Startup seeks to keep emergency vehicles safe on the streets

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(Grand Rapids, MI) Like many of its counterparts across North America, the Grand Rapids Fire Department in Michigan is grappling with an unfortunate side effect of continually improving auto engineering and technology – namely, people crashing into its fire engines and endangering emergency responders.

The system has been developed by HAAS Alert, a company started in Chicago in 2015 after co-founder Cory Hohs was nearly hit by an ambulance while on his motorcycle.

Hohs says he believed there had to be a better way to inform motorists that emergency vehicles were approaching, so he and co-founders Jigar Patel and Noah Levens got to work on building a wireless warning system.

They’ve since sold a hundred U.S. cities – Grand Rapids is the largest so far – on their system and have tested it in a number of other markets, including Winnipeg.

The company has landed deals with a number of emergency-vehicle manufacturers including E-One, Ferrara Fire Apparatus and KME to directly build its tracking technology into trucks, as well as with after-market outfitters such as Code 3 and Active911.

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Vernon County jail upgrades include new emergency alert system

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(VERNON COUNTY, MO) A Southwest Missouri jail is upgrading security for its lockup.

A new video surveillance system means jailers have more options for keeping track of inmates. New monitors make it easier to keep tabs on the dozens of cameras trained on jail cells, a project paid by funds from the jail commissary. They’ve also added a new communications alert called “Active 911.”

“A fire or automobile accident, or whatever the case is–that information gets pushed to their cell phone device through this Active 911 system, giving them the details of the call, the address of the call,” Sheriff Jason Mosher explained.

The Nevada Fire Department first started testing the the system. Vernon County emergency dispatchers have now adopted Active 911 as well as smaller fire departments throughout the county.

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Community Shows Support For City Of Lenoir Fire Station 3

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(Lenoir, N.C.) At least 100 local residents visited City of Lenoir Fire Station No. 3 Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, during an open house hosted by the Fire Department.

Station 3 has a two-screen digital monitoring area where firefighters can read information and follow fire calls. On one screen, the battalion chiefs post ride lists, calendars, and announcements. The second screen shows Active 911. When a call comes in, firefighters can see the call location on the map and nearby fire hydrants. During a call, the Chiefs can see the location of all the trucks coming to the scene in real time and can direct them to the closest fire hydrants. Each fire truck and Battalion Chief vehicle also has a tablet equipped with Active 911.

“It was nice to see how we’ve advanced with technology in the department and how we can follow our trucks and firefighters during a call,” Councilman Ike Perkins said. “I was so impressed with the whole building.”

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Active911 Helps Hopkinsville Police Keep the Media Informed

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(Hopkinsville, Ken.) Hopkinsville media outlets are at risk of losing access to local law enforcement channels on police scanners [due to privacy and security concerns]; however, Hopkinsville Police Department is working on a solution that keeps the media informed and keeps the agency in compliance with state and federal regulations.

“Local news outlets rely on these radio channels to inform the public of emergencies in our community,” said Brandon Cox, publisher of the New Era. “This isn’t a ‘media’ thing. This is about the public’s right to the access of information. It’s about public safety, and yes, it is at times about transparency.”

Thursday, Hopkinsville Police Captain Erik Pacheco emailed local media outlets explaining the solution could be an app called Active911.

Active911 is a digital messaging system that sends information instantly to the recipients, such as location, type of call, time, date. The app would interface with dispatch communications and alert the specified recipients in real time.

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Active911 Allows Police and Fire to Team up with Public Works for Any Call

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(Crystal, Minn.) The day-to-day partnership between Crystal, Minn., public works and police departments and the West Metro Fire-Rescue District is a very intentional one that has exceeded expectations for successful outcomes. When this effort started a number of years ago, the goal was simple: we consistently act as a cohesive team when responding jointly to emergency calls within the city, with each department bringing its skills and abilities to the problem as appropriate.

In Spring 2019, a call was received of a vulnerable adult who had walked away from a building in the city. Public works supervisory staff saw the call come in (via the Active911 app) and reached out to the police supervisory staff to see if they would like some assistance in searching for the missing person. The police department responded they would and within 10 minutes of the initial call time, unified command was established at the site where the missing adult was last seen. Public works staff divided up into teams of two and were given neighborhoods to search along the railroad tracks. Police staff checked the major commercial areas and prepared media notifications. Due to the search area size, one department could not have efficiently checked the area alone. In less than one hour of the initial call time, one of the public works teams located the individual nearly 1.5 miles away from the spot he was last seen.

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Park Rapids City Council Secures iPads to Run Active911 on Engines

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(Park Rapids, Minn.) Regarding budget choices the finance committee left up to the city council, significant discussion was devoted to a $1,000 request by Fire Chief Terry Long for a tablet and data service to patch the lead fire engine into Active 911 while en route to emergency calls.

Long said the tablet could help firefighters locate hydrants and estimate the arrival time of firefighters responding to a call.

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Rapid Notification System coming to ACSO

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(Atascosa County, Tex.) Atascosa County EMS Director Don Penny stated, “…With Active 911 and the CAD system, it will allow our EMS crews to view maps and dispatch information pertinent to the situation in which they are responding. The Sheriff’s Office, Fire and EMS will all be receiving the same information and it will allow a more coordinated effort among the agencies. In incidents involving multiple agencies, it will greatly improve safety of the first responders, victims and the public. This is an invaluable upgrade from our past communication methods and will improve emergency response time across Atascosa County.”

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Firefighters’ Medical Crash Course Aided by Active911

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(Cook Islands) Puaikura volunteer fire brigade member Trish Barton was at home in the middle of the night earlier this year, when she heard a crash – right outside her house.

It was a motorcyclist who had come off his bike. She sent an alert through her Active911 app, and three other first responders came to her assistance within minutes.

They performed CPR on this patient until the ambulance arrived. Sadly the outcome for this patient was not favourable – but another motorcyclist was luckier at the weekend.

Puaikura firefighters were on their way to training on Saturday morning and were able to treat the critically injured young man, until the ambulance arrived.

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Another Active911 Admin chosen 2019 Firefighter of the Year

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(Washtenaw County, Mich.) Lieutenant Michael Grissom of the Dexter Area Fire Department is Washtenaw County’s 2019 Firefighter of the Year. An experienced firefighter when there is an emergency, it is Lt. Grissom’s work behind the front lines that have earned him the honors.

Lt. Grissom facilitated the use of the mobile app “Active 911,” which puts the pertinent information for a call right into a first responder’s smartphone. In addition to medical information, the app shows the location of hydrants, the location of other emergency vehicles in the area, and what type of vehicles have responded.

Active 911 also enables responders to communicate with one another efficiently. The app replaces the outdated, problematic CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system where first responders would receive a printout and transmit vital information from there.

Michael also found a way to repurpose radios destined for destruction. Deftly moving around the red tape that governs every action of a fire department, Lt. Grissom salvaged specific components of hand-held radios to help improve some failing receivers in the Sheriff’s department.

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Sales Tax and Active911

What Admins Need to Know  

Why? The recently decided Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair determined that states could sue businesses which conduct transactions within their state, including online businesses not from their state, if they do not collect sales tax.

Who? Agencies in states that are taxing Active911, starting with: CO, LA, MS, SC, TX, IA, OH, RI, SD, TN, UT, WA, and WV.

What if we are tax exempt? If your agency is exempt, you will need to upload a copy of your sales tax exemption certificate the next time you renew. You will be required to upload this form every time you renew to be exempt from sales tax.

If you are not exempt, you don’t need to do anything. When you renew your Active911 subscription, sales tax for your state will be added if you live in a state that collects sales tax.

All agencies will be required to add a billing address to their account for sales tax purposes.

When? This requirement is set to go into effect immediately. However, your agency may not be impacted by it until you renew your subscription.

How to Upload Your Exemption Document 

Your usual renewal process is not going to change. You’ll still check out the same way, you’ll just need to upload the sales tax exemption certificate as part of the process.

Here is what it looks like:

1. Start your purchase.

2. Choose your preferred payment option.

3. Enter your billing address.

4. If you live in a state that collects sales tax, you’ll be prompted to upload your sales tax exemption certificate now. Click the Upload Document button and select the proper file.

5. Sales Tax will become $0.00. Once you see the “Upload Successful!” message, you’re ready to confirm your order.

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Questions?

Please email support@Active911.com if you have any questions about this process, or if you have any trouble uploading your tax documents. We answer a majority of emails within 48 hours.

If you need immediate help, you can also call 541-223-7992 at any time to speak to one of our Customer Support Members. They answer the phone in the first ring cycle 75% of the time, so you’ll always speak to a real person who works in our office.