and evaluated key mitigation strategies. This information supported agency actions such as social distancing, module-as-one, masks, and testing, which have contributed greatly to the success in minimizing the spread of the disease under very difficult circumstances. The 5-10 year Program Plan Looking ahead to the next 5 to 10 years, the program plans to focus on: Profoundly improving the Forest Service’s ability to manage fire for the benefit of communities and natural resources by improving the understanding of fundamental processes of wildfire behavior and spread. Developing fuel-related tools, products, treatment alternatives, restoration strategies, and accurate forecasting of future conditions to help change the trajectory of increased wildfire and altered fire regimes. Improving the understanding of smoke impacts and how wildfire emissions respond to climate variability and changing landscapes, and developing mitigations. Building on and improving decision support systems, the effectiveness and efficiency of fire and forest management activities, and increasing the safety of planning and operations. Includes developing tools and models to help fire managers weigh trade-offs of decisions in real-time regarding suppression tactics, management strategies, and safety. System Development The Missoula fire sciences laboratory has a long history of producing and supporting systems for management use and will continue to engage in technology transfer in the form of system development. “We live in ecosystems that are historically fire-dependent and have been altered over time by expansion of the wildland-urban interface, external factors such as climate change and the invasion of non-native species, and decades of active fire suppression,” says Dzomba. “Our fire research must align with a more proactive approach to fire management that includes more managed fire on the landscape and a greater focus on restoring landscapes to historical fire regimes as opposed to the reactive approach of addressing wildland fire management after fire is already on the ground.” Balanced Ecosystems Wildfire Risk To Communities website provides interactive information to help communities understand and mitigate wildfire risk. Greg Dillon, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory Western landscapes evolved with fire; it is a necessary component to keep ecosystems functioning and in balance. Science and research clearly point towards solutions for reducing the risk of damaging wildfires, but knowing the answer doesn’t necessarily make it easy to get there. That will take collaboration with local communities, state and federal partners, and science to help managers determine the best places and ways to more safely reintroduce fire to landscapes. Building Resilience There is no one-size-fits-all or magic bullet to make this happen. “Building resilience in our landscapes and communities will take all of us working together,” says Dzomba. “Everyone has a part to play including preventing human-caused wildfires, reducing risks through vegetation management, managing fires in some landscapes when conditions are appropriate, and building in locations and ways that make communities and homes more resistant to fire.”
Alberta Fire and Security in collaboration with CNS Digital Media is honored and proud to announce a new commissioned CCTV System at Corinthia Royal, Budapest. The client, Corinthia Royal,Budapest, requested the design, installation and configuration of a holistic CCTV system by AVIGILON Trusted Security Solution. To come up with a proper compliant solution and a complete coverage, Alberta proposed the installation of a full Avigilon surveillance solution including over one-hundred Avigilon cameras with self-learning video analytics, 48TB Avigilon network video recorder, and Avigilon Control Center video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology. Surveillance camera system Appearance Search video analytics technology uses deep learning artificial intelligence search engine Subsequently, Corinthia Royal Budapest sought to replace their analog cameras by an end-to-end high definition surveillance camera system to maximize protection; to enable proactive event response and facilitate the recording; and to capture and sharing of clear footage. To address the above the Alberta proposed the installation and configuration of Avigilon Appearance Search technology system. Having this high tech surveillance system in place, enables the possibility to search for a person by incorporating unique characteristics of a face and appearance to find similar recorded footage of the same person or vehicle across multiple cameras installed on site, quickly and efficiently. In addition, Avigilon Appearance Search video analytics technology uses a sophisticated deep learning artificial intelligence search engine to sort through hours of footage with ease. Analyses video data Hence, saving the Hotel time and effort during critical investigations. This is possible because Avigilon Appearance Search technology intelligently analyses video data, helping to track a person’s or vehicle’s route and identify previous and last known locations. Alberta Fire and Security takes this opportunity to thank all the people involved and that made this project a success with special thanks to Mr Mate Feher, IT Manager, Corinthia Royal.
As Australia takes careful steps to re-open its borders and economy, public safety personnel have continued to serve on the frontline throughout the nation’s lockdown owing to the global COVID-19 pandemic spread. This year has delivered extraordinary challenges for Australia’s public safety agencies, from managing safety and physical distancing in the field, to maintaining interoperable communication across state borders, during the intense pressure of natural disasters, as well as cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure. APX NEXT mission-critical P25 public safety radio Motorola Solutions has announced the launch of its next-gen APX NEXT mission-critical P25 public safety radio in Australia Motorola Solutions has announced the launch of its APX NEXT in Australia, a next-generation, mission-critical Project 25 (P25) public safety radio with LTE for enhanced communications and secure, data-centric applications. The smart radios feature ViQi, a first of its kind, public safety virtual assistant that enables users to quickly manage radio controls through simple and intuitive voice commands. The highly rugged smart radio is also built to military standards, is fully submersible and has a touchscreen that can be operated in any weather and while wearing gloves. Land Mobile Radio (LMR) communication Con Balaskas, Motorola Solutions Vice President and Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, said the purpose-built smart radio from Motorola Solutions is designed to combat the unique challenges posed by Australia’s tough public safety environment. Balaskas said, “Land Mobile Radio (LMR) communication has always been a first responder’s lifeline. That’s never more apparent than when disaster strikes and teams depend on instant, reliable voice communication to safely manage emergency response.” Interoperable access to voice communication “APX NEXT increases both the value and reach of reliable, mission critical communication, providing interoperable access to voice communication as well as essential application services to pinpoint the location of officers in the field, collaborate via multimedia services and help to keep people and communities safe,” Balaskas adds. He further stated, “With first responders facing new challenges including the need to maintain safety and social distancing in the field, ViQi enables them to control the radio hands-free using voice commands. This helps to ensure they can protect their focus on what’s happening around them at all times.” Embedded LTE connectivity The smart radios are one of the newest mission-critical P25 radio offerings in Motorola Solutions’ APX portfolio The smart radios are one of the newest mission-critical P25 radio offerings in Motorola Solutions’ purpose-built APX portfolio. With embedded LTE connectivity, the radio provides a range of application services to increase safety and productivity, with rich data capabilities and extended voice coverage to improve users’ situational awareness in the field. “APX NEXT was created after more than 2,000 hours of extensive field research and testing with numerous law enforcement agencies,” said Scott Mottonen, Motorola Solutions Senior Vice President of Products, adding “In today’s highly challenging public safety environment, we know that first responders need their technology to deliver reliable communication at all times as well as allow them to work with their eyes up and hands free in any situation.” Purpose-built smart radios The purpose-built smart radio designed for emergency services recently won two Good Design Australia Awards, one for the radio’s design and features and another for the APX NEXT Ownership Experience, which provides seamless management and support for the entire fleet of radios deployed into the field. APX NEXT was also named in Fast Company’s Top 10 Product Innovations of 2019. APX NEXT Application Services The new smart radio uses LMR for mission-critical voice communications and LTE broadband to power new application services including: ViQi: With ViQi, first responders can control key features of the radio via voice command. ViQi Virtual Partner, available from 2021, will enable radio users to retrieve information from remote databases. For example, ViQi, run a number plate to retrieve information from back end systems using the smart device’s artificial intelligence capabilities. SmartConnect: APX NEXT detects when it is leaving P25 coverage and automatically switches to LTE broadband, ensuring continuity of PTT voice communications. It then switches back to LMR when the signal returns without the need for user intervention. SmartLocate: An officer’s location data is automatically sent over broadband to a dispatcher’s mapping console, providing dispatchers with up-to-date location information as fast as every 3 seconds. Leveraging broadband to send frequent location updates frees up valuable LMR system resources. SmartMapping: Built on the same platform as CommandCentral Aware, this application service provides precise location information in a map view on the radio’s display. For example, a police officer can see the location of other officers as icons on a map, quickly locate officers in distress and tap on the icons to send alerts or communicate with colleagues via the radio. SmartMessaging: A multimedia communication tool allows users to securely share videos, pictures, texts and voice notes across extended teams. A dispatcher, for example, can send pictures of a suspect to a group of officers in a specific location, or videos can be shared with a group of officers before they arrive at the scene of an incident. SmartProgramming: The radio’s software and configuration data can be rapidly updated over broadband, even when a police officer is using it. This means APX NEXT users spend less time at the station and more time in the field.
APE Fire & Security were contracted by Sulzer to help install high-definition, IP CCTV with 4K technology at their Avonmouth Engineering Workshop, in Bristol, United Kingdom. The installation was coordinated and planned in great detail to comply with Sulzer’s rigorous health and safety standards at the facility, and was set up to allow for plenty of scope in the future. IP CCTV with 4K technology “From sending out the initial request for quotation through to installation and commissioning, all aspects of the service that APE Fire & Security provides has been excellent. They offer very competitive prices but still with a very good specification.” said Simon Davies, Service Centre Manager at Sulzer. He adds, “Our new CCTV system now provides excellent HD quality images across workshop and yard areas. APE has also now agreed to support us with the maintenance of our existing Fire Alarm System, Emergency Lights and Extinguishers going forward.”
Malta International Airport (MIA) has resumed commercial operations as of 1st July, 2020, post the disruption in flight operations caused due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Thermal imaging cameras at MIA Naturally, the society will undergo a revolutionary change in the way everyone lives and travels, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventive measures have been implemented to lessen the risk of COVID-19 virus spread with temperature screening becoming an important part of daily lives and highly recommended for safe reopening of airports and commencing air travel. With the opportunities given to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect travelers and staff, Alberta Group is thankful for their clients who trust the company’s advanced solutions to provide peace of mind for businesses, customers and employees.
Motorola Solutions has announced that Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service is the first fire service in the United Kingdom to utilize the combined Motorola Solutions cloud-based control room solution, CommandCentral CRS, the data storage solution, CommandCentral Vault, as well as the integrated CAD solution, delivered by Motorola Solutions. CommandCentral Vault By upgrading its operations into one platform, the new solution helps the fire and rescue service in Bedfordshire to manage their end-to-end workflow. CommandCentral Vault, in addition, offers an encrypted, secure and centralized storage solution for all operational digital media assets and associated meta-data. In addition to the Motorola DP4000 two-way radios, used by Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, the new solutions offer a next-generation control room experience, designed to increase operational efficiencies in incident response and streamline processes and critical communications across the organization as a whole. Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service The CommandCentral software offers integrated voice, data and multimedia communications on a single platform Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service serves a population of 665,000. As part of its ongoing digital transformation, the fire service needed to replace its legacy control room functionality. The new control room solution provides the control room staff, which on an average receives over 60,000 calls per year, the best digital tools to respond effectively. It also provides IT staff with a fully reliable end-to-end workflow, which is easy to manage through the cloud. Together with enhanced security and availability, the CommandCentral software offers integrated voice, data and multimedia communications on a single platform where all data is easily captured and processed, so that incidents can be responded to and reported as efficiently as possible. Cloud-based control center The new cloud-based control center simplifies IT management including the ability to scale data capacity at busy times and reduce costs through the automation of tasks, such as reporting, that were previously done manually. A hosted solution also enhances resilience and support for agile working, so that staff can work remotely and from different sites. In addition, being cloud-based ensures equipment is more secure and resilient. Partnership with Motorola Solutions “We strive to provide an outstanding Fire and Rescue Service to the citizens and visitors of Bedfordshire and lead the way with the latest digital technologies to respond faster and more effectively,” said Paul Fuller CBE, Chief Fire Officer at Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service. Paul adds, “Our control room is at the epicenter of our operations and needs to be failsafe so that every vital piece of information is captured and responded to as efficiently as possible. Through our work with Motorola Solutions and 3tc, we wanted to make a future-proof investment and be the first Fire and Rescue Service to adopt full cloud technology for our control room to further improve our robust, 24/7 operation to make us more responsive and help protect our community.” Next evolution of public safety technology Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service is clearly a pioneer when it comes to developing a cloud-based control room" “Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service is clearly a pioneer when it comes to developing a cloud-based control room,” said Fergus Mayne, Country Manager and Head of Sales UK & Ireland at Motorola Solutions. Fergus adds, “As the next evolution of public safety technology, the new solution can be relied upon as it can be managed remotely with 24/7 support with greater resilience. Ultimately, the new platform enables control room staff to focus on the job at hand, resolve the call at the first contact or dispatch resources in the most efficient way possible to protect the public.” mission-critical software solution The CommandCentral software suite is the industry’s most integrated end-to-end mission-critical software solution for public safety that unifies data and streamlines incident management workflows.
The South Holland Fire Department, located south of Chicago, Illinois, employs 24 full-time and 19 paid-on-call firefighters. These employees staff two stations 24 hours a day and respond to nearly 4,500 calls annually. The department protects approximately 22,000 residents with a response area comprised of over 8,000 homes, industrial facilities and commercial businesses. Just a few miles to the west, the Midlothian Fire Department, located in the village of Midlothian, Illinois, maintains two fire stations with 16 full-time and 16 part-time firefighters who respond to around 2,300 emergency calls per year. Mutual Aid Box Alarm System network Both the South Holland and Midlothian Fire Departments are part of the MABAS network Both the South Holland and Midlothian Fire Departments are part of the MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) network, located within the US state of Illinois. MABAS was created in partnership with IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) to establish a statewide, mutual aid response system for fire, EMS and specialized incident operational teams. South Holland is part of MABAS Division 24, which includes 20 fire departments while Midlothian is part of MABAS Division 22, which includes 10 fire departments. Struggle to implement personnel accountability solutions Knowing how many firefighters are on the scene and their exact status during a fire is easier said than done. Fire departments in suburban Illinois were struggling with the implementation of personnel accountability solutions, with time-consuming, manual and inconsistent processes being the norm. Manual attempts, such as accounting for firefighters using a whiteboard or removing Velcro tags from a firefighter’s helmet and handing them to the incident commander were unreliable and inefficient, particularly when firefighters and incident commanders arrive to an incident at different times. Inconsistent firefighter accountability “Firefighter accountability was inconsistent at most of our local stations and simply wasn’t acceptable,” said Stephen (Steve) Hotwagner, Fire Chief with Midlothian Fire Department. He adds, “We wanted to be able to account for all on-the-scene firefighters and enable them to receive and hear incoming safety alerts in the most chaotic of conditions, whether we’re battling a fire in our own village or providing assistance two towns over.” Instant visibility regarding safety of firefighters Fire departments everywhere need faster, more reliable methods of determining when someone needs help In the past, if a firefighter didn’t answer their radio, incident commanders didn’t know for certain if the individual was injured, the equipment was damaged or they’d simply turned their radio off to reduce chatter on the fireground. In treacherous firefighting situations, every second counts. From incident command to the personnel on the front line, fire departments everywhere need faster, more reliable methods of determining when someone needs help and when they don’t. Trusted technology requires investment Technology is an investment. The unfortunate reality is that some fire departments don’t have the budget to invest in technology and improve their fireground operations. Plus, there was a concern that introducing new, complex technology would require extensive on-site management, taxing financial and personnel resources even further. “Fire scenes are complex and dynamic,” said Fire Chief Hotwagner, adding “We knew the more we could standardize our processes, equipment and communications, the safer our first responders would be.” Need for reliable, simple-to-use solution “Complex technology equipment can increase the administrative oversight required, along with the risk of potential failures,” said Bryant Krizik, Deputy Fire Chief with South Holland Fire Department, adding “We needed a reliable, simple-to-use solution that could be easily managed within the cost points that departments in our region can afford.” In modern times, manual check-in processes are a thing of the past. Motorola Solutions partnered with Systems Definition, Inc. (SDI) to develop an innovative approach to personnel accountability. With Motorola and SDI’s solution, commanders automatically receive accountability information at the scene via a computer or tablet as soon as a firefighter turns on their APX radio. Motorola APX radios With APX radios, firefighters have a voice communications and personnel accountability solution in one" The system is based on SDI’s patented method of personnel accountability, using the portable radio as the firefighter’s accountability tool. It combines Motorola Solutions APX radio messaging and push-to-talk actions with fire department unit and member data to considerably enhance the speed and accuracy of firefighter accountability. “With APX radios, firefighters have a voice communications and personnel accountability solution in one - they simply turn the radio on and they’re checked in,” said Midlothian Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Stephen Hotwagner. Single user-friendly interface Critical accountability information is displayed on a laptop in a single screen for incident commanders, integrating multiple tasks into one user-friendly interface. Having all of the information on one screen simplifies the task of monitoring multiple resources to keep the focus on ensuring firefighter safety. In addition to monitoring firefighter status, incident command can also perform robust accountability functions to aid in personnel monitoring. The Personnel Accountability roll call function operates via a push-to-talk (PTT) button press acknowledgment rather than a verbal check-in. This information is automatically captured on the accountability screen and immediately displays if a firefighter does not respond. This eliminates the need for manual reporting, significantly reduces personnel accountability reporting time and reduces fireground radio traffic. Leveraging existing LMR radio frequencies Since both the South Holland and Midlothian fire departments are members of Illinois’ Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS-IL), they had a unique opportunity. Along with other fire departments in neighboring towns, they could take advantage of their existing land mobile radio (LMR) radio frequencies to dramatically enhance day-to-day operations, supporting personnel accountability processes on the same mission-critical radio channels used for voice communications. With budgets tight, the departments decided to apply for funding to purchase new technology enhancing ground operations. Spearheaded by Deputy Fire Chief Krizik, the departments received Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) funding for the purchase of nearly 400 APX two-way radios, integrated with Motorola Solutions’ Personnel Accountability solution. Personnel Accountability solution We have a common accountability system to support 500 firefighters across two MABAS systems" “With funding assistance, we were able to spread the costs among 30 fire departments, which made equipment purchases possible,” said South Holland Fire Department’s Deputy Fire Chief, Bryant Krizik, adding “As a result, we have a common accountability system to support 500 firefighters across two MABAS systems.” Leveraging the Personnel Accountability application is now a routine part of every fireground operation, responded to by MABAS 24 and MABAS 22 fire departments. APX Personnel Accountability System “With 30 departments now operating on the same radios, we saw an opportunity to standardize our operating processes and on-the-scene protocols,” said Deputy Fire Chief Krizik, adding “We trained all of our staff about how best to communicate with incident commanders and other public safety officials, and the importance of following new safety procedures.” “The APX Personnel Accountability System is on our mobile laptops running in the background, collecting data of our on-scene personnel. The system does not require added tasks to manage for busy incident commanders,” said Deputy Fire Chief Krizik. Streamlined roll call process The solution was recently put to the test at a large fire in a two-story residence. Firefighters were already inside when the safety officer arrived on the scene and determined the conditions inside the home were quickly deteriorating. The officer radioed the incident commander to evacuate, who in turn sent an evacuation tone to the firefighters inside the house. Firefighters were outside the home within 30 seconds, an impressive time reduction for a procedure that can take minutes to complete. From there, the firefighters fought the fire from the outside to prevent it from spreading, with all personnel safe and accounted for. Seamless communications for interagency collaboration Thirty fire departments are now all using the same radio capabilities, fostering close interagency collaboration Thirty fire departments are now all using the same radio capabilities, fostering close interagency collaboration and providing instant, interoperable voice and personnel accountability information across departments and locations. “When we come together at a major emergency, we’re all checked in and communication is seamless,” continued Deputy Fire Chief Krizik, adding “First responders can collaborate on a single channel as needed or split off by department, with EMA and fire suppression using shared lines of communication.” Real-Time Safety Intelligence Instant access to fireground personnel status results in better decisions that lead to better outcomes, which help improve firefighter safety. In addition to accounting for all of their personnel, incident commanders can monitor battery life and view off-channel and radio power-down indications received from the firefighters’ radios. “Firefighters are amazed! I can tell when their radio battery is low, if they switched to another channel or turned off their radio. And, I know their names and their departments, even from two towns away,” said Hotwagner, adding “It makes firefighters feel confident that they are being watched and accounted for.”