Monthly Archives

June 2016

Alerting Fire Station Personnel in a Heart-Friendly Way

By | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The following is written by By Jeff Mascola, Product Manager, PURVIS Systems:

While rapid response is critical when an alert comes into a fire station, it’s just as important that only relevant personnel are notified – and in a heart-friendly way.

According to “A Guide to the Recognition and Prevention of Occupational Heart Disease for the Fire and Emergency Medical Services” published by IAFF, studies have shown that noise exposure is tied to a small, but measureable, increase in risk of heart disease. Specifically, the manual underscores: “The characteristics of the noise that have been associated with heart disease include unpredictability, a lack of meaningfulness, high volume, and of an intermittent nature.” These are the very characteristics associated with Fire Station Alerting Systems (FSAS). And these findings are one key reason PURVIS offers zone management as part of its FSAS.

Designed with input from firefighters, the PURVIS FSAS takes into account their highly sensitive needs. The system supports heart-friendly configurations, including ramped audio and night-vision lighting to reduce the startling effect of full-strength audio or visual alerts on sleeping first responders. Zoning options allow alerting by unit, incident or code type for alerting on a “need-to-know” basis.

Speakers and/or lights can be automatically activated in select rooms based on the type of alert or zone, such as dorm room and apparatus bay, and unit, such as engine or rescue, for example. The alerts can also be configured specifically for the incident type, such as hazmat, fire alarm, active structure fire, gas leak, or medical, to name a few.

In addition to general zoning on the station – such as shutting audio on and off at pre-determined times – stations can choose specific audio zones, and assign common areas (such as the kitchen) to be alerted every time. They can even set up outdoor speakers and designate them as a separate zone for specific day/night control.

The PURVIS FSAS also makes it possible for fire stations to configure and zone visual alerts in the same way. Plus, stations can associate certain color LEDs with the incident type, such as red for fire calls, blue for rescue and green for hazmat. They can also  have the color designations configured to match the needs of the personnel or unit on duty. At the same time, the PURVIS FSAS can activate lighting in common areas for every alert, such as hallways, so that first responders can safely traverse the station.

A dorm remote allows users to select alerting preferences for dorms and other rooms . Rooms can be dedicated as a certain zone, or can be dynamically figured. The dynamic configuration is helpful for rooms that are used for different purposes, such as a dorm room that is used by an engine company one day, a ladder company the next, and a rescue team on another day.

Rather than alert all on-duty personnel, the PURVIS FSAS alerts only the relevant personnel, while also making it easier for on-duty first responders to instantly determine whether or not an alert is for them. For fire stations sharing a common dorm or bunk area with multiple apparatus units, officers, chiefs, or other general offices, such zoning is incredibly valuable to fast response and healthy personnel.