Monday, August 27th, 2012 10:08 am
How a small Pennsylvania department created one of the largest pre-fire plan databases in the country
By Bob Galvin
For Firefighter Nation
Most fire departments today struggle to build pre-fire plans for just a fraction of their commercial structures. So, it’s astonishing to learn that one fire department in the country not only has created preplans for all of these types of properties, but for all of its residential addresses, too.
“We’ve been preparing pre-fire plans for our residential dwellings since the 1960s,” says Joe Thuransky, Deputy Chief/Fire Prevention for the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department (MLFD) in Pittsburgh. Roughly 90 percent of Mt. Lebanon’s 6.2-mile radius is residential. Beyond that, the town has no industrial or manufacturing concerns; it has mostly malls, stores, bars and restaurants. The fire department’s preplanning database contains roughly 45,000 addresses, making it one of the largest pre-fire planning databases of any fire department in the country. Even more surprising: The department’s combination fire crew is just 17 career and 50 volunteer firefighters.
Taking It Mobile
Mt. Lebanon beefed up automation of its preplanning process over the years by adopting FIREHOUSE software to create incident reports, training records, personnel files, inspection reports and billing. However, the department took a different approach for their mobile pre-fire planning platform.
The department tested CAD Zone’s First Look Pro (FLP) pre-fire planning software and found it ideal for organizing and quickly retrieving pre-fire plan information in a mobile fire response environment.
As a result, FLP is used on all of the fire apparatus, in the MLFD’s Emergency Management Center and on its new mobile inspection notebook computers. “Every single home in Mt. Lebanon is preplanned using this software,” Thuransky says. “I have the address, city, state, zip code, zone map for the community, cross streets, two closest hydrants, where the house is located on its street, and any special needs we have on file for the occupant, such as group homes or residents with handicap issues.”
Also included in the preplanning software are all mutual aid addresses which include hydrant locations. In addition, the MLFD uses CAD Zone’s Firehouse Software Synchronizer tool, which enables FLP to pull all preplanning data and updates from Firehouse.
Read the full article on FirefighterNation.com.