CENTENNIAL, COLO., 26 July 2004 – CompassCom Inc. has provided key components in a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based mobile resource management solution for the city of Boston’s emergency medical service (Boston EMS). The CompassCom technology will help the public-government agency track 40 ambulances around the site of the Democratic National Convention this week and in daily operations thereafter.
Boston EMS will utilize CompassTrac™, CompassFDE™ and CompassTrac Mobile™ to track the locations of city ambulances in real time on ESRI-compatible digital maps at its dispatch center and in command vehicles to ensure that the closest available ambulances are dispatched to respond to emergency calls. The technology adds digital and mobile mapping components, as well as multi-agency interoperability, to Boston EMS’s existing GPS-based vehicle tracking system installed by Trimble Navigation, a CompassCom business partner.
The in-vehicle GPS unit transmits location and status data from each ambulance via wireless communication to CompassFDE, a universal server capable of receiving wireless data inputs from thousands of vehicles in multiple fleets. CompassFDE serves this information to CompassTrac client software which displays the ambulance location and siren status on digital maps, either on computer-aided dispatch systems at emergency command centers or on laptop computers in command vehicles. CompassTrac Mobile is the client software specifically designed to display mobile asset tracking information on the screen of laptop computers or other mobile devices in the field.
Ambulances are depicted precisely on the map screen as icons that change color to indicate whether their sirens are activated. This enables dispatchers to see which ambulances are already responding to calls and which non-engaged ambulances are closest to the site of the emergency call to reduce response time.
CompassFDE’s scalability and flexibility provide interoperability important to Boston EMS. “Integration was a relatively painless process,” says Lt. Steve Hillson, Boston EMS. “It’s easy to integrate any number of different platforms.”
The versatility of CompassFDE also will be a factor if other Boston public safety departments, such as fire or police, join Boston EMS in utilizing mobile asset management. “All agencies can connect to the universal CompassFDE server simultaneously, even if they use different mobile asset tracking subsystems, in support of Homeland Security initiatives,” says J.D. Main, CompassCom’s Director of Engineering. “For example, this could allow a police dispatcher to see where ambulances and firefighting vehicles are, and vice versa.”
Boston EMS may purchase additional components in the future to allow units to communicate with text messaging, according to Hillson.
CompassCom Inc., established in 1994, is the premier provider of mobile resource management solutions including GPS, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) markets. CompassCom offers end-to-end solutions through its business partners ESRI Inc., NEXTEL, Trimble Navigation, AT&T Wireless.
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