How Busy is your Department?
  • Just curious as to who some of Active911's busier departments are and how they feel about the service.
    We are just now implementing Active911 into our houses and trucks via webview and iPads mounted in the trucks. All members have also been given access to the mobile app.
    We are located in Southwest Ohio we service approximately 65,000 citizens and have an annual run volume of roughly 12,000 calls Fire and EMS.

    Ben Adams
    Local 20
  • We have about about 3-4k call volume annually for FIRE/EMS First Responder calls.

    We have Webview setup in most of our apparatus, and until A911 makes a native Windows x86 application we will still be having the random issues that happens to anyone using A911 PC Webview in there vehicles, some random some very solid bugs that just do not work properly at any time.

    A911 the app for iPad, works fine - iPhone etc- Android I am assuming as well.. But they are made for those platforms also.

    After 16+ months in testing A911 from Beta, to their Launch - 2nd year renewed subber currnetly..

    The issues I have encountered are:

    GPS doesnt work in IE, (pretty much at all) 

    You cant even have proper touch compatibility (moving maps w/ finger on touch screen laptop/tablet, pinch to zoom etc doesn't work) in Google chrome for example-I have included code for them that has a working Google Chrome compatible map browser w/ pan , pinch to zoom etc working great in  etc, on our same machines., but again haven't seen any fixes or feedback regarding my finds.

    Touch scrolling/pinch to zoom does work, and only works in IE from the many browsers I have tried. 

    IE doesnt have sound because IE doesnt support the .OGG audio format, so if they just coded to support a .mp3 or .wav or something on that level, it would work fine in IE for audible alerts- but they have failed to do this over since the time I reported, and even gave them the code to fix it , since they were in Beta. I even included a .mp3 version of their alert and the code to add to their webview so IE would detect the .mp3, and play it on alerts. They simply just had to copy/paste, and upload the .mp3 ot their server. Though that issue has been left w/ no response, or change.. 

    Google Chrome works better then IE in terms of GPS tests, but maybe 50% of that and fails to update the location of the apparatus, yet Google Earth will mark out a whole hour trip back and forth as a test I conducted without missing a beat on its units location, and we had no issue w/ that. Its definitely a A911 issue w/ Webview, the GPS , and how it updates the map and the units locations via PC Webview in the vehicles on a windows operating system. 

    Also the ability to include pdf box maps at map points of interest on Webview only works on Google chrome to open these pdfs' since it uses google's json code to do so. Unfort Google Chrome is not compatible w/ Webiew on the touch level, pan , pinch to zoom, etc -as mentioned above- so that doesnt help us that it only works w/ google chrome for that functionality. IE doesnt know what to do w/ it when you click the pdf map box book we included as a point of interest, and asks to save a file to the computer for example. I have also offered a easy solution to get this part working in IE but havent heard anything back on that either.

    If Webview ever loses connection even for a second, you are pretty much guaranteed that webview will change to 'Connecting..' status. This means calls won't come into the trucks computers, and nothing works until you refresh it manually to reconnect it. Webview has no 'proper' functionality to detect its disconnected properly, and won't reconnect on its own. A native Windows x86 application made for these functions would be able to detect stability of connection, and reconnect when needed - so this is a big problem using the PC Webview for example in trucks on a mobile level, and stability.

    We have come a long way since Beta, and we have been using this. We have solid antennae installed for maximum Cellular/GPS gain - we have routers that convert sim cards into Ethernet connections. We have hardwired Ultrabook/tablets into the router - and we also recently installed a Start-guard box in the trucks to prevent voltage irregularities when the trucks ignition is turned on. We were getting about 3 volts of irregularity to the routers power connection when we started the trucks, this would randomly cause the router to reset, and thus Webview would disconnect and sit at 'Connecting..' etc. This isn't A911s issue, it was a hardware related issue in my design, and I fixed it - and now the voltage stays where it should during ignition on our trucks for example, and the router stays connected solidly.This is more for a heads up for those implementing a similar setup I have designed for us.

    So that's really the jist of it. A911 needs to make a native Windows x86 app. They know this, they apparently don't have a programmer yet to do so, and it will be going close to 2 years after this year end, and these problems still exist w/ no end to them in sight. Even simple fixes like audible alerts on IE, which I reported, and provided them a .mp3 version of it so it was compatible to IE, as well as the actual code snippet in which they could fix the issue w/ webview, free of charge - they have not responded to, or made any changes to webview to make IE compatible to audible alerts, these all hav ebeen reported since Beta, even after the fix was handed to them completely. I also reported, and suggested them a easy fix regarding not being able to open custom uploaded points of interest on their mapping system in IE. They simply just need to allow us to enter a custom URL instead of uploading to their server - and we could host our own content, w/ our own custom URL pointing to it. When they open the custom URL point of interest, it would simply open OUR content, OUR PDF, and open the box map properly w/in IE for example. This was not responded to, or has any changes been made on this level either for quite some time since I reported the bug.

    yup, so -- Apple, Android - works good. 

    PC Webview in vehicles is very buggy, and not designed for that purpose- but they are aware, fixes have been offered, reports have been made, etc - but ya, nothing has gotten a step closer to things working properly, even for a little on the windows x86 compatibility end for A911. Even w/ multiple fixes/solutions offered.

    Don't get me wrong , A911 is great. I wouldn't spend all this time on this system, and trying to enhance, and make it work stable if I didn't think this.I wouldn't of resubbed our agency another year if I didn't see this product working. I am trying to help them get PC Webview more compatible for the many upcoming adopters for PC native webview running mobile, w/ my feedback, and countless hrs of testing. Thats all I can do, and hopefully we see some changes soon, and most importantly - a Windows x86 app dev hired..

  • Thanks for the detailed account of your system and issues. I have to say A911 not responding or addressing your complaints is not encouraging.
    I'm curious as to why you don't implement tablets?
  • We use Windows x86 software, proprietary to Windows in our apparatus. If it wasn't for needing that, we would be using iPads for sure. Our County is also moving to a x86 native application as well for CAD/MDT, in the distant future with touch response. 

    As for not responding/addressing me personally, they do address on their roadmap that they are working on a x86 app, and that they need developer(s) to do so - I don't think they have obtained one yet though.  As for the particular individual issues I have found, and solutions I have offered - I imagine since its officially not supported for Windows PC's on the go- they can chock it off to 'it's not supported for this usage', and not address them individually.

    That being said - I offered easy fixes to fix some issues , and some even would help the PC Webview needs of those using it as intended - such as dispatchers clicking on their POI's to open box books, and diagrams etc from IE (since this is not compatible in IE) - or simply having an audible alert w/ IE. etc. when calls come in to PC Webview.

    The other issues for touch, pinch to zoom - and GPS tracking - and overall connectivity stability- those are all being stretched from its intended purpose, and I get that.. we will just have to wait for a x86 A911 application that is intended for Windows, Mobile-use in vehicles, and touch screen support.

  • I have implemented the fix for the sounds in IE Webview, that should have gone out 3 months ago, please let me know if it is still not working for you.

    Apologies if our response times to feature requests is a bit slow, most of the time myself and Joseph are digging deep into code and we sometimes forget to check the forums for a couple days.

    Our response time for troubleshooting is much faster as we have a great support staff, and they will usually be able to solve any questions or issues over our phone support.  Our turnaround for troubleshooting is on average less than a day now.

    We are still looking for qualified developers, and we are hoping to get someone on board soon, we have a few promising candidates.

    Thank you again for your support and input!
  • We are a career department and run about 5200 EMS and 1600 Fire calls/year serving a community of about 34,000 people within the city and an additional 20,000+ people in the county of which we provide ALS ambulance service. We cover about 1200sq. miles in total.

    We have been using Active911 for almost a year now and are getting along with it well. I am also helping one of our neighboring volunteer fire districts set up A911. I also use a similar system with another agency I am affiliated with and I prefer A911 to the other system. Our guys mostly use A911 while on duty on their iPhone or Android smartphones. We are just now starting to put iPads on a couple of our Fire Apparatus where A911 will be used. The mapping on the A911 iPhone/iPad app seem to be working well.

    Like Adam, I am very excited for the Windows application to be developed since we use Windows based tablets on our Medic Units for similar reasons that he mentioned. I run the Webview on one laptop at our main station with a LAN connection and seem to have had pretty good success with it using Google Chrome. I would eventually like to get flat screen TV monitors for our 2 stations to run Webview for mapping and alert notifications.

    One of the most difficult issues we have experienced is with the parsing however I believe this is mostly due to the very outdated CAD system that we are using along with the unpredictability and inconsistence of how calls are entered and updated by our Dispatchers.

  • Brandon, I'm glad things are going well for you.

    I assume you've talked to the support staff to see if there is anything they can do with the parsing?  They have a lot of cool parsing techniques these days...