Resgrid and what3words

Here at Resgrid it is our mission to deliver the latest technology to first responders all over the world. One of the most important pieces of information to any first responder (firefighter, emt, disaster relief worker, sar member, etc) is location. But location is one of the most difficult pieces of information to communicate and utilize. So when we saw what3words we instantly knew what this could do for first responders and started working on adding it to the Resgrid service.

what3words

So what is what3words (w3w)? Well it’s a global addressing scheme utilizing 3 words in many languages to denote a 3m by 3m square. The power of w3w is that it is global, localized, easy to remember and unique.

An addressing scheme that global allows first responders to get vital location information consistently regardless if your in downtown New York City or in the African Sahara.

Initially we are rolling out w3w in our Dispatch system, allowing dispatchers to create a call with a what3words address and dispatch personnel to that location. After that initial rollout we will look to expand integration down to our mobile apps (Responder, Unit and Incident Command) allowing for searching for w3w address, viewing address information and showing the 3m by 3m grid box.

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what3words is going to play an important part to our global addressing capability, in addition to it will Resgrid better support rural addressing and extend our location capability to areas not served well by Google, Microsoft and other mapping\location providers.

Don’t wait, signup your first responder department today, it’s fast and free. You’ll join thousands of first responder (Fire, EMS, SAR, Public Safety, CERT, etc) worldwide currently using Resgrid.

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Interactive Push Notifications & 3D Touch

We are happy to announce that the next version of the Resgrid Responder App (4.3) will feature support for Interactive Push Notifications and will also support 3D/Force touch for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. These features allow your personnel to show they are responding quickly without ever opening the app, or in most cases even unlocking their phone. Currently we only support the default Responding/Not Responding and do not support Custom Statues. If your department is currently using Custom Statuses you will still be able to take advantage of Interactive Push’s and 3D Touch, but personnel using those features will show up as Responding/Not Responding instead of your custom ones. The next revision of this system will allow you to designate up to 4 statuses you want actionable on Interactive Push’s and 3D Touch.

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One of Resgrid’s primary goals when it was founded was to provide the latest technology to first responders as it becomes available. This is just one of the way we are fulfilling that promise. Soon we will be working on exposing the Responder App via wearables like the Apple Watch and Android Gear devices, and exposing our apps on the most widely available platforms to give you ultimate flexibility.

Don’t wait, signup your first responder department today, it’s fast and free. You’ll join thousands of first responder (Fire, EMS, SAR, Public Safety, CERT, etc) worldwide currently using Resgrid.

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Resgrid Responder v4 Update

We are rolling out a major update to our Resgrid Responder application. In this update we made major changes to the calls system for the Responder app. In addition we updates Messages, Push Notification sounds, Notes and fixed a number of bugs. We also improved the stability and performance of the application, especially on Android devices, and verified support of iOS 9.

Call Changes

In this release we made major changes to how personnel and first responders can interact with calls. Now images can be uploaded and viewed by personnel in the field, notes can be added to the call and shared with all personnel and files can be attached to the call and viewed on mobile devices. This gives your mobile/remote personnel unprecedented commination with each other and with command/dispatch. Features like these are especially valuable to Search and Rescue, CERT, Disaster Response/Relief and Public Safety. But very useful to the fire service as well, to share visual size up information in the form of pictures, help capture and share important scene details for latter records and much more.

iPhone6_CallDetailScreeniPhone6_CallNotesiPhone6_CallImagesiPhone6_CallFiles

You can now also edit basic call information from the Response App. Allowing you can change the name, nature and address of the call on the go. This feature is very useful to departments that import their dispatches from a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system that come with default call names.

Message Changes

In addition to large scale changes to calls we have enhanced the messages component of the Responder App giving you an outbox view to view the result of Poll and Callbacks.

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Clicking on a Poll or Callback in the Message Outbox will allow you to see the responses from personnel you sent the Message, Poll or Callback to. You can then see how many people responded, when and their note.

Custom Push Sounds

You’ve asked and we’ve listened, as we tend to do that. Resgrid now has distinct and very attention grabbing push notifications sounds for Calls, Messages and Notifications. Each level of call (Emergency, High, Medium and Low) also have a distinct sound to them. Of course these sounds can be enabled and disabled from the settings screen. If you disable custom sounds your push notifications will instead play 3 distinct beeps. In the future we will be working on allow departments to override our custom push notification sounds with their own.

New Menu and Profile

In this release we also updated the menu, giving it a frosted glass look and adding a profile view. If you click on your name in the top of the menu you will go to your profile. From there you can edit some basic information (i.e. you phone numbers, cell carrier and notification preferences).

Menu_iPhone6iPhone6_ProfileEditingTopiPhone6_ProfileEditingBottom

Your personnel can now check and modify their basic Resgrid contact information without having to use the website. Allowing quick adjustments to notification preferences from anywhere.

Other Changes

In this release we made over 2 dozen changes

  • Updated underlying frameworks to latest version
  • Fixed issue where messages could not be sent from the app
  • Updated sorting on calls in Responding To
  • Added ability to select Message type (Normal, Poll, Callback)
  • Highlighted Personnel Filter when Active
  • Highlighted Unit Filter when Active
  • Fixed bug that prevented group and department admins from setting personnel state
  • Fixed a bug where new days of the week staffing schedules would only pick up Monday

We will be rolling the Responder App v4 app out to Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon and Blackberry over the next couple of weeks (starting 9/11/2015). Resgrid is used by thousands of public and private first responders the world over. Every week we add new features and fix bugs to support fire departments, VFD’s, Search and Rescue (SAR), Sheriff’s, Public Safety, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), HAZMAT, disaster relief/response and much more. We aren’t just a service provider, we are a technology partner our customers can rely on to empower their first responders.

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Personnel Mapping and ETA’s

Today Resgrid is happy to announce that responding Personnel are now shown in the Big Board Map and that Personnel ETA’s are now shown in the Dashboard and BigBoard. On the BigBoard personnel who are responding to a call are show in light red and personnel responding to a station are shown in blue.

ResponseGrid

This is our first iteration on these features and we will be working hard on them in the next couple of months. Additionally in our next update of the Responder App you will start seeing ETA’s in there as well. ETA’s are generated by Google and take into account current driving conditions and other factors to give a fairly accurate estimate. Resgrid will show you the time in seconds and minutes, so you will know if your personnel are 30 seconds out or 5 minutes.

We also worked hard to ensure this feature works with your departments custom statuses. So if you’ve defined custom resposnes with details of Respond to Station or Call we will pick those up for ETA and display on the Big Board.

Only Responding to Station or Call personnel will have ETA’s calculated (as we can determine where they are going) the same goes for custom statuses (where you have the detail set to station or call). Personnel in any response state (Generic Responding, Reponding to Station and Responding to Call) will show up in the big board. As mentionedMappngd earlier personnel in a Responding or Responding to Call state are shown on the map as a Red Person maker. While personnel responding to a station are shown in a Blue Person marker. This allows you to easily eyeball personnel on your map and determine who’s coming to you and about how far our they are.

These have been some of Resgrid most requested features over the last year and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes ensuring that the system was capable and ready for this support. We will be rolling these features out to our mobile apps as well over the next little while so you can continue to enjoy Resgrid’s cutting edge features on the go.

If you have any feedback for us, requests or issues our door is always open.

Resgrid is a cloud service that provides logistics and communications tools to first responders like volunteer and career fire departments, search and rescue, emergency medical services, public safety, CERT and disaster response. Resgrid is the only service out there giving first responders full cycle control over their departments, personnel, apparatuses and incidents.

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Google Closing Maps Coordinate Service

Engadget is reporting that Google is closing their Google Maps Coordinate service. From Engadget’s original posting about the service back in 2012:

If you’re a mobile / field worker, and are tired of getting hauled across town to jobs, when there are others nearer by, you might want to point your senior in the direction of Google Maps Coordinate. Sounding like a blend of Latitude, Maps and Google + (Circles,) it’s a web tool and mobile app that should help central operations organize their teams out in the field. Of course there’s the usual location sharing, plus options for recording and collecting (user defined) data, allocating staff to teams or groups, job and task allocation plus history for analytics.

On the plus side? Resgrid can perform all those functions and much more for your mobile / field work force. Resgrid is currently being used by many first responder organizations but many private businesses also use the service to meet these needs. With our upcoming Custom Statuses feature every organization can create their own statuses for personnel and units. For example “On Break, On Location, Picking Up\Dropping Off, etc”.

Check out Resgrid today and start using it for free.

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Resgrid is a Featured Microsoft Startup

Today Resgrid is one of Microsoft’s featured BizSpark Startups, this is an amazing achievement for a us and our customers. Resgrid is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for first responders (fire, police, ems, search and rescue, disaster response, etc) that allows them to coordinate personnel, vehicles, work, emergencies and much more.

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Utilizing Microsoft’s Azure Resgrid is able to grow and scale all over the world while keeping our costs low. This is important for us as we want to ensure Resgrid is cost effective for first responder organizations of all sizes. Resgrid’s use of Azure also ensures the utmost level of security and safety of your data. Microsoft’s Azure is independently vetted to ensure it’s meeting the most strict security standards.

Azure also has data centers all over the world. In the near future you will be able to utilize Resgrid in data centers in many locations: Northern Europe, US East Coast, Australia and more.

This is just the start for Resgrid. In a little over 2 years we have gone from a very simple product with 2 buttons, to the only full-cycle cloud based logistics, management and communication tool for first responders and we are not stopping there. Resgrid will continue to evolve and innovate, giving our existing customers access to the latest and greatest technology while brining Resgrid to new customers the world over.

When sign up for Resgrid your organization isn’t just buying a service, it’s gaining a partner. Our customers directly impact what we do and it’s not just bug fixes, we push out a major feature every month, and dozens of small additions and bug fixes. Need a feature or a change, just ask and we will work it in and grow with you.

Check out the Microsoft TechNet write-up of Resgrid here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/bizspark_featured_startups/archive/2015/01/13/trustworthy-cloud-logistics-for-first-responders.aspx

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Responder App v3 Update & Voice Dispatching

This week we will start rolling out our v3 update for our Responder app to the Apple and Google Play app stores. This v3 update is a huge deal for us. Not only is it the 3rd major version of our premier mobile app it’s also our 2nd major revision utilizing Cordova and our fist utilizing the Ionic framework.

Lets have some background. Resgrid is a software as a service system that provides apps and services for first responders (volunteer and career fire department, EMS, search and rescue, public safety, disaster response, etc). We are first responders ourselves and we love writing software and services for first responders. But they demand a lot from their software and services, it has to work and it has to work fast! For us this was one of the biggest draws to using Ionic, having a blazing fast UI framework built on top of Angular which lends itself well to testing totally a win-win.

Additionally being HTML, JavaScript and CSS we have a ton of reuse against all of our platforms, Web, Desktop and Mobile. It’s important our app looks and feels the same across as many form factors as possible. In the world of first responders operations need to become muscle memory, leaving brain power for listening to the dispatch report, mentally sizing up a scene or putting together a crew. This is why as of this release you will see parity between all platforms our responder app is on, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Amazon and Blackberry (via the Amazon App Store).

We will start rolling out the v3 update of this app within the next week. Android will be first then iOS, Windows Phone and Amazon. If you have any questions or issue please contact us, we are always here to help.

Telephone (Voice) Dispatching

In addition to the Responder V3 app update, we recently released telephone based dispatching. If you have personnel that don’t have cell phones, or cell phones that cannot support even text messages Resgrid can call their home phone number and mobile number and relay a short dispatch. With this new feature Resgrid now supports 4 independent mechanisms for communicating to your personnel (Text Messages, Push Notifications, Email and Telephone Calls). No more missing calls because the pager is off or the mobile phone was turned off or on silent. Voice dispatching is included with the Ultimate and Enterprise plans.

 

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Training System (Beta)

Long gone are the days where we can just post new procedures, trainings, SOP’s, etc on a memo board, or email them out to our personnel. Personnel not following policies and procedures can open departments and organizations up to liability, not to mention the life safety concerns that that the personnel is exposing themselves to. In this day and age Leadership and Training need to know that personnel and reading and understanding what’s being sent out. In the days of Ebola and Enterovirus we at Resgrid realized this need and how difficult it is for larger departments and departments with dispersed personnel.

I’m pleased to announce that Resgrid worked hard to get a new training system out as quickly as we could to help departments using Resgrid send out trainings and couple those with Quiz’s that personnel take to ensure they consumed and understood the material. This is only the first version of the Training System, we will be evolving and adding to the system over the next little while, but right now it’s in a place where you can post your trainings, personnel can consume them and get quizzed.

The Training System is now accessible via a main level menu item on the Resgrid sidebar.

Menu

Clicking on that menu item will expose the Training List. If you’re a department admin you can create new trainings. Your personnel can see active trainings and  in the Actions column view the trainings they have not completed.

Index

Once personnel have viewed a training that will be logged and time stamped so you know that they looked at the training material.

ViewTraining

The training text is the body of the training, this can be links to outside resources or total text from a word document or typed right in. At the bottom of the training view personnel can view any attachments and if there are quiz questions they can take the quiz.

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The quiz is a multi-step wizard with one question per step, this allows personnel to focus on one question at a time with the ability to go back and change their answers on previous questions before they submit.

Quiz

Once your personnel complete the quiz their status is shown in the Training list, green box they passed, red box they failed.

TrainingCOmplete

To Create a new Training, if you’re a department admin, click the “New Training” button on the Training List.

NewTraining

You need to specify the Training Name, Short Description and the Training Text.

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Once you specify that information you can attachment multiple documents (doc’s, pdf’s, power points, images, etc). If your going to add quiz questions specify a minimum passing score percentage. Due dates for training allow for reminders to be sent out to personnel. Next you can specify all the personnel who need to take this training, for example you can send all personnel, or just select groups, roles or users.

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You can add as many questions and answers as you want. To add a question click the “Add Question” button at the top of the table. Once you’ve added a question you need to add at least one answer for it. You can add answers for a question by clicking the “Add Answer” button that is part of the question. You need to also select a correct answer so select the radio button to the left of the answer to mark that answer as the correct one.

Your department admins can then keep tabs on who viewed and completed the training and who passed the quiz.

Report

We will be working to enhance, add features and polish the training system in the near future, but we felt it was important to get this system out to our departments to ensure they have the latest tools to ensure their personnel are informed and knowledgeable about protocol changes and other import training and safety information.

Sign up your department for Resgrid for free. http://resgrid.com

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Personnel Shifts (Beta)

On 10/18 we launched Resgrid Personnel Shifts Beta. With this launch departments can create shifts, assign those shifts days that the shift is on, assign the groups and roles needed to be filled by personnel for the shift and finally the ability to assign personnel to the shift. This is the first version of the shifts system, soon we will be adding shift readiness reports, open signups, shift approval and more. We are excited because this feature will help support full time, part time, paid on call and volunteer departments.

You will now see a high level sidebar option for the Shifts system.

Menu

This will bring you to the Shifts homepage with the grid listing the shifts and a shift calendar below it. The shifts grid will show you important information about each shift, how many groups (stations) are a part of it and the number of personnel that are in the shift. A shift schedule of “Manual” denotes that shift days were selected on a calendar and not automatically generated. Shifts come in 2 types, Assigned and Signup. If the type is assigned that means that when the shift is created personnel are assigned to it. If the type is Signup that means personnel in your department select and signup for the shifts they want.

ShiftsGrid

If you’re a department admin you can create a new shift by clicking the “Add New Shift” button and clicking the blue gear button you can edit the shift details, edit shift groups and roles, edit the shifts days (if a manual shift) and delete the shift. Your shifts will show up on the calendar below the grid.

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To create a new shift click the “Add New Shift” button and you will go to the New Shift Wizard.

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On the first page specify your shifts name, code and a color you want to use to represent it on the calendar. Click the “Next” button in the lower right hand corner to continue.

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The next page will allow you to specific the days that this shift will be on. You need to specify the start time of the shift at the top. Clicking on a day will highlight/select it, and you can see that by a blue border around the day. You can deselect a day by selecting that day again. Click next at the bottom right of the page to continue.

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On the groups page you can specific which groups are part of the shift (i.e. stations) and the personnel roles that are needed for the shift. For example you have a structure engine at station 1, you need 4 attack firefighters, 1 captain and 1 engineer. This will allow your captains and admins to analyze if a shift is being properly staffed. You can add groups to the shift by clicking on the “Add Group to Shift” button in the upper right hand corner. To add roles to a group click the “Add Role to Group” button in the middle for the group you want to add the role to.

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On the personnel page you can specify what personnel are part of this shift. These personnel will be notified 24 hours beforehand when the shift is going to start to ensure that all your personnel know about their shift start times. Clicking the Next button and the Finish button will create the shift.

We will be updating and expanding the shifts system over the next little bit to add features and capabilities. Stay tuned for more information of feel free to contact us at team@resgrid.com if you have any questions, problems or feature requests.

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Notification System (Beta)

On September 12th we launched the initial beta of the Notification system for Resgrid. This system allows your department to create complex notification rules for a number of discrete activities, operations and states. Our notification beta launched with 10 events that can trigger notifications, some of which allow you to select the type of data you want to generate notifications for. This provides hundreds of notification options available to your department to create notifications that are meaningful.

Here are the initial notification included in the beta:
Notification Details
Department Settings Changed
Occurs when the departments settings have been changes
Unit Status Changed
Occurs when a units status has changes (Before and Current statuses Selectable)
Personnel Staffing Changed
Occurs when a persons staffing level changes (Before and Current states selectable)
Personnel Status Changed
Occurs when a persons status changes (Before and current statuses selectable)
User Created
Occurs when a new person is created in the department
User Assigned To Group
Occurs when a user is assigned to a group
Calendar Event Upcoming
Occurs when a calendar event is upcoming
Document Added
Occurs when a document is added to the department
Note Added
Occurs when a note is added to the department
Unit Added
Occurs when a unit is created in the department
Log Added
Occurs when a call log is created

You can see the notifications active for your department, or create new notifications, by clicking the Notifications option in your department menu.

Menu

Once you are in the notifications area you can create and see all the notifications currently created.

Grid

In the case above we have a notification that when a unit status changed to “Out of Service” we will notify all Engineers and Chiefs. The second notification is that when a unit is added to the department all users will be notified. The last notification will notify all department admins if the Department Settings have been changed. Clicking the blue gear will allow you to delete a notification (if you are a department admin). If you click the “New Notification” button (if you’re a department admin) you will see the following UI:

UI

In the New Notification UI you can specify the type of notification you want to create, here “Unit Status Changed” is selected. Below that we are seeing the Before and Current State option, if we only want to receive a Notification when the Unit states changes from “Out of Service” to “Available” we can specify that, “Out of Service” would be the before state and the current state would be “Available”. If we want to alerted if the units state moves to “Out of Service” from any state you can select “Any” from the box as well.

Next you can select the groups, roles and users you want this notification to go out to. If you “Lock to Group” this will limit the notification to the users inside that the notification originates from. For example if your unit (Engine 6) is in the (Station 6) group if we “Lock to Group” the notification will only be sent to users in the (Station 6) group. The cool things is this is dynamic so every unit or other notification that has a source group will notify it’s own group. The roles and users filter still applies, so if we selected the “Engineer” role we would only send to personnel in the Station 6 group with the Engineer role. If we wanted to send to all users in the source group we can check the Everyone checkbox and the “Lock to Group” checkboxes.

Notifications, just like Calls and Messages, are controlled by your personnel as well. So each of your users can select how they want to receive notifications just like calls and messages. In the Edit Profile screen you will see a section for Notifications:

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As you can see from this short introduction the Notification System gives an amazing array of notification options and power to your department. As we move forward we will be adding more notification types and more options to control your notifications.

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