Photo courtesy of Brian MacDonald Platoon Chief, Moncton Fire
The wind howled, rain pounded, and lightning streaked across the sky. As she did each night, Sarah walked through the house, checking windows and locks. She looked in on her elderly mother to ensure that the oxygen tanks were stable. She looked in on her son, making sure his wheelchair was not in the middle of the room in case the power went out and she would have to navigate his room in the dark. Through the night, the storm raged. Trees came down, taking power lines with them. Live wires arced and sparked. In the dark surrounding Sarah’s house, a fire started. Her battery-powered smoke alarms did their job, screaming a warning that woke Sarah. She called 911.
The fire department that was dispatched to Sarah’s aid arrived at the scene with the knowledge that Sarah was a single parent of a physically disabled child and the primary caregiver to an elderly parent.
They arrived at the scene knowing where in the house the child and elderly parent would be sleeping. They arrived at the house knowing that the house contained oxygen tanks. They arrived informed about the situation they were about to enter because Sarah had a filed a safety plan with her local fire department; and, her fire department used the FireQ system that let them know there was a pre-plan in place and also let them access it immediately. Armed with this critical information, firefighters arriving on the scene were able to work quickly, getting everyone out of the house.
Creating safety pre-plans is a powerful tool in the public safety toolbox. Ensuring firefighters have quick and ready access to them is equally important.
Preplans are quickly entered into the FireQ software with drag-and-drop ease. Details of the preplan are entered in several easy steps:
1.) Name of the pre-plan – this field is required
2.) A brief description of the pre-plan
3.) Relevant links – this could include such things as a link to Google forms
4.) The address – enter the address of the building for which a pre-plan is created. The address information is provided to allow firefighters to easily assess the incident location.
5.) Latitude and longitude – latitude and longitude are needed to place a pin on the map.
6.) Drag and drop a copy of the pre-plan to the upload box.
Preplans are then visible to firefighters using FireQ on a smartphone. Emergency dispatch information includes access to mapping information that includes the availability of preplans. They can quickly access the preplan and any supporting documents that have been included in the preplan.
Safety plans help to keep communities safe and they help to keep firefighters safe. To be effective, they require a coordinated effort between those that create them and those that must access them. Accessing information is as important as the act of the gathering that information. FireQ provides a bridge between these two efforts. To find out more preplans and FireQ or to start a 60-day free trial, click here or give us a call at 888-600-7122.