From DIY solutions to professionalization!
Sam Gydé, head of dispatching and ICT of the Ghent Fire Station talks about changes at the fire brigade.
When they receive the call it is often an emergency: eliminating wasps, releasing somebody trapped in a car after an accident, rescuing people who are drowning or preparing safety precautions for somebody who threatens to jump off a roof. Especially in the case of these last examples even the fire brigade will experience high-stress levels. It is therefore even more important to arrive as fast and well-informed as possible at the incident location. Using new Fleet Complete technologies, enabling back and forth communication, one now receives information in an efficient and professional manner.
"The driver must always know what routes he can take; to the incident or to the nearest hospital. Additionally, you would like to stay in touch with central control and be able to share information and status updates. When everyone is informed of the situation, central control knows what the situation is and what vehicle is available for any next incident. Knowing the status of each vehicle is very important to us. The complete planning depends on it."
- Sam Gydé , head of dispatching and ICT of the Ghent Fire Brigade
Reforms bring ‘new era’
In order to achieve an important new reform at the fire brigade, it was essential to also deal differently with information provisioning. Sam Gydé, head of dispatching and ICT of the Ghent Fire Brigade says: “In the past the fireman who was called up received a paper map on which the address was written where they had to go. Navigation was not available in the vehicles. At the time, this was not much of a problem because all firemen were locals. Everyone knew the area like the back of their hands. Several years ago a large reorganization occurred within the fire brigade. From 300 independent fire stations, we changed to 30 zones. So where initially 300 stations did the coordination, we now only have 30 coordination locations. This results in a different way of working from what we were used to. Continuing in the old method of information provision would have resulted in a lot of stress and eventually victims. Due to this reorganization, the fire brigade serves a much bigger area; meaning that fire brigade personnel is no longer familiar in the area. How can you assist them as much as possible? It is, therefore, important to look at equipment and ICT programs and update these so that we can continue to build upon them.”
ICT-programs adapted to each other
The fire brigade was already actively investigating how ‘ruggedized PCs’ could be a benefit. These are special PCs that can be brought along when the fire brigade responds to an emergency; PCs that can handle a few knocks but are also a very expensive purchase. The Antwerp police pointed out its positive experiences with Fleet Complete to the fire brigade; they have special tools to allow the field employees to work as efficiently as possible and they make use of apps for the tablet. “We were faced with a few main issues,” Gydé indicates. “The driver must always know what routes he can take; to the incident or to the nearest hospital. Additionally, you would like to stay in touch with central control and be able to share information and status updates. When everyone is informed of the situation, central control knows what the situation is and what vehicle is available for any next incident. Knowing the status of each vehicle is very important to us. The complete planning depends on it.”
Link results in good collaboration
In order to combine all these wishes, the ICT was scrutinized. “We went over our complete process with Fleet Complete. A number of issues fitted in very well with Fleet Complete’s app. Additionally, we made a link with our in-house systems. The FieldMap of Fleet Complete’s app ensures that we can accurately guide our people to the correct location. This occurs in combination with the GPS-tracking of the navigation system. We had to have a system that we can always, no matter what happens, depend on. Fleet Complete was able to, in collaboration with Ghent Fire Brigade ICT, create the link between the central back office and the systems in the vehicles. In addition to that, we can also see where the vehicle is, how fast the vehicle drives, whether the vehicle has its siren switched on, etc. The latter is important to refute misunderstandings about unnecessary speeding by the fire brigade,” Gydé says.
Now every fire brigade vehicle has a tablet so that the driver and passenger are supplied with all information during the trip to the incident. During the trip the person primarily responsible reads out all information about the building and the area. “They know immediately what the situation is like on location, where the hydrants are, etc. This way we can immediately take action on the incident location. And acting fast saves lives,” Gydé emphasizes.
Efficient dispatching and detailed reporting for fire brigades
Fire Brigade Intervention
Fast and adequate assistance in the digital age. The Fire Brigade Intervention module is an integrated system consisting of software and hardware modules, ensuring more efficient dispatching and more overview in completed activities.
Insight into your field employees using this online real-time reporting tool
FieldDesk is the central real-time and online database part of all Fleet Complete software modules.
From the MGS10 / Time Tracker app / FieldMobile app all information will be sent digitally to FieldDesk and transformed into clear, transparent reports for management and administration.
Display on the online map where your field employees are in real-time
FieldMap will give you total insight into:
- All vehicles and employees on the map.
- You can indicate whether you would like to see the vehicles with the name of the driver or the license plate or a name you generate.
- You can also display addresses on the map that are important to you, for example, your customers, suppliers or projects.
- You can immediately see who is close to an address on the map when.
- Events are immediately visible on the map, such as the vehicle’s driving speed,
- whether the vehicle is stationary
- whether the vehicle is idling