Integrations with Emergency Reporting
  • Hi Gentlemen,

    Active911 has been approached by Emergency Reporting about the possibilities of integration.  We are at the point in our talks where we are considering what to implement and how to implement it.  My questions to those of you who use Emergency Reporting and Active911 together:

    Is there anything you wish Active911 had from Emergency Reporting?
    Is there anything you wish Emergency Reporting had from Active911?
  • I would like to see emergency reporting import information from active911 such as hydrant coordinates or vice versa. It would also be beneficial to import the call data from active911 into the narrative of Emergency reporting. It might be a bit much but if active 911could have a link when called to a certain address to show previous calls tied to the same address. Just a few thoughts.
  • Access to pre plan data saved in ER.
    Let ER get in route, on scene and in service times from A911 button pushes.
  • It would be great to import the personnel responding. As for the above having the call info loaded into the narrative. To have the preplan info preloaded into Active911 and vice versa would be helpful.
  • I agree with all of the above. I would also like to see a dashboard for data, such as call processing, turnout, dta, cta.
  • Bill,

    I am not familiar with a few of those acronyms.  Can you elaborate more?

    With the preplan info sync, do you guys put the data in both places right now?  Is the data the same, different, or a hodgepodge?  Would you care about where the data was stored when looking at it within our clients(ie a visual cue for ER data)?

    How often would you expect a sync of alert responses/narratives?
  • Here is our compiled wish list:


    Things from Active 911 to Emergency Reporting
    • Populate a call with
    • Address
    • Call Type
    • Incident #'s (the county's and ours)
    • Incident Unit times
    • Units
    • CAD Notes
    Things from Emergency Reporting to Active 911
    • If Occupancy data exists for the address
    • Pre Fire Plan
    • Occupancy type
    • Contacts
    • Pre Plan notes
    • Images
    • Systems
    • Chemicals/hazards
  • Bryan,

    Some od the data that most of us look at: Dispatch processing time,turnout time, call to arrival (cta), Dispatch to arrival (dta).
    As of now we place data in both area, same for hydrants.
    Data is similiar, where it is stored is not important, as long as both programs access the same database.
    It would be nice if the cad updates were pushed as they were updated by the communication center.
  • Dispatch, responding, on scene, etc.  
  • I would need more information to give my opinion.  What is ERS looking to accomplish with this partnership?  Are they going to use the Active911 mapping?    
  • Thanks Patrick, Bill and Erik.

    Brian,

    From what ERS told me, they are just responding to customer requests to perform an integration and get more companies using the API's they are working to develop.  Them using our mapping is something that has not been discussed.   Can you elaborate more on that?
  • I would like to see all or some of the above features as well as call data transfer so when we go to start an incident report we can get the info from active 911 to auto populate the fields in the incident report. I know emergency reporting offers this with CAD INTIGRATION however it's a lengthy and expensive process. I was hoping things could work this way too. Pre plan data transfer to recourses in the map would be amazing And would ultimately seal the deal making active911 and emergency reporting the premier services to use.
  • Currently I administer Emergency Reporting accounts for 2 departments and we use it for all aspects of record keeping, however from reading the posts above, it appears that not all departments are taking advantage of capabilities that ER already offers. To elaborate, we have the following capabilities added to our accounts:

    Google Maps Integration - By enabling google maps integration, modules such as hydrants, occupancies and incidents can be viewed in either the traditional grid view or the maps view. This gives incentive to enter not only the street address but a Lat / Lon into your ER records so that it can be displayed on the map. Hydrants are also color coded on the map to correspond with your flow tests. If an updated flow test changes the rating of the hydrant, the color on the map will change automatically. 

    CADlink - CADlink can be customized to integrate with any existing CAD system at your local dispatch center and will allow for virtually all fields of the call report to be transferred to an ER incident. Currently we get the call number, street address, cross street, unit numbers and times, along with the dispatch narrative. This information is all pushed in real time and leads to the majority of the call report being completed before we even make it back to the station. 

    In my opinion the areas that Active911 integration would be most beneficial are as follows:

    Hydrants: Pull hydrant locations and rating color from ER Hydrants module directly to the Active911 map and poll for updates every few hours. This would streamline the process of manually exporting from ER and importing into Active911 and then having to keep up with changes.

    Occupancies: Pull occupancy name and location from ER Occupancies module to the Active911 map. After the initial map item has been created, sync all pre-plan data and attachments from the ER occupancy and add it to the resources section of that map item. This doesn't necessarily have to be an attachment. It could very well be a form based layout which is accessed from that map items resource button. This would in turn make it easier for imports and updates as ER pre-plan data is already entered in a form/field based fashion. As I mentioned above with hydrants, if this feature could poll for updates every few hours it would reduce the workload associated with having to update pre-plans. 

    Incidents/Personnel: If an ER user could be linked to an Active911 user or device, this could possibly allow a member to hit a specific response button (I.E. if you made on called "POV") on their device and it would add them to the "Personnel involved but not on an apparatus" group. 

    Below are screenshots of the maps integration and CADlink features for anyone who is not familiar with same. 


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  • For Noah H,

    Your post above also has some great ideas, I have some questions in reference to your CAD LINK, I am also the administrators of emergency reporting for a medium sized fire district. When we researched the process our communications center advised us the process to link our CAD TO ER was very time consuming and would require a secondary server to run, and they would not start the process unless we had more than one of the districts in the county using the same service. I'm curious as to which CAD system your dispatch uses and was the process very difficult.
  • Thanks for the great feedback guys.  I think our first step in this integration will be the ability to sync alert/response data.  I've consolidated everything into our idea portal.  Please add any comments you think are missing for the alerting information and the map data sync please leave comments there.

  • Rbailey155,

    Your question is going to be hard for me to answer as the CAD LINK functionality is going to be different for each CAD vendor. Our current CAD vendor is Tri-Tech (VisionAir) and to my understanding they already had a compatible data output which made it pretty straightforward in terms of integration. Your communications center could very well be correct in the information that they gave you if that's what your particular vendor would need to make the products talk to each other. 
  • Emergency Reporting is excellent for getting the reports up to NFIRS and completed using convenient modules. The easier we can make this process the more that we can get our people inputting the incidents in a timely manor.

    In Delaware County, Pa I have spent a lot of time over the last 6 years getting agencies on board with Active911. At the same time I was helping to get them switched over to Emergency Reporting and away from legacy systems like Firehouse Software. Right now all of the information has to be manually entered. That is, of course, unless you shell out the oodles of money that they want for the CAD interface package. At minimum, if Active911 could simply pass the basic information to start a call over to Emergency Reporting that would get the incident started and all the less work that would be needed on the users end. By basic info, I am looking for Address, Nature, Dispatch Time, Event number, and Mutual aid details. Times are great as well, but I do not think most agencies would have arrival, enroute, and clear times in Active911.

    Right now, for most agencies, it is not logical to pay for the integration package. If Active911 users could easily have their basic info forwarded to the ER system, I think that would be a huge selling point to get agencies to switch to Active911 over other similar services.
  • I Agree with Steve C., the basic integration of info from the dispatch to emergency reporting would help facilitate ER approaches. Address, nature of call, on scene or enroute, event number and mutual aid company response time would help along the necessitated info. Thanks for considering these potential integration. Another reason the fire service now considers Active 911 a necessary tool in modern communications.
    A. Lee Burton, Chief
    Crittenden Volunteers
  • I would like to play off of Noah H's images. I would like to see Active 911 be able to update with the "CAD Narrative" as seen in image 1. When smaller departments do not have MDT's and such it would be nice to at least see and read any call note updates as they enter into the call. Updated real-time. 
  • We can already do that Adam.  Support can give you a hand getting it set up (541-223-7992 or support@active911.com)
  • I would like to add to some of the above issues. Our agency is currently exploring the integration between Emergency Reporting and our CAD, but the link between Map data would be extremely beneficial. I would like to be able to update a hydrant location on my Active911 device and have those changes automatically update Emergency Reporting. It would also be great if there was a sync capability that would update Active 911 map points when an occupancy is changed in Emergency Reporting.
  • We currently use ER but are switching over to ImageTrend. I would like to see the same type of integration with ImageTrend as you are talking about here with ER.
    Chief Hardeeville Fire Department
  • We're nearly ready to start getting feedback on the integration that will push Active911 data to ER.

    If you would like to trial this and give us feedback about what works and what doesn't, just leave your Active911 agency name and ER Agency name on this page (https://ideas.active911.com/ideas/A911FEAT-I-132).
  • We have been using ImageTread (FireBridge) since Nov '17 and would like to see an integration with Active911
  • I'm pretty much complete with my integration.  I'll give a little rundown.  Although it's firehouse software, it's probably similar for ER.

    We're in Montgomery County, PA, and our CAD offers no integration.  But we use a third-party package called "Alarm Data Interface" that was originally intended to send test messages upon alerts, and provision multiple printers off of a single POCSAG receiver.  But the program has grown.  Now when ADI receives a "Final" printout, it has the logic to create a firehouse software "CAD Monitor" CSV input file, which has all the info available to it- address, times, call type, etc.  Certainly not complete, but a good start.

    To expand that, I built a little (~700 lines now!) python program and coupled it with a local SQLite database.  The Python program provides additional data not inherent in the data from the county CAD that ADI gives us:   A call to the google maps API gets us more complete address info (CAD doesn't give us city, zip code, nor coordinates); a call to the US census API gets us census tract data (ARCGIS has a bunch of cool incident mapping views which depend upon the census tract); and finally we call the Active911 API to get the responder information (the code has to surf through each incident in A911 until we find a match with the CAD ID).  Then the program calls the SQL database to match up the A911 subscriber ID with their Firehouse Software personnel ID, and populates a CAD Monitor personnel record for each responder.

    Then this all gets uploaded to Firehouse Software and automagically imported.  There's still some manual effort required, but all in all it's much less effort than starting a record from scratch.  And 9 months later I'm still running across anomalies that require some code refinements.  A good example of this is that our  CAD data doesn't give any date except for the dispatch date.  If a call spans midnight, the arrival and clear dates still would go up as the dispatch date, and obviously would throw an error because you can't clear before you're dispatched :).  So I had to write a bunch of spaghetti code logic to recognize this situation and alter the dates as appropriate.  And then if we get a new guy in Active911 & firehouse software, I have to remember to update the SQL table.  And lots of little stuff.

    So, it's quite the science experiment.  I'd love to see all this stuff come from a central location so I can get out of the code maintenance business!