Welcome to First-Responder Alliance! We are a non-profit organization focused on making First-Responders safer and more effective through the use of low-cost mobile technology solutions.
This website will help introduce you to our flagship application, First-Responder (Fire Edition), the first in a suite of open-source applications for use by First-Responders and their Commanders. The graphic below shows the targeted coverage areas for our suite of applications. Whether the alert is for fire, EMS, or even a larger scale event such as a humanitarian relief effort or natural disaster, these core capabilities are vital to an effective, coordinated response.
First-Responders web-based application captures pre-planning icons, layers, and photos using Google Maps. Personnel staffing levels (particularly important for volunteer departments) are monitored 24/7 using Google Latitude, and members that don't own smartphones can mark themselves as "unavailable" with a simple phone call.
Once an alert is received as an email or text message, Responders can confirm their response intent via phone call, SMS or a button on the First-Responder homepage. Responders are given turn-by-turn directions to the scene or firehouse via Google Navigation complete with an estimated time of arrival (ETA) that is adjusted for local traffic conditions. This is shared with Command in real-time. Vehicle drivers are shown directions to the scene or to any of the other pre-set destinations in the first due or participating mutual aid towns e.g. draft sites, staging areas, hospitals, etc.
Drivers and Commanders are also shown the closest hydrants to the scene including the distance (over roadways, not a straight line) and the elevation profile of the route with net elevation gain or loss. They can quickly review, as can their responding mutual aid Commanders, pre-plans specific to the scene address without any text entry... the system already knows the GPS coordinates for the scene!
Commanders can then access the rosters for all responding departments and begin accountability. Every time a responder changes location on the system a log entry is made for record-keeping. This starts the moment they phone or text the system. As responders board vehicles Officers can log them as on-board with two button clicks on their smartphone, tablet or laptop computer. They can also change the vehicles status (customized for each department, for each vehicle). All of these changes are viewable in real-time by Commanders. Accountability on-scene involves moving Responders between Units like Attack Team 1, Rehab 3, Ventilation 2.... the names and grouping of Units is completely controlled by the Department through simple web-based forms. Nothing high-tech... no coding. And that's just the quick overview... there's more detail in the training section.
The short version of our mission statement, more formally stated to the left, is "if it's not cheap and easy it won't get broadly adopted by First-Responders". We could add other qualifiers to the short version such as "durable", "mobile", "secure", etc... but for now let's focus on "cheap" and "easy".
Cheap means not having to buy servers, hosting facilities and tech personnel to manage software versions, patches, updates, etc. Cheap means using low-cost devices like smartphones and tablets rather than $3,000 hardened latops (of course those will work too, they're just not required). Cheap also means minimizing training, upkeep, support and other costs that can add up. And cheap means, if you are a community organization and have your own technical support personnel, you can get a version of the software for free from our open-source code repository.
Easy means fewer options and clutter with a focus on the features used 99% of the time, not the 1% which rarely get used. Easy means big buttons and simple layouts that adjust to whatever size device is being used. Easy means access from any web browser connected to the internet.
We welcome questions and feedback of any kind and hope you will share your thoughts with us so that we can improve the application.
Please send comments, feature requests or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.