Currently in the early stages of development, the introduction of the Resource Tracking System will enable Incident Management Teams (IMT) to quickly locate CFA vehicles across the state and generate accurate resource reports.
Funded as part of the Radio Replacement Project, the system is planned to cover the vehicle tracking needs of CFA over a wide range of operational scenarios in both urban and regional locations, says project manager, Derek Dawkins.
The Resource Tracking System design will utilise both existing and planned CFA infrastructure. The system also builds on the initial research and development of a tracking project conducted by CFA Fire & Emergency Management R&D with funding from the Calvert-Jones Foundation.
One key element of the system is the use of a new software module in the Tait Mobile Radio to trigger position reports. This software was specified by CFA, and Tait Communications have cooperated in incorporating the feature into the radio equipment.
To complete the design phase of the project, all the necessary elements (excluding Radio Dispatch Service) will be tested this month in a pilot exercise, bringing together IMT users, appliance crews and technology elements in a day of realistic field exercising.
The pilot exercise to be held in District 23 is planned to use several appliances and track their movement from turnout to a staging area and then on to various fireground and water point exercises. Direction will be given from an IMT where a Resources Unit will utilise position data to support the IMT. The display of appliance positions on PC screens will initially use EIMS Mapper, with a planned move to eMap to follow.
An added safety benefit from the system’s use in future incidents will stem from the ability to locate appliances with respect to known hazards such as fire fronts. The need for this capability has been recognised by CFA and mentioned in the Victorian Bush Fires Royal Commission Report.