Training Thursday: Always or Failover Group

It’s Training Thursday so let’s sharpen up on the Always or failover group! This is especially important for those of you that use the pagegroup option with us!

What are those and why do they matter?

When setting up groups based on units, where our system automatically sends to the groups and not to a prefixed email address, it is extremely important to set up an always or failover group. By setting up a group called “Always” or “Failover”, it means that all calls will go to that group, plus the corresponding unit groups.

The importance of this is when your dispatch center does an update on their CAD and starts sending to us in a different format than before, you will start to get General Alerts. If you are seeing General Alerts that means that we aren’t parsing out the units, which means you won’t be getting alerts to groups with unit names. However, if you set up an always or failover group and have one person in them, then you can catch that the parser needs to be fixed and let us know.

If you are using groups, don’t forget to have an always or failover group! Let us know if you have questions at support@active911.com!

Training Thursday: Family SMS – BETA

This week, we have rolled out a new feature called Family SMS, which is currently in beta.

How it works: When the user taps a response button, that gets sent over to the family member that you added on the users tab. The family member receives a text message letting them know what your response is to that alert. This way they know where you are.

Now for the training! Here’s how you set it up:

  1. Admins, login to the website and if you aren’t using the new website you will see this message below, so click on the here. This will take you to our new website. You might have to login again and if you do, click “login” at the top.

2. Go to the Agency tab and scroll down to the bottom.

3. To the right of “Enable Family SMS?” It will have “No” highlighted. Click on “Yes” to turn it on for your users.

Optional:

If you want more information to be sent to the family members, you can select any of the SMS call fields to include and those will be sent within the text message.

Once the above steps have been done, any user can add family members. Here’s how:

4. After the user has logged in (you might have to do step 1 above to get to the new website), go to the tab with your name on it.

5. There you will see “Family SMS Phone Numbers” below your devices with a “+ Add Number” button. Click on that button to add the phone number of the member you want to receive text messages.

6.  Type in the member’s phone number and then click the green save button.

7. That’s it! If you ever want to remove them, then click the red trash can icon button.

 

 

Training Thursday: What is the difference between Background GPS and Foreground GPS

Let’s talk about GPS on your Active911 device for today’s Training Thursday. Last June, we released a new feature that allows devices to show on the map in the Active911 app even when they have the app in the background on their device. Before this point, your device would only show up when you had the app open or in the foreground on your phone. Here’s a little more detail about each:

Foreground GPS

Having this turned on means that your device will only show on the map when you have the app open on your device. You will still get routing even if you turn this off.

If you choose to turn this off, you will not be seen on the map and you won’t get routing to an alert in the app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background GPS

We created this feature mostly for devices that are in an apparatus, so the members of the department can tell where they are located even if they exit out of the app. There are a couple of settings that you can choose for the background GPS

    • Reduced Accuracy (iOS) / Battery Saving (Android) – if you choose this option, your device will show up on the map even when you don’t have the app open. However, your phone won’t constantly be pinging the GPS satellite, so it saves your battery a bit.
    • Precise Accuracy (iOS) / High Accuracy (Android) – this option will use a lot of battery juice because it will be reporting your location constantly. We recommend you have a charger nearby or have these devices constantly hooked up.
    • Off – This means you will not be reporting your position on the map when you have the app backgrounded. This is the default setting whenever you download or update your device.

 

Training Thursday: How to test the Active911 System to see if it is down

This week I was in San Diego for Firehouse World and a question came up that I thought would be a great Training Thursday blog post. The question was, “how do I know if Active911 is down or if the issue is on my dispatch side?” This is a very common question and yet I somehow didn’t think about posting this till now!

There is actually a very simple way to check if our system is down and here are the steps you should take.

  1. Login to the Active911 website through the member access area and go to the Agency tab.
  2. Locate the Active911 email. It is below the pie chart and starts with some numbers, a dash, and then a mix of letters and numbers. Like this:

Example of an alert email address

 

       3. Copy the alert email address and open your personal or work email to compose a message.

4. Send an email from your work or personal email address to the alert email address. The alert email address is the same as any other email address. Anything that you send to it, will go to all the devices on the account as a “general alert”, so make sure you put test in the body of the email.

If the email gets to your device or you see it on the alarms tab of the website, then our system is working. We recommend contacting your dispatch center at this point.

If it doesn’t go to your phone or you don’t see it on the alarms tab of the website, then contact us!

Let us know if you have further questions about this and happy Thursday!

 

Training Thursday: How to download a device list

We released this feature a bit ago, but wanted to highlight how an admin or someone with the edit devices permission can download a device list.

  1. Login to active911.com in the member access area and click on the “Devices” tab.
  2. At the top of the devices tab, there is a “+Download Device List” button. Click on that button.

3. Once you have clicked on that button, a window like the one below will pop up. You can then select what information you would like to download.

4. If you select the top check box, all categories will be selected. Otherwise you can choose what information you would like.

5. Once you have selected the information you want downloaded, click “Submit.” A CSV file will get downloaded with the list of devices and the information that you wanted about them.

Training Thursday: Do you know how to customize your response buttons?

This week for Training Thursday, we decided to create a blog post showing you how to customize response buttons! This can be done on our website, but you must be an admin or have the edit agency permission.

Here are the steps:

1. Go to www.active911.com and login under the member access area.

 

2. Once logged in, click on the agency tab and scroll down to the bottom.

3. At the bottom there is a response vocabulary section with 5 boxes. The defaults in the boxes are, “Resp”,”OnScen”,”Cancl”,”Avail”, and “Unvl”.

4. Click on a box and it will highlight. 

5. Then you can enter in the response you would like to use up to 6 characters.

6. Once you have added it, the box will turn green and the apps on your agency will be updated the next time they are opened.

If you have further questions about how to make these changes please contact us at support@active911.com!

Training Thursday Tip: Continuous Re-paging Feature

Happy New Year Everyone! We are really looking forward to a great 2018! We are on another short week due to the holiday, which means we didn’t get to making a Training Thursday video. Instead, let’s talk about the new continuous re-paging feature on Android and iOS devices. Windows it’s coming soon! We’ve been getting quite a few questions about it so we wanted to help make the feature more clear.

Continuous re-paging was created with the deep sleeper in mind. It will continuously make an audible sound at you until you acknowledge it in some way. The sound will be the tone that you have selected for your agency in the settings of the app.

Here are the specifics for both clients to help add some clarity to the new feature:

iOS devices:

If you have this button turned on (the switch will be green), you will need to open the app or respond to get the audible to stop making a sound.

Android Devices:

If you have the continuous re-paging box checked in your settings of the app, you will need to either open the app, or expand or swipe away the Active911 notification in your notification bar.

If you have “Auto-Open” set, you will need to interact with the alert to make it stop ringing.

If you have Popup Dialogue set, you can click any of the buttons to turn off the continuous re-paging option.

If you have Original Auto-Open set, you need to interact with the alert by tapping any of the links, or even just scrolling down to see the notes.

 

 

Voting is open for the t-shirt design contest!

Please vote for your favorite design at the bottom of this post! You may vote once and the voting ends at 11:59 pm PST on December 10th! Thanks to our artists for these submissions!

  • Craig Stephenson of Pendleton Fire Department

  • Cameron Appleton of Sproat Lake Fire Department

  • Matt Quarles of Hickory Fire Department

  • Douglas Toledo of Nissequogue Fire Department

 

 

Tshirt Blog Pic

Interested in winning an $800 Galls gift card? Then send us your awesome t-shirt designs! We are looking for sweet original art work done by our members that we can print on our 2018 t-shirts!

How the contest will work:

After the designs have been submitted, there will be a week of voting. The top 10 finalists after the voting period ends will get feedback, and be given a week to make tweaks to their designs. We will then pick the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Rules:?

  1. Participants must be 18 years or older.
  2. Each person may submit up to 3 design entries.
  3. Even though you may submit 3 designs, you can only win one prize even if all 3 designs place in the top 10 of voting.
  4. Only submit original work made by you. Your design should not contain Active911’s nor anyone else’s logo, art, or material.
  5. Active911 has the right to use all art that has been submitted as we wish.

Round 1

  • All entries need to be submitted by 11:59 pm PST on December 3rd.
  • Link to voting will be provided via email, FB, and Twitter.
  • Voting will begin at 4 pm PST Dec. 4th and go until 11:59 pm PST December 10th.

Round 2

  • Top 10 finalist will be notified by 4 pm PST Dec. 11th.
  • Feedback will be sent out to finalist by 4 pm PST Dec. 13th.
  • Finalist final designs must be resubmitted by 11:59 pm PST Dec. 20th.
  • Winners will be notified by 4pm PST Dec. 22nd.

How to Submit your Design:

  1. Submit your design(s) to contact@active911.com.
  2. Put “T-Shirt Contest” in the subject line.
  3. Include your name, department, and email address.
  4. Also if you have a name for your design, we would love to hear it!

Prizes:

  • Grand Prize: $800 gift card to Galls & a t-shirt.
  • 2nd Place: $400 gift card to Galls & a t-shirt.
  • 3rd place: $200 gift card to Galls & a t-shirt.
  • 4th-10th place: $100 gift cards to Galls.

iOS Version 1.5.15 – Background Location Reporting

Hey everyone, we just released iOS Version 1.5.15 to the App Store and I want to give you an overview of our latest feature, Background Location Reporting.

This new setting, “Background GPS”?can be selected below the old GPS setting, which we have renamed “Foreground GPS”.

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There are 3 options available for this setting.

By default, this option is set to “Off”, so the app will behave as it always has unless a new option is selected.

IMG_0002

The first option that can be selected is “Precise Accuracy”. ?This will likely increase battery usage by a fair amount, but will give the most accurate position and update the most frequently.

While “Precise Accuracy” is on, a blue bar will appear when Active911 is backgrounded, showing that Active911 is still broadcasting your position updates.

IMG_0007

The other option that can be selected is “Reduced Accuracy”. ?This will use less battery, but also update less frequently, only triggering a position update if you have moved 500+ meters.

(For more technical information on the iOS feature we use for “Reduced Accuracy”, see this page)

While “Reduced Accuracy” is on, there will not be any indication to the user while the app is backgrounded since we are only accepting passive updates from iOS.

Important Notes:

This new setting only applies when Active911 is in the background, it has no effect on the position reporting when the App is open, the Foreground GPS setting still controls that.

Because of strict controls in iOS, the app must be opened once in order to initialize this kind of background reporting.?This means that, if you reboot your device, the Active911 app must be opened at least once before Background GPS will start working again.

Also, if you are ever stationary for more than a few minutes, the app will stop reporting your position until you start moving again. Therefore, you may disappear from the map, but then reappear when you start moving again.