VTScada software automates fire station alerting system
March 10th, 2011 – DcR Engineering Services has designed a state-of-the-art fire station alerting system that reduces emergency response times by automating the E9-1-1 emergency fire response process. Eighty-six fire stations have adopted this system which utilizes the latest technology in wireless data communications, intelligent process control equipment and VTScada HMI software from Trihedral.
Response Time is Critical
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), there were over 1.3 million fires reported in the United States in 2009. These resulted in over 3,000 civilian deaths, 17,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in property damage. “The most critical factor in the fight to save lives and structures is response time to the fire scene,” says Clark Crain of DCR Engineering. “This system significantly reduces that time by getting firefighters and apparatus out of the station and on their way to the emergency as quickly as possible.”
VTScada software is the core human machine interface that provides mission-critical fire station dispatching for the DcR system. “This is a NFPA 1221 requirement,” says Crain. “Our system has, by far, the best backup alerting system in the industry. If the E9-1-1 call center is unable to send the alerting information to the fire stations, the backup VTScada dispatch system is always on-line allowing dispatchers to manually alert the stations saving valuable time.” From this point on, the station alerting system takes control and simultaneously sends alerting commands to all selected stations, personnel and equipment.”
Automating the Alerting Process
At the fire station, the system automatically alerts the proper fire units, initiates audio voice announcements, pages volunteers, prints out information about the call, shows incident information on large display boards, opens the proper bay doors and, very importantly, turns off appliances. By rapidly alerting stations simultaneously and automating chores that firefighters would normally have to deal with, response times are dramatically reduced.
VTScada also allows the system to maintain logs of all alerting events, notify key personnel cell phones of alerts and alarm conditions, provide a means of dispatching from secondary locations, monitor the alerting system and send an alarm if there is an equipment failure.
Eleven Florida city fire departments and two county fire departments for a total of eighty-six fire stations have started using this new technology to quickly alert their fire stations reducing response times to emergencies.
VTScada is Windows-based monitoring & control software used in a variety of industries on six continents. Thanks, in part, to its strength in telemetry applications; VTScada is widely employed in municipal water & wastewater systems. VTScada is currently handling the treatment of fire hose runoff water from the Military Damage Control Training Facility Kootenay in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This state-of-the-art facility trains firefighters in a realistic ship-like environment.
DcR Engineering Services is a professional engineering firm with over 30 years experience. We are licensed in 32 states and provide full-service design, software development, project management and systems integration services for Fire Station Alerting, SCADA, Wireless Broadband and Process Control systems. Our services range from single task oriented endeavors, through full service multi-discipline engineering and design/build projects.
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