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Document upload feature set to elevate alerting app

eDispatches’ latest app feature adds a new dimension to the mapping of hydrant locations and other community POIs

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Is your agency still relying on 20th-century tools (e.g., mobile pagers) to alert your members of calls for service? Do your members still miss calls for service because of the narrow bandwidth used by those pagers?

The good news: In recent years, new technologies have given rise to alerting apps for wireless devices (e.g., phones, tablets) that can provide firefighters with a variety of dispatch information.

One such alerting app from eDispatches, which is available for both iOS and Android devices, streamlines the process by:


eDispatches latest app feature allows users to attach images, preplans, documents and keyholder information to hydrant locations and points of interest (POI).


  • Automatically detecting your audio dispatches and CAD dispatches using the eDispatches receiver (provided with your fire department’s subscription). That receiver records dispatched calls and sends them to the eDispatches system, which then sends the call to your members.
  • Giving your department’s administrators the capability to add, change or remove responders who should receive emergency alerts using the eDispatches online dashboard.
  • Automatically dispatching alerts to your members’ mobile devices via text message, voice call or the app, depending on a member’s preferences.

What’s more, none of these steps adds any workload to your dispatch center.

The newest feature

eDispatches continues to improve upon its app, reacting to the needs of first responders.

One of app’s newest features enables users to attach images, preplans, documents and keyholder information to hydrant locations and points of interest (POI). This new feature provides a totally new dimension to the mapping of hydrant locations and other POIs in your community. Building upon eDispatches’ capability for users to manually add POIs into the mobile app, users can add more details for hydrant locations (e.g., limited accessibility, flow rates) and any POIs they’ve saved in the app. And once added, all app users have access to that information just by selecting the hydrant or POI icon on the map screen.

Users will be able to see added information for:

Water sources: Not only the locations for water sources but pertinent information for wet hydrants (e.g., flow rate, water main size), pictures showing the best access for fire apparatus to dry hydrants, lakes/ponds, and ground water (e.g., rivers or streams). For pools, you can add a permission-to-use form from the property owner.

Important buildings: See important information about fire and EMS stations, police stations, hospitals, schools and other pertinent buildings in the community, with information like:

  • Locations for automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), fire department connections (FDCs), utility shutoffs, sprinkler shutoff valves and Knox Boxes.
  • Copies of pre-fire plans with site drawings, floor plans, pertinent images, and property owner contact information.
  • Location and operation of fire alarm control panels.

Restrictions: Users can add pictures for both temporary restrictions (e.g., construction zones, road closures) and permanent restrictions (e.g., height and weight restrictions for bridges, overpasses and railroad crossings) that can affect emergency responses.

Other POIs: There’s really no limit for adding other POIs with pertinent information like:

  • Locations that manufacture or store reportable quantities of hazardous materials (SARA Title II report information) along with documentation for those hazardous materials, response plans, and available property owner resources.
  • Boat launch locations, along with any pertinent site access information.
  • Pre-identified landing areas for medevac helicopters with site drawings and photographs.
  • Storm shelter locations in the community with information like capacity and hours of operation.
  • Identified traffic turnarounds that can accommodate emergency vehicles with site maps and photographs. This is helpful in avoiding the need to back up fire apparatus, one of the leading causes of incidents leading to damage to the apparatus or injury to firefighters acting as ground guides.

Read more about the new document upload feature.

At the tips of their fingers

With the eDispatches app, your members can rest assured they’ll never miss a call for service. Even better, the app gives your members the information they need to respond to those calls more safely, effectively and efficiently. And now, with document upload, your members will have even more valuable information at the tips of their fingers.

Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (ret.) served with the Chesterfield (Virginia) Fire & EMS Department for 26 years. He was an instructor for fire, EMS and hazardous materials courses at the local, state and federal levels, which included more than 10 years with the National Fire Academy. Chief Avsec earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and his master’s degree in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University. He is a 2001 graduate of the National Fire Academy’s EFO Program. Beyond his writing for and, Avsec authors the blog Talking “Shop” 4 Fire & EMS and has published his first book, “Successful Transformational Change in a Fire and EMS Department: How a Focused Team Created a Revenue Recovery Program in Six Months – From Scratch.” Connect with Avsec on LinkedIn or via email.