PURVIS Systems Uniquely Positioned for Continued Growth

By | Blog | No Comments

Middletown, RI, October 1, 2018 – PURVIS Systems, a leading IT systems and services provider for the Public Safety, Federal and Department of Defense industries, is strategically positioned for growth as qualified Joseph Drago steps into the Chief Executive Officer role on October 1, 2018.

Drago, an experienced executive, has a successful, 20-year track record working closely with PURVIS. As founder, sole-owner, and President of Integrated Management SOLUTIONS, Inc. (IMS), Drago has led the IMS team in providing project management, test and evaluation, and logistics support to real-time system implementation and maintenance projects across Public Safety, Gaming and Defense industries. Since 1998, IMS and PURVIS have been close partners, with IMS responsible for project management, training and testing services for every PURVIS Fire Station Alerting System™ implementation and overall program management for PURVIS’s New York City Fire Department (FDNY) contracts. Further, Drago joined PURVIS’ Board of Directors in 2001 and was subsequently elected Chairman in 2017.

“I’m grateful and excited to get started in this new role at PURVIS,” says Drago. “PURVIS has seen significant growth while under Steve Massed’s leadership: we expanded our presence throughout the US, grew our client base, increased strategic partnerships, achieved greater financial stability, and retained top talent. We are uniquely positioned to maintain momentum and continue on this growth trajectory, and we have an incredible team who understands our vision for the future and is committed to advancing our systems and services.”

In his new role, Drago will be responsible for driving the strategic direction and development of the organization. “Joe understands PURVIS extremely well and has the industry experience to thrive in this dynamic environment. His commitment to the organization’s values and strategy is perfectly aligned with PURVIS’ goals as we enter our next chapter,” says current President Steve Massed, who is retiring in October. “It’s been an honor to serve as President of PURVIS Systems for the past two years, and I look forward to working as a Board member with Joe to continue to grow our position as one of the most reliable and responsive systems and services providers in the market.”

Boston Fire Department Tests Automatic Voice Dispatcher

By | Blog | No Comments

From the first electric fire alarm system in the world, to the first automated voice dispatch in our area, the Boston Fire Department is at the forefront of technology, using newer equipment to help them dispatch calls faster.

Steve Keeley, the Superintendent of the Boston Fire Department’s fire alarm division, gave NBC10 Boston a look at the “Purvis Systems” alerting system.

Read More

Veterans in the workforce

By | Blog | No Comments

Internship program helps ex-military members get back on solid ground

MIDDLETOWN – In her role as a supply specialist in the Army, Johanna Bravo said there was always structure to everything she did.

Details like when deliveries were made were planned down to the minute in Iraq, where Bravo served from 2006-2007. That included time behind the wheel driving heavy-duty, armored supply trucks with thick bulletproof glass and under armed guard.

Or in Guantanamo Bay from 2009 to early 2011, where she helped transform a “black hole” supply depot into a state-ofthe- art operation, work that earned her wide recognition in the Army.

Read More

Reducing FireFighter Stress Levels

By | Blog | No Comments

Occupational stress is inherent in firefighting and emergency response. But at no time in the history of the American fire service has this been more acute—as the increase in arson, acts of domestic violence, terrorist acts, automobile accidents, airplane crashes, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes will attest. The rigors of firefighting, rescue and victim extrication are such that only the bravest among us need apply.

Other stresses on firefighters are more subtle, such as the effect of receiving alerts in the fire station – especially at night. Interrupted sleep, startling alarms and bright lights take their toll immediately as heart rates soar in response to alerts and again later with the onset of fatigue due to sleep deprivation. Read More

Current State of Turnout Times

By | Blog | 3 Comments

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has set a six-minute guideline for fire department response time to a fire emergency. The composition of the standard is one-minute for the dispatcher to receive the alarm and then notify the first-responders; one-minute for the fire station personnel to get on the road; and four-minutes of drive time to the fire. The NFPA further recommends that each of these goals should be achieved 90 percent of the time. Read More

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.

How PURVIS FSAS Monitors its Own Health

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

With so much riding on a Fire Station Alerting System (FSAS), it’s critical that departments are fully aware of any operational issues as soon as they occur. Automated fire station monitoring allows designated personnel to quickly determine equipment problems within the fire station such as failed communication hardware, downed connections and backup power system operation. Sophisticated self-monitoring provides visual and audible notification and can tie into text messaging or email servers for real-time notification of a network or alerting system malfunction. This enables fire service personnel and the FSAS system vendor to proactively correct the problem, maximizing system uptime and reducing the chance of a missed call.

Automated system monitoring in action

Here’s how PURVIS FSAS monitors and reports on its own health. PURVIS FSAS monitors the status of each connection between its devices (controllers and IP-based devices) and the dispatch center in real time using “heartbeats,” or polling. The PURVIS FSAS also uses heartbeats to monitor its connection to a department’s CAD system. This includes both the outbound connection to station(s) as well as inbound data from the CAD. The FSAS sends heartbeats at a default interval of every three seconds, but the interval can be configured to suit a department’s preference and needs.

Each corresponding device responds immediately to the heartbeat request. This back-and-forth communication allows the FSAS to verify connectivity. If the FSAS does not receive a heartbeat within a specified time period and after a specific number of allowable failed heartbeats, the connection is marked “down.” Note that some other FSAS systems are unable to identify a failure until as much as one-and-a-half minutes have passed. Because the PURVIS FSAS heartbeat internal is configurable, fire departments can identify failures in as little as nine seconds.

Sending real-time alerts

PURVIS FSAS monitors and sends alerts over all connectivity paths simultaneously, ensuring no delay in sending failure alerts to the fire department. When a connection is marked “down,” the FSAS reports the failed connection on the FSAS dispatch management console via both an audible and visual alert, ensuring compliance with NFPA 1221 standards. The PURVIS system also automatically sends these alerts to the affected fire station(s) and via email to designated personnel, and can also send alerts via SMS text messages if desired. The alert identifies the station(s) impacted and the devices that have failed.

In case of network failure…

In the event that a department’s main network (for example, Fiber Optic connection) completely fails, the PURVIS FSAS Station Control Units (SCUs) detect the loss of communication between the stations and the FSAS central servers. At that point, the SCU in the affected station(s) defaults to radio bypass mode. Since PURVIS FSAS sends all dispatch alerts over all IP network and audio-over-radio paths simultaneously, the automated text-to-speech announcements get fed from the fire station’s radio through the SCU to the worksite speakers.

Reduce Costs and Streamline Procurement of Fire Safety Alerting Systems with the FireRescue GPO

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Many fire departments and municipalities find themselves making tough budget decisions in today’s economic climate. Yet it’s imperative that they are using the most advanced equipment and systems, such as ones for fire station alerting (FSAS). To save money while reducing overhead, more and more departments and municipalities are taking advantage of the power of group purchasing. And through FireRescue GPO – a program of National Purchasing Partners Government Division (NPPGov) – they can do just that. This national group purchasing program offers cost savings to public entities, facilitating the creation of publicly solicited contracts on behalf of its tens of thousands of members nationwide. This also saves time and streamlines the purchasing process since municipalities don’t have to go through a time consuming and labor intensive RFP process of their own.

How it works

FireRescue GPO operates in partnership with Western Fire Chiefs Association, which manages the FireRescue Advisory Council, and a revenue-sharing program with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, their Divisions and the State Chiefs Associations. NPPGov uses a lead public agency to solicit and award contracts through a public Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Because these contracts comply with government purchasing regulations and include “piggybacking” language, fire departments and municipalities that become members can use them in place of their own RFP process. PURVIS is on NPPGov’s fire station alerting system contract.

The PURVIS FSAS is an award-winning, IP-based alerting solution designed to automate the process of alerting fire and rescue personnel, enhance communications, and decrease response times. Its rich features and functionality proactively support the day-to-day operations and environmental health, comfort and safety of first responders.

Benefits of participation

Fire departments and municipalities have much to gain by becoming members of the FireRescue GPO. For one, they eliminate the RFP and bidding process when they want to purchase or replace their FSAS. Along with that, they avoid the need to fill out spec sheets and other forms associated with the RFP process, while greatly reducing the procurement cycle. Just as important, this streamlined process obviates the need for senior fire officials to dedicate valuable time to a lengthy procurement process. Moreover, member stations and municipalities can take advantage of discounted rates, for welcome cost savings.

To learn more, contact John Kinner at 877.360.5023 ext 103 or jkinner@purvis.com.

PURVIS Contributes to Success of F.I.E.R.O. Fire PPE Symposium

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

Middletown, RI (Oct 5) – When F.I.E.R.O.’s Fire PPE Symposium opened in Raleigh, NC, last month, PURVIS Systems was prominent in both speaker and exhibitor roles.

Rick Foster, Vice President, PURVIS Public Safety Division, was a featured speaker at the four-day event. His presentation, Critical Success Factors for Selecting a Fire Station Alerting System, offered nine essential guidelines drawn from actual PURVIS installations, including those at Charleston County, SC; Plano, TX; the District of Columbia, and the Cities of New York and Boston. A white paper, which summarizes the key points made during the presentation, is available by clicking here.

As an exhibitor, PURVIS Systems provided PPE attendees with information about the superior alerting technologies it can bring to fire station design, construction and modification.

The not-for-profit F.I.E.R.O. (Fire Industry Equipment Research Organization) hosts annual symposia that recognize exceptional station design and give fire service personnel the tools to make responsible technological and fiscal decisions. The biennial PPE symposium focuses on personal protective equipment.

To read about recent PURVIS Systems success at implementing fire station alerting solutions that help agencies decrease fire department call processing and turnout times, click here.

Tuning into the Promise of P25 Digital Radio

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

When it comes to responding to an incident, first responders rely heavily on communications from the dispatch center. For years, these communications have been delivered strictly as voice and data over analog radio. But the Project 25 (P25) standard changed that, making it possible to send data and voice over digital channels.

P25 outlines standards for digital radio communications used by public safety agencies in North America. The idea is that any agencies and response teams – whether federal, state/province, or local – using radio equipment compatible with P25 standards can easily communicate with one another. And because one requirement for Phase 1 P25 digital radio equipment is backward compatibility with analog radios, even counties and departments still relying on standard analog radios can take advantage of P25.

Though communications over analog radio are reliable, sound quality can suffer without a strong radio signal. Voice quality of P25 is superior, even at low or noisy radio frequency carrier levels. That’s because background noise is typically removed as voice is converted for digital transmission. And to top it off, P25 supports encryption for the safe transmission of information, giving users the option to select either clear (unencrypted) or secure (encrypted) communications.

PURVIS support for P25 radio in action

Those using the PURVIS Fire Station Alerting System (FSAS) can choose to deliver both audio and data over a P25 radio network because PURVIS supports P25 IV&D (Integrated Voice and Data). This means counties can ensure interoperable radio communications within a jurisdiction, as well as within departments and agencies in the same community.

To date, departments in Washington DC, Boston, Charleston County among others have taken advantage of PURVIS’ support for P25.

PURVIS worked closely with Motorola to develop an integrated solution for transmitting FSAS data over the P25 IV&D radio network in Washington DC. Through this process PURVIS software was validated to allow data communications with the Motorola P25 radio core. PURVIS FSAS sends incident data to each station on the DC P25 IV&D radio network through this Motorola radio core. The district was able to free up a previously used analog channel when the move to P25 was complete.

In Plano, TX, data dispatches are sent over digital radio and the fiber optic network, while voice is sent over the analog radio dispatch channel. Because Plano uses the PURVIS FSAS to send IP data packets over the air to fire stations – essentially like sending a wireless message – there’s no need to worry about lost communications due to a cut fiber optic network line.