Ohio County First Responders To Receive “StreetWise” | News, Sports, Jobs
WHEELING – Ohio County First Responders To Receive Soon “StreetWise” thanks to new technology arriving in their fire trucks, ambulances and smartphones, technology that will go a long way in eliminating unwanted surprises and delivering crucial information sooner when they get to a call.
The Ohio County Fire Board and County Commission are purchasing software for the county fire and emergency services – as well as the Bethlehem Fire Department – from StreetWise CADlink in Mooresville, North Carolina.
The county will pay approximately $ 13,000 of the cost of the installation, with the fire commission paying “about double” according to Commission Chairman Randy Wharton. The commission will continue to pay an annual license fee for the software.
The software provides mapping and location services to emergency vehicles on their way to a call, which can be viewed from an iPad with cellular service located in the vehicle. The maps contain other information such as the location of nearby fire hydrants, the building diagram, and notes such as the location of hazardous materials.
The Wheeling Fire Department is already using the software and its information will be integrated with that of county emergency responders, said Ohio County Emergency Management Agency deputy director Tony Campbell.
Campbell was recently hired by the county after a 32-year career with the Wheeling Fire Department.
“This is a dispatch program that gives those who are sent access to a ton of information about where they are going and how to get there,” Campbell said. “It really is an important thing.”
Fire departments across the county are responding to different areas and may not be fully aware of where they are going, he said. The mapping system built into the software uses Google mapping and Apple mapping to help them.
“It’s efficient enough to know where it’s going” Campbell said. “And if there’s an incident – let’s say a structural fire – and they look for the next available hydrant, they’ll have the hydrant location and show it to you on the map.”
If the building has a sprinkler system that the fire department can connect to, that will be marked on the map, according to Campbell.
Information on the location of fire hydrants will be imported into the system, and information on major structures in the area will also be uploaded, according to Lou Vargo, director of the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency. .
“StreetWise enables our vehicles to become mobile data terminals”, he said. “There will be display screens in all of our stations, and iPads in all of our vehicles. “
When Ohio County 911 sends a call, it will be displayed on the smart board and all departments in the county will simultaneously see that there is a call, Vargo explained.
Volunteer firefighters will also have the app on their smartphones and simultaneously see the message, he said. Volunteers will be able to send a message indicating whether or not they will be able to attend.
If neighboring counties such as Belmont or Brooke subscribe to the system in the future, their information can also be captured and shared regionally, according to Vargo and Campbell.
They thanked the county commission and the fire council for working together to bring the technology to the county.
“Just to be able to see who (which department) is busy and who is not, this is a great investment for the EMA and the fire commission.” said Wharton. “It will probably save a lot of lives and make it safer for the fire department.”
He said the purchase order has been signed and the system is expected to be up and running in the county within the next 30 days.