Lehigh Valley woman answers the call of duty in Pottstown

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(Pottstown, Pa.) Jamie Kreidler was 19 when she realized her love for firefighting.

A picture she showed WFMZ’s Holly Harrar shows the moment she realized it. Her heart for firefighting brought her to Pottstown Fire Department, where she’s the first female career firefighter ever hired.

She showed us around her new digs, complete with an Active911 board and the multi-colored bag she carries with her on the rig. She says the guys joke with her from time to time, but that doesn’t stop her from reminding them that girls rule.

“They didn’t know what they were missing before they had pink in the firehouse,” Kreidler said.

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Firefighters reach scenes faster and better prepared

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(Alberta, Canada) A diesel exhaust fuel (DEF) system is being blamed for a tractor fire north of Gem on Wednesday evening. The owner of the tractor left it running while he went in to the house for lunch but when he came out the tractor was smoking. The owner attempted to put the fire out but there were flammables attached to the tractor that ignited.

Although the tractor was lost, reaching its location with clear communication and a clear map allowed the Gem department to arrive faster. Luchies said the new Active911 system along with the new radio system is beneficial but it was during a Newell 911 meeting on Wednesday that it became apparent. He said he received a text message from Gem’s fire chief stating the new 911 system worked, “One hundred per cent better than the CAMS system had in 10 years.” Luchies added, “That was followed by ‘not even joking.’”

He said firefighters have the app on their phone and the system is being installed in the trucks.

“By the end of next week all of the old computers and CAM systems will be out of our trucks and the new iPads will be in.”

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Austintown police expansion touted for efficiency, better service

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(Austintown, OH) With expansion to the Austintown Township Police Department nearing completion, dispatchers in the building are eager to move to new space that will not only provide more elbow room, but also help improve efficiency in responding to emergencies in multiple communities.

The new space also has a common space that will include a conference table and a kitchenette for employees to use on shifts that can reach 16 hours. Security cameras will be in place in every room, and dispatchers will be able to monitor weather with live radar, and emergency response crews with a program called Active 911.

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Cincinnati to Develop Plan for Hydrant Testing

(Cincinnati, OH) Cincinnati’s fire department and water department may soon need to develop a plan to test hydrants for water flow, but it’s something the city should have been doing for years.

Covington Fire goes a step further. It has a system in place called Active911. There are iPads in each fire unit. You click on the address of the fire, and it shows where the fire hydrants are nearby and exactly what color code they are — orange, red, blue or green — and they will know exactly what the flow is before they get to the fire. It would have been great information for the Cincinnati Fire Department when it tried to fight that fire in North Avondale, perhaps saving them valuable minutes.

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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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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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Southwest VFD celebrates 60 years, highlights need for volunteers

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(Jacksonville, N.C.) Southwest VFD Chief Ray Silance explained that at the offset of the department, there was a blaring alarm system that notified the entire community of a fire.

“Once everybody heard the horn they would respond to the station,” Silance said.

That system eventually gave way to the 911 calls that Southwest VFD currently uses, according to Silance. And the evolution hasn’t stopped. The latest improvement the team uses is a phone application called Active 911 that alerts the chief and others to who is available to answer any given fire.

″(If) no one is there to volunteer to answer then no one is coming. That’s why it’s important to volunteer.”

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Aladtec, First Arriving Announce Integration

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RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Fire and EMS agencies using Aladtec Scheduling and Workforce Management software and First Arriving Digital Dashboards can now save time and provide first responders with vivid, big-screen displays for the station that integrate information from both platforms.

When Chaska Fire — which protects some 30,000 residents of their Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb — gets a call for service, Active 911 takes over the display and shows the call information, address, map with driving directions, map with hydrant locations and a Google Street view of the address.

Chaska has one display installed in the locker bay and another in the dispatch office. Others are being added soon in the main office and training room, said Kirsch.

“It gives our members the information they need at a glance.  It can be updated from any computer, and the automatic population of data from Aladtec and Active 911 reduces staff time for updating a dry erase board or printed schedules,” he said.

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