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Fire Department Accountability   Emergency Resource Tracking System

The Computer:

The Software:

The Network:

The Drop-Readers:

The Tags:

Computer Answers:

Q: What Kind of computer can the system be installed on?

A:  The software can be installed on any windows-based PC, laptop or tablet that meets the minimum recommended requirements.  We recommend that the system be installed on a ruggedized computer since it will be used in Emergency Services.

Q: What are the minimum requirements for the software?

A:   The Minimum Requirements are:
  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 20 GB Hard Drive
  • 900 MHz Processor
  • 1024 X 768  Minimum Screen Resolution
         The Recommended Requirements are:
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 100 GB Hard Drive
  • 1GHz Processor
  • 14+ Inch Monitor
  • 1600 X 1200 Screen Resolution

Q:  What computer should I have the system installed on?

A:  We recommend that you install the software on a PC in your first due apparatus, since it is very important to track your resources from the earliest point possible. Otherwise, if you only have a computer in a command vehicle, you may install it there but the systems arrival on scene may not coincide with the first due resources.

Q:  How many computers can I install the software on?

A:   One installation of the software per computer is allowed. To get a quote, please contact us today.

Software Answers:

Q:  What database program is used?

A:  Microsoft SQL Server. The program can be configured to use an existing (already installed) copy, or to use the free version, MS SQL Server Express.

Q:  What framework was the software developed under?

A:  Microsoft .NET 2.0.  If your computer does not have . NET 2.0 (most  newer computers will have it), the install disc will recognize this and will automatically start an install process for it.  Simply follow the on screen instructions.

Q:  How difficult is the software to install?

A:   You will receive three install discs: two for Microsoft Map Point, and one for OnSite ERT. Simply follow the installation instructions provided for a smooth install.

Q: I've installed the software, but PAR will not launch and I get an error message.

A:  Once the software has been installed, but before you launch the PAR application, you need to open (launch) Microsoft Map Point once.  This is due to a link with the PAR software.  You will only need to do this one time, after the initial installation (not every time you launch PAR).

Q:  How long will it take me to enter all of my department information into the system?

A:   The software was designed to be very easy to set-up and use. Manually entering personnel data generally takes less than 30 seconds per Individual, and equipment about one minute per vehicle. In addition, we can often help you import personnel and equipment data from other systems. Contact ERT Systems for more information.

Q:  Do I have to use the name and number of assignments already listed in the       assignments tab?

A:  No.  The PAR program is completely customizable, so you may configure it to  use the same terminology your department uses on scene.

Q:  Can I list my own locations in the Location drop-down box?

A:  Yes.  Some of the most common ones are already entered, but if you come across a unique location on a scene and it is not listed in your drop down, you can add it easily.

Network Answers:

Q:  What type of Network does the system use?

A:  The system uses a Spead Spectrum Radio Frequency (902-928 Mhz) to setup an “ad-hoc” mobile network on scene.

Q:  What does my computer need to have?

A:  Your computer will need to have an External USB Radio Receiver. This is supplied with every sytem we install.

Q:  What is the range of the wireless Network?

A:   The range of the network will vary depending on the environment, but the average range between the PC and drop-readers (or between drop-readers out of range of the PC) is 1/2 mile outside of buildings and around 1,000 feet inside buildings.

The Readers:

Q:  What is the wireless range of the drop-readers?

A:  The range of the network will vary depending on the environment, but the average range between drop-readers (or between the PC and individual drop-readers) is 1/2 mile line of sight outside and 1,000 feet inside.

Q:  Who needs to know what the lights on the drop-readers mean?

A:  The system operator should know that the blue light indicates a network connection, the orange light shows that the internal tag reader is functioning,and the green lights indicate that tags are being read. This will allow them to quickly determine if a drop-reader is connected and functional. Most responders do not need to be aware of these indicators.

Q:  How will I know if a reader goes out of range?

A:  The blue light blinks slowly (about once per second) when it is part of the ad-hoc network.  The blue light blinks very quickly when it is out of range of the network. There is also a indication light in the software the notifies the user if a reader is part of the network or out of range.

Q:  How rugged are the readers?

A:  The reader cases are hardened, waterproof dive boxes which have been tested to withstand temperatures of over 400 degrees, as well as indirect water streams and steam.

Q:  How are the readers powered?

A:  They are powered with rechargeable, sealed lead-acid batteries.  They are the same batteries used in emergency exit lighting.  The life of the charge will depend on usage and the environment, but a typical charge will provide 7-8 hours of continuous operation.

Q:  How are the batteries charged?

A:  Drop-readers are recharged automatically when they are returned to their base, and maintained by a trickle-charger as long as the base has power. These recharging stations can be mounted in vehicles, using on-board power. Bank chargers (which hold more than one reader) are also available.

The Tags:

Q:  How do the tags work?

A:  The tags periodically broadcast a wireless signal that is picked up by the tag reader.  An internal battery boosts the signal, giving it extra range. 

Q:  What is the battery life?

A: The battery life is between 9 and 12 months.

Q:  Is the battery replaceable?

A:  Yes the battery is replaceable.

Q:  Where should the responder keep his/her tag?

A:  Keeping the tag in a secure pocket is the most popular option.  Note that barriers between the tag and the reader will reduce the range, so it should placed as close to the outside as possible(i.e., do not carry the tag in a pant pocket behind hand tools).

Q:  What happens if a tag (responder) goes out of range?

A:  A tag going out of range will result in the tag going “unread.”  When a tag goes unread for a period of time, that responders name will blink on the Status Page within the PAR application, which will also show the responder’s last-read location and time.

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