It’s no secret that Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) provides considerable value to incident management. The ability for emergency responders to view the geographic location of an en route vehicle, whether through CAD or other systems, has become widespread across large agencies and smaller rural departments.
Over time, we’ve learned that Fire departments, EMS agencies, ambulance services, police officers and dispatch center all benefit from knowing where a vehicle is in real-time leading up to a response event. But what happens after first responders arrive on the scene and exit these vehicles?
At 3AM, we extended our AVL capabilities on scene to provide “APL” – Automatic Personnel Location – to first responders. APL can enhance AVL while also contributing entirely new and valuable information to the response effort. With APL, firefighters use today’s most powerful technologies to dramatically enhance situational awareness throughout the course of each and every call.
"The most pressing technological need for firefighting is improved situational awareness on the scene of an active fire."*
Here’s how it works:
While you’re en route to a scene, you run 3AM’s integrative software on your MDT or existing tablet. There you will see all the information you need – CAD information and transcripts, current hydrant statuses, arriving vehicles, plans, even 3D maps of the location, and more – on a single screen. This gives all responders critical information about the area before they arrive, saving valuable time and dramatically increasing situational awareness and on-site preparedness.
That’s when APL kicks in. As your staff exits the vehicle, 3AM software seamlessly monitors their movements. Without changing screens or clicking on device settings, the incident commander and all responding units can view live location data for individual responders on an X, Y and Z axis. They can see what floor a first responder is on inside of a building or watch the path a wildland firefighter takes as they traverse a rocky landscape. Vitals such as biometric data or SCBA telemetry data can also be monitored, further enriching the information that’s available and dramatically enhancing the actions that can be taken.
Where AVL can tell you where the vehicle or apparatus is, APL can tell you how many people are onboard, optimizing work zones and task assignments. APL can also perform detailed resource tracking to let you know who, specifically, is arriving. This provides a powerful boost to firefighter accountability and informs incident commanders of the specialized first responder training and capabilities of incoming personnel.
The combination of AVL and APL can reveal powerful insights to firefighters and first responders without changing how disaster response teams operate. The visual representation of relative distance and distribution of on-site responders, as well as information about who they are, how they arrived and what path they took, dramatically improves task assignment, fatigue monitoring, and evacuation planning.
In the end, APL provides powerful resource tracking technology for the fire service. And that, in turn, helps incident commanders and individual firefighters protect themselves and the communities they serve.
Do you want to learn more about APL? Schedule a meeting with us or call (716) 249-4711.