Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services joins Fire Dispatch Communication Centers throughout British Columbia as it goes live with Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software technology provided by FDM Software Ltd.
“Our CAD implementation is part of an ongoing, staged process,” explains Dave Lind, Deputy Director of Fire & Emergency Services for the City of Cranbrook. “We have been revamping the whole district of the East Kootenays (Cranbrook Fire/EMS provides dispatch services to 15 departments besides its own), looking for a solution that would help us optimize resources and provide the highest standard of emergency response. This is a huge job, and FDM’s solution is a very important component of that ongoing effort.”
Integration is the Key
In selecting FDM, Deputy Chief Lind explains, “We looked at other systems. Since we were already working with FDMs RMS, and FDMs CAD solution works very nicely with that, we decided that would be our best bet.”
Cranbrook Fire/EMS was able to identify Unique Zones where they service surrounding departments for Fire, but not for EMS. This data allows Emergency Dispatch to deploy the most appropriate apparatus for each call. Says Lind, “There is real value in knowing which resources are required, which are already out and which are available.” Besides improving the response, having access to highly detailed information on a moment’s notice improves responder safety and streamlines reporting.
Cranbrook Fire/EMS has found a further benefit of integrating their CAD with their RMS: data entered in one system goes directly into the FDM RMS, auto populating elements, for example, of an incident report. Says Deputy Director Lind, “This makes writing up incident reports a lot more efficient, and increases the consistency and accuracy of the report — details like Time of Events don’t have to be entered in two different systems as before, which created more opportunity for inaccuracy.”
Deputy Director Lind also cites the GPS mapping component of CAD as a key benefit of the new system. “We can now provide a visual on wireless phones: When a caller on a cell phone contacts us, with little or no knowledge of their whereabouts, their approximate location will display on a map, allowing us to quickly identify and send out an appropriate response. In the past, we had to interrogate the caller and expend critical time to determine where they might be.”
Customization and Support
Shortly after the initial implementation, Deputy Chief Lind requested FDM program Cranbrook Fire/EMS’s Response Matrix and Incident Benchmarking into the CAD software. This resulted in a greater consistency of data entry from shift to shift as information gathering and forms are now standardized to Cranbrook Fire/EMS.
Deputy Director Lind had high praise for the Sales Engineering support provided by FDM. “Their support has been excellent. The system allows us to customize to suit our needs, and we have been supported every step along the way.” As they train their dispatchers on CAD, Deputy Director Lind says he has every confidence that FDM will be there to help as further customization requirements arise.
About Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services
Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services provides emergency services to approximately 24,000 residents within the City of Cranbrook and contract service areas within the Regional District of East Kootenay. The composite department consists of 23 career and 10 auxiliary members. Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services mission is to provide efficient, effective professional emergency response and prevention services to the community. To find out more about Cranbrook and their Fire and Emergency Services, see http://www.cranbrook.ca.Media contact: