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August 2015

Four Real-World Examples of How PURVIS’ Customer-Focused Approach Satisfies Fire Department Needs

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Recently, a number of agencies have chosen PURVIS Systems as their fire station alerting technology provider. PURVIS’s “all-in” commitment to helping dispatch and fire safety professionals decrease call processing times and turnout times is an attribute that has helped the company differentiate itself from other vendors.

Plano, TX Replaces Limited Alerting System

When Plano, TX decided to upgrade its fire station alerting system across all 13 fire stations in the City, they turned to PURVIS. Plano was interested in transmitting alerts over a modern IP network but the City also wanted to leverage its data enabled radio network as a fully redundant means of transmitting alerts to the fire stations. Additionally, Plano wanted to broadcast automated text-to-speech dispatch announcements over radio and as another form of redundancy and automatically tone out the stations via Quick Call alerts. These multiple communication paths maximize the overall system uptime while also leveraging the City’s existing infrastructure.

In the spring of 2015, PURVIS implemented the PURVIS Fire Station Alerting System™ (PURVIS FSAS™) and integrated it with the City’s IP and radio networks to support the multiple types of communications desired by the City. A major plus was PURVIS’s ability to seamlessly integrate the PURVIS FSAS with the department’s TriTech CAD system to streamline dispatch call handling with respect to incident notifications.

In the fire stations, the system consists of new speakers both inside and out of all 13 stations, along with visual displays in the form of message boards, backup UPS, and turnout timers. PURVIS also installed apparatus presence detectors that sense when the apparatus leaves the drive bay and the PURVIS FSAS then logs and timestamps each turnout time. This allows the department to generate accurate turnout time reports for ISO reporting and management.  In addition, PURVIS installed device relays in each fire station that tie into the department’s existing station infrastructure. These relays control and automate the opening of bay doors, appliances, lighting, and more. Working closely with the fire department, PURVIS identified the parameters for activating these relays. For example, if the EMS and Fire crews are all out on incidents, the PURVIS system will shut off gas appliances when it senses that no personnel are in the fire station.

Montgomery County, MD Opts for a Flexible and Tailored FSAS Solution

Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service (MCFRS) operates 43 locations run by two dispatch centers (one primary and one backup). MCFRS required a fire station alerting solution that was flexible to meet its current requirements and scalable to meet any future requirements. Appreciating that PURVIS is multi-faceted and has extensive experience in systems integration, as well as a company that is committed to listening and delivering on its customers’ needs, the department decided to implement the PURVIS FSAS.

After listening to MCFRS and gathering the department’s requirements, PURVIS is implementing a system that is tailored to the County’s needs and will help to streamline the alerting process, reduce call processing times, and reduce turnout times. The system will interface with the County’s Motorola Premier One CAD system.

PURVIS FSAS hardware in the fire stations will include new speakers with volume controls, monitors for visual alerts, turnout timers, printers, strobe lights, night vision lighting and dorm remotes. The latter allows the department to dynamically change how each dorm room is alerted.  For example, if one day a dorm room is used to house an engine company and the next day it is used to house a ladder company, MCFRS personnel can select what type of alerts will be active in that room with the simple push of a button.

One end-result of the implementation is that Montgomery County station personnel will have the ability to prioritize and listen to multiple audio feeds. For example, audio over the dispatch channel can be monitored while also listening to other audio feeds (such as the weather), when higher priority traffic is not present.

Williamson County, TX Evolves to Automated Text-to-Speech Alerts

This multi-jurisdictional agency, consisting of a dispatch center for 13 fire departments and one EMS department, chose PURVIS to upgrade and modernize its fire and EMS alerting system.  PURVIS is implementing the PURVIS FSAS with an interface to the County’s SunGard CAD System for a fully-automated alerting solution. The system allows the County to automatically deliver tone alerts to the fire stations and broadcast automated text to speech alerts/announcements over the County’s existing radio system.  County fire departments have the flexibility to expand their use of the PURVIS FSAS by adding IP-based communications to the fire stations and selecting from a variety of optional PURVIS FSAS audible and visual fire station alerting device types. Departments also have the option of rolling out the PURVIS FSAS Mobile Application to first responders as another means of providing automated alerts.

Harris County Emergency Corps Standardizes Its Alerting Process

Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) is a private organization located in Harris County, TX and provides dispatching for 16 departments in the Houston area.  When two of the departments it serves – Atascocita Volunteer Fire Department and Pearland Volunteer Fire Department – wanted automated IP alerting alerts in its stations and audio-over-radio alerts for personnel in the field, HCEC chose PURVIS to make it happen while also standardizing the system and the process that HCEC will use for fire and EMS alerts across all 16 departments.

PURVIS is installing the PURVIS FSAS with an interface to HCEC’s TriTech CAD system. When an incident is dispatched through CAD, the alerting system automatically broadcasts the dispatch alert to the appropriate fire department(s) via an audio broadcast on designated HCEC radio channels/talk groups.  For the Atascocita and Pearland Volunteer Fire Departments, PURVIS is also transmitting IP-based alerts to fire stations to activate a variety of in-station audible and visual devices, such as speakers, monitors, lights, printers, dorm remotes, and more.

PURVIS provides the opportunity for regional agencies, like Harris County Emergency Corps, to design a flexible standard that then makes it easy for the constituent departments to integrate and upgrade, as budgets permit.

 

By Jeff Mascola, Product Manager, PURVIS Systems

PURVIS To Speak at 2015 FIERO Fire PPE Symposium

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Learn 9 Critical Success Factors When Selecting a Fire Station Alerting System: Join PURVIS at the 2015 F.I.E.R.O. Fire PPE Symposium

When the 2015 FIERO Conference kicks off on September 27, PURVIS will be in attendance as an exhibitor and as a speaker. Since the first Fire Station Design Symposium was hosted in 2000, it’s become a must-attend event for all those who want access to the latest thinking in fire station planning and design. Whether in the planning phase or in the midst of building a new fire station, fire chiefs and architects can learn about the newest equipment and tools at F.I.E.R.O.

This conference affords an excellent opportunity for those early in the station planning process to consider the impact of modern Fire Station Alerting System (FSAS) technologies on station design. Station alerting can be a key element in the design and planning of a new station or department. And oftentimes a new station is a springboard for deploying new technology such as alerting – whether for that station or across an entire department.

There are plenty of reasons a department or station might contemplate a change or implementation of an FSAS, such as:

  • Its existing system may be nearing the end of its useful life
  • Personnel may be struggling with system reliability or integration issues with the current system
  • It wants to add more sophisticated features to the present voice or tones-only system
  • It is facing regional consolidation or expansion into a new station

With that in mind, our F.I.E.R.O. seminar will focus on what we believe are the 9 critical considerations when evaluating station alerting systems. The insights we will share are drawn from PURVIS’ more than  40 years of deployment of technology and services solutions in public safety and defense organizations nationwide, and with specific Fire Station Alerting System installations in Charleston County SC, Plano TX,  Washington DC, FDNY, Boston and others.

The nine critical success factors that should guide selection of a Fire Station Alerting System are:

  1. Reducing response time
  2. Handling multiple modes of communication
  3. Adopting a flexible deployment architecture
  4. Leveraging existing equipment
  5. Minimizing firefighter stress levels
  6. Considering remote personnel
  7. Ensuring high reliability and accessibility
  8. Designed for service first
  9. Using a standards-based approach

Please join us at F.I.E.R.O. in Raleigh, NC as we explore each of these considerations in detail. You’ll come away with a useful rubric for evaluating Fire Station Alerting System technologies in the context of your next fire station design.

You can register for FIERO at: http://www.fierofirestation.com/registration.html.

Article by Rick Foster, Vice President – Public Safety Division, PURVIS Systems