When a fire department is enroute to a call, there’s no time to search through old paper files or binders to find the background information firefighters need before entering a dangerous situation.
That soon won’t be an issue for firefighters in Memphis, where city leaders in 2022 invested in an integrated software solution from Hexagon and FlowMSP. Within Hexagon’s industry-leading computer-aided dispatch system, HxGN OnCall Dispatch, firefighters can get quick and easy one-button access to FlowMSP’s groundbreaking pre-incident planning system.
Thanks to the Hexagon and FlowMSP partnership and technology integration, firefighters can use the HxGN OnCall mobile app to pull up important info on the way to the scene. HxGN OnCall has the dispatch information – location, incident type, updated CAD notes, mapping and routing. With one touch, they can also have access to FlowMSP’s pre-planning information on almost any building in the department’s call area.
How it works
First responders on the way to a fire realize they’re dealing with an unfamiliar building with potential dangers. They click the FlowMSP button within HxGN OnCall and tap on the incident to which they’re responding. Tap a picture of the structure and they’ve instantly got all building and occupancy information, fire hydrant locations and required flow rates, photos of the building and surrounding areas and more.
In fact, through the mobile app they can get that pre-planning information as soon as the dispatch goes out “even before they get their bunker gear on,” said Jason Marvel, CEO of FlowMSP.
With the Hexagon and FlowMSP integration, not only are firefighters armed with critical information right out of the bay, but new information coming in through dispatch also is automatically updated and available in the firefighters’ mobile devices.
Hexagon and FlowMSP first put their tech together last year in DuPage County, in the Chicago metro area, which uses Hexagon’s I/CAD system. Today, firefighters there have access to pre-fire plans on 40,000 buildings in Illinois’s second most populace county — collected by 31 different fire departments.
The full integration of the two solutions has been live in DuPage County since mid-2022. It’s scheduled to go live in Memphis in September. In the meantime, Memphis fire marshals and inspectors are busy uploading data to the FlowMSP system in advance, which will save precious time during a fire or other emergency.
“When we go live, all the data will already be there,” said David France, executive sales consultant for Hexagon.
No three-ring binder
The preplanning can be done in as few as five minutes on any mobile device, said Marvel. He first devised FlowMSP’s pre-planning solution after watching a local fire chief preplan a building using an orange measuring wheel, a Nikon camera and a pen and paper. It took an hour and 20 minutes, and even then, the information was accessible only in a huge three-ring binder.
Today, the FlowMSP solution can gather all necessary information via smartphone in less than five minutes. Most of the preplan information is relayed via photo, and for good reason.
“You’re 11 times more likely under stress to remember a visual cue than something that’s been written,” Marvel said.