Pulaski County Departments Select OnSite ERT to Improve Personnel Safety

Ann Arbor, MI – Accurate on-scene personnel accountability is something every Incident Commander struggles with. How can you track all of your responders during the chaos of an emergency when high volumes of radio traffic make it almost impossible to stay in contact with command? Did someone just call a Mayday? Who was it? Where are they and has anyone gone in after them? What’s the cost of guessing wrong in these situations?

To solve their on-scene accountability problems, four fire departments in Pulaski County, Arkansas will be implementing OnSite ERT™, the industry leading tracking technology from ERT Systems. The system will replace the departments’ former, less reliable tools used to determine crew status and locations during emergencies.

Purchased in part with funds from a regional Assistance to Firefighters grant (AFG), the departments will put OnSite ERT™ into service at emergency scenes beginning in the spring of 2011. The technology uses a combination of lightweight ID tags, portable Drop Readers and Incident Command software to offer a clear, real-time view of on-scene personnel and their current locations – all from the screen of a laptop.

“The OnSite ERT is an impressive and cutting edge technology. The system should provide a drastic improvement in our on-scene accountability, making safer for all of our personnel and that was the deciding factor in our purchase” said Gravel Ridge Fire Chief Andy Traffanstedt. “Having automated accountability with our mutual aid partners will also help greatly .” He added, “Automatically knowing who is on scene from which department will really improve our on-scene efficiency and safety”.

The brainchild of retired Fire Commander John Ellis and technology expert Dennis Carmichael, OnSite ERT is a portable and rapidly deployable system for tracking and monitoring first responders and equipment for the duration of an emergency event. Designed specifically to meet the unique needs of firefighters, the product is gaining traction among fire departments nationwide, already in use by over 50 departments across the US and Canada, with more on the horizon.

OnSite ERT has also proven beneficial for use in mutual-aid and combined-response events, streamlining operations, and improving post-incident reporting and performance analysis. The system tracks and records all on-scene activity, which helps departments comply with federal rules and regulations to further limit legal risks in the event of a tragedy.

“As a Chief Officer, I know how it feels to lose track of a firefighter on scene,” Ellis said. “Our goal is to make sure that never happens, and we want to eventually see every department using this technology. In the end, it’s all about safety, and with OnSite ERT, the Chief might be able to send someone home who wouldn’t have made it otherwise.”

About OnSite ERT

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ERT Systems, LLC offers OnSite ERT, a portable and rapidly-deployable system for tracking and locating personnel and equipment on scene at emergency events. In addition to single-department solutions, ERT Systems also offers ERT Central™, an on-line database for automatically sharing information in real time between mutual-aid partners, regional response, and remote Emergency Operations Centers. OnSite ERT is on the DHS Authorized Equipment List and is approved for grant purchase.

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