Consumers Energy breaks ground on Tawas service center location

Active911

BALDWIN TWP. – Consumers Energy officials have said ground has been officially broken on the agency’s new Lincoln Street service facility, with crews already stationed and working out of the area, according to Senior Public Relations Director Debra Dodd.

Some of the tactics being piloted in Iosco County include a new active 911 app for public safety personnel and public safety outreach team members to improve incident monitoring.

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Fire department contract with Active911 OK’d

Active911

Village Council this week gave the fire department permission to contract with Active911, a software program and service for emergency services personnel that sends alerts directly to cellphones, tablet and computers.

Firefighters are currently issued pagers to carry at an annual cost of $9,450. The Active911 software and app will cost $390 a year for 30 firefighters (there are 27 currently), but Little said they wanted three additional apps should the need arise.

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Active 911 is changing the way emergency personnel communicate

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Company Name: Active911
Headquarters: Corvallis. OR
Signature Product: Active911 app
Website: https://www.active911.com/index.php

1. Where did your company name originate from?
Active911 comes from the idea that, using modern computing technology, we could make the alerting and response of emergency personnel “active” instead of passive – that is, we could track agency members and other responding agencies, as well as provide mapping, hydrant and building information and take an active role in dispatch.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
In 2011, our CEO was a volunteer firefighter with a problem. He used to get SMS text messages from dispatch, but he was unable to give them a distinctive ringtone because they came from random phone numbers. MMS text messages did not have this problem but were not reliable. On one occasion, his MMS text message was so delayed that he arrived to find someone washing down the rig. He had missed the call due to faulty technology and his reluctance to wear a bulky, old pager. That is when he started a software project to process 911 alerts to his phone.

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Chat by Group on Active911

Active911

So many of you have voted at the Active911 idea portal to tell us that chat notifications and chat by group were needed features for the Active911 app, and we listened.

We are happy to introduce these features to the latest version of the Active911 Android and iOS apps to help make communication easier and more seamless for your agency.

Update iOS Now

Update Android Now 

An Overview of Chat by Group

With this new feature, your chats will go out to your entire page group, and those group members will be notified of your message without receiving an Alert. Any individual will be able to initiate chats in any unlocked group. Your notification settings for chat by group will mirror those that you have set for that agency. The “Everyone” group still works the same.

You can Favorite certain groups so they are always easily accessible, and you’ll also always be able to see the three most recent groups that you have been active in. It’s also possible to search for groups by name.

Notifications by Group

There are three options for notifications:

  • Receive alerts when the app is CLOSED: You will get chat notifications whether the app is open or closed.
  • Receive alerts when the app is OPEN: You will only get chat notifications when the app is open.
  • NONE: Receive no chat notifications.

These settings are labeled the same in Android and iOS.

Please note that we introduced this feature with the default for chat notifications set to NONE. This is to prevent your phone from blowing up before you are familiar with the feature. 

Not getting notifications? Check these three things first: 

  1. Is your phone’s external sound control set to silent?
  2. Do you have notifications enabled for the Active911 app in your general settings?
  3. Do you have chat notifications enabled within your page groups?

How to Use Chat by Group and Turn on Notifications:

Turning on Notifications:

    1. Go to the settings in your Active911 app
    2. Scroll down to your agency and tap on “Chat Notifications”

3. There you can select to receive messages when the app is open, closed, or none.

 

How to chat by group:

  1. Tap on the chat icon in the menu bar.
  2. The main chat tab will show all of your agencies that have chat turned on by an admin.
  3. Tap on an agency and now you will see a favorites, recent, and groups sections.

4. Tap on a group to send messages to people in that group.

5. In the top right corner of a group is a star. If you tap on this star, you will favorite that group. This means that you will receive notifications for that group (if you have those turned on), and it will appear at the top of all the groups.

Questions? Please email support@active911.com or call (541) 223-7992 to talk to a real-life support tech 24/7. 

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.

Recent outages – explanations and resolutions

Over the last few days, Active911 has had several problems we should have anticipated but did not. We have already described some potential iOS 11 problems, but we should elaborate on the other problems and what we are doing to fix them.

Webview/PC App Not Connecting or getting Alerts:

There had been a difficult to find and diagnose bug that would cause Webview to not connect to our servers when there was a combination of lag between the Webview client and slowness with our severs. Yesterday, we had a chain reaction start that led to ~100 Webview devices encountering the bug, overloading our real-time communication services ability to log people in, causing delays in being able to tap response buttons and get real-time updates.

How we fixed it:
We isolated the Webview bug and rolled a fix last night to all Webview clients. If you are still encountering problems with Webview not connecting, a force refresh should fix it. To force refresh on Windows, hold Ctrl+F5, for Mac hold Cmd+Shift+R. If after a force refresh you are still encountering problems, we have added a test button in the settings menu that will help us further fix the problem. Please run the test and copy the output in an email to support@active911.com.

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 11.15.32 AM

In addition to rolling the fix, We thought we could resolve the problem by making some server configuration changes, which worked until this morning, at which point our developers concluded our real-time update service that should be able to handle the load could not and needed to be completely replaced. This morning we built a brand new server that can easily handle what our old one could not. Responses and alerting should now be faster than before.

Assignments randomly missing:

When we were building assignments, we decided to test some experimental technology that had the potential to help us make better software. Once we deployed assignments and started to really use and interact with that technology, we kept running into problems and unexpected difficulties, which is why assignments has been in beta for so long. In this past week, the assignments server started to be unable to handle the load we were putting on it, causing it to often return nothing instead of what the apps were asking for. This increased load also slowed down the startup process of all our clients, resulting in odd behavior like alerts not showing up in the alerts page.

How we are fixing it:
With the unexpected side effects of alerts not showing up, we had to turn off assignments. Today, we are rebuilding the pieces that became overloaded and we will be migrating fully migrating off the experimental technology we were trying in the upcoming week or two. Once the new assignments server has been built up and tested, I’ll update this post.

Better Alert Types

This is how we currently classify alerts

The pie chart is getting an upgrade

We have added some features to our website so alarms can be classified by type.

Many of you are familiar with NFIRS codes. ?Codes starting with 100 mean “fire”. ?For example:

NFIRS 162. Outside equipment fire. Includes outside trash compactors, outside HVAC units, and irrigation pumps. Excludes special structures (110 series) and mobile construction equipment (130 series).

NFIRS is a US standard, but we have modified our system to support other systems as well. ?Currently NFIRS is the only classifier that is programmed; if you want another classifier, you will have to let us know what your system or country uses.

  1. We have added a column on the alerts tab that lists the alert type for easy reference
  2. You can select an alert type by clicking on the alert and scrolling to the bottom of the window.
  3. You can do a full text search by name or by code number. ?We have also reorganized the codes into an easy-to-browse list. When you have made a selection, push “save”.
  4. “See also” suggestions, if any, will be displayed below the description. ?NFIRS codes are complicated, we have tried to make it easy to choose the right one.
  5. We are adding a server component to learn from your selections and auto-select types for future alarms.?In order to train our server, we are asking users to log into their web consoles and manually classify a couple dozen recent alarms. ?We can use this data to perform machine learning.

Some users have pointed out that a machine can not be accurate 100% of the time, especially since an alert classification often changes based on what is found on scene. ?A “651 smoke” alarm might turn into a “111 Structure Fire” or a “733 Smoke detector malfunction”. ?This is reasonable. To ensure clarity, human classified alarms will be shown in dark letters with the full 3-digit code on the Alerts tab. ?Computer classified codes will show the century digit only and will be grayed out. ?For example:

111 Fire (black, 3 digits) = Human classified

100 Fire?(gray italics, 1 digit) = Computer Classified

Of course, if the computer gets it wrong you can always correct it manually.

The next step (once alarms are being classified right) is for us to update the pie graph to show the new classification system.