New Electronic Mapping System Enhances Shinnston VFD Efficiency

By GAYLE FRATTO
SVFD Assistant Chief

Technology is always changing, and the fire service is no exception to that rule.  Recently, the SVFD began using a new electronic mapping system in all of our response apparatus.  The software, which we have been using for some time, allows us to do the following:

  • Alert responders to emergency alarms
  • Track firefighters and officers responding to thecalls
  • Track fire department apparatus responding to calls
  • Map the location/directions to the emergency
  • Map all fire hydrants and helicopter landing zones
  • Assist with pre-fire planning in some areas
  • Offer interoperability between mutual aid fire departments, if they choose to utilize it

This information can be viewed either from a smart phone or a tablet type computer.  Tablets have been added to all apparatus to allow us quicker access to information we need while responding to emergencies.  Other information can also be obtained, such as emergency weather information or hazardous materials.  All of this adds up to better efficiency and customer service to our community.

If you still haven’t changed your detector batteries, please take the time to do this now.  Also, remember that fire season restricts outdoor burning to between the hours of 5:00 pm and 7:00 am.  Spring forest fire season begins March 1st and runs through May 31st. You can find more on forest fire season regulations at http://www.wvforestry. com/firelaws.cfm.

As the weather warms, we will all be ready to get outside and start some of our spring maintenance activities.  Below are some safety tips to think about:

  • Check all extension cords for damage before you begin to use them for outdoor chores
  • Ensure you have an emergency kit prepared in the event a storm knocks out power
  • Take the time to practice your family fire escape plan
  • Make sure fuel and pool chemicals are stored correctly. Properly dispose of any old or outdated material
  • Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street
  • Check outdoor electrical appliances for nests, or damage done by animals
  • Let all power equipment sit for approximately 30 minutes before placing it inside

On a final note, I am happy to announce that one of our members has come out of retirement.  Randy Akers has many years with the SVFD and also worked for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.  He holds a degree in Safety Management from WVU.  Randy has been appointed as one of the Assistant Chiefs of the SVFD.  I know he’s very excited to be back protecting our community.

Please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ ShinnstonFire to keep up with the latest updates from the department.

Thank you for your support.

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