IPAD Development for Emergency Services
The Incident Action Plan is a joint venture application between the Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board, Queensland Fire & Rescue Service and the New Zealand Fire Service. It is used to assist in the management of major incidents by providing an onsite computer application to provide information and to assist in, and record, decision making of such things as equipment and personnel availability and deployment. The application has been used in major fire incidents in Melbourne, floods in Queensland, cyclones in Queensland, and earthquakes in New Zealand.
The application has a centralized repository of information with onsite computers in the form of tablets, or in-vehicle computers . This can take the form of full size workstations in the head office or in a control bus that is dispatched to major incidents. Communication is via the internet service on the IPAD.
Mintec was the sole developer for this application from the IAP project commenced in 2009 until recently.
Mintec developed an IPAD version for deployment to the field. This version is designed to be mixed and matched with windows versions at the same incident.
The IPAD communicates with the head office using Web Services transferring information as XML files, including maps and photos. A level of mapping manipulation is available on the IPAD.
The application has been deployed and the acceptance level by the users has been very high.
The following shows some screenshots of the IPAD application:
The Open screen allows the user to view all the current incident plan documents available and to open a selected document. The list is populated fromt the eIAP services multiuser service. The list is updated every 10 seconds, when the application makes a refresh call to the service.
The Resources tab contains a list of appliances that are present at the selected incident. The user can add and edit the status of an appliance from this screen. When editing the item the screen is first set to an edit mode. This notifies the service that the screen is being edited by a specific user. The service will mark the item as locked whilst the current user is editing, and other users viewing the same incident plan will not be able to edit that screen. When the editing is completed, the changes are saved to the service and the screen is unlocked making it available for other users to edit. All screens are refreshed every 10 seconds, so edits made by another user will be made available to all iPAD users
Resources screen appliance status management popup
The status of an appliance is edited using the popup screen shown below.
The objectives screen allows the user to add and edit incident objectives. A list of the various objective titles is contained within a list control. The user can navigate to a required title by scrolling with their finger. The textboxes automatically resize their height to fit the text added. The button to the left-hand side allows the user to quickly view a particular objective title.
Map view Screen.
The map view screen allows the user to view or add one of three things; Map, photo or a pre-saved image. When the user wishes to select a map, a map select popup is opened allowing the user to select a map area using Google maps. All the usual iPAD navigation finger gestures can be used to select the required map. The map can be switched between three viewing modes, standard, satellite and hybrid. The map will be saved via the service and updated to all other users. The next version of the map screen will allow a user to add annotations to mark the position of appliances at the incident scene