How Does Technology Affect Incident Command Strategy?

How Does Technology Affect Incident Command Strategy?

Wednesday, 07 July 2021 18:24

Technology has affected everything about our lives. It has changed the way we work such that almost every career relies in some way on computers. In the last year, we realized just how much impact technology has had on the workforce, with many jobs becoming remote and remaining that way even after things began to return to normal following the height of the global pandemic.


We often rely on technology in our homes to improve efficiency and protect our families from outside harm. Smart security systems, appliances, and heating and air conditioning systems can be managed from our phones and tablets to provide security, improve convenience, and reduce energy consumption. 

We don't ask for directions any longer, opting instead to plug an address into our vehicle or phone's mapping software. Technology in our cars helps us know when we need an oil change or new tires. 

When it comes to responding to emergencies, can technology help us improve our effectiveness and efficiency? Absolutely! Here is what you need to know about how you can take your incident command strategy to the next level with the right technology. 

The Incident Commander and Technology

Incident commanders should have an Incident Action Plan in mind before they arrive on the scene. Once they get there, their IAP will involve at least these four steps:

  1. Assessing the Situation: The incident commander must determine what has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen. They will determine how much risk is acceptable moving and what measures the team can and should take to save lives and protect property.
  2. Determine the Mode and Goals: Once they have assessed the situation and risk levels, commanders will choose whether they are in rescue, offensive, or defensive modes. Then they will establish goals to accomplish within the mode of operation.
  3. Develop the Plan: Incident commander will then set a plan of action to accomplish the goals of the mission. 
  4. Determine Who Is In Place to Accomplish the Plan: With the plan in place, they will take inventory of their personnel and strengths and send the right people to the right places to fulfill the plan. 

Technology can improve every aspect of a commander's IAP. It can put the right planning data into your hands, show you who is present and who is in transit, and give you a comprehensive picture of the situation. 

Technology Can Improve Pre-Incident Planning

Pre-incident planning can take a lot of time and feel tedious; however, with the right technology in place, it can be much more efficient. StreetWise's Pre-Incident Planning wizard can transform your process. The wizard guides you through all of the key features suggested by the NFPA standard and allows you to upload photographs instantly. 

New preplans are automatically synchronized to all agency devices, including mutual aid partners using StreetWise®. If a network connection is unavailable, preplanned data can be cached to the tablet for offline access.

Technology Can Improve Commander Communication

With all of your pre-incident planning at your fingertips, incident commanders have the tools they need to effectively communicate the mode, goals, and plan of action to the firefighters who will carry out the IAP. 

Streamlined communication can shave seconds and minutes off of your response time, which can translate into saving lives and protecting property. 

Technology Can Improve Situational Awareness

Technology like what is available from StreetWise®® will vastly improve situational awareness for everyone involved. 

With our system, incident commanders and dispatchers can know:

  • Where all fire hydrants are located
  • What streets are most conducive for your rigs
  • Who is present and who is in transit
  • Where the rigs are in transit and estimated arrival times
  • Every important piece of preplanning data information 
  • Much more

With the big picture at your fingertips, your entire department's situational awareness will be raised. Of course, heightened situational awareness leads to lives saved.

Technology Can Improve Response Time and Effectiveness

Ultimately, every fire department wants the same thing - to save lives and protect property while maintaining the safety of their firefighters. 

With the right technology in place, improved communication and situational awareness will lead to better response time and increased effectiveness. StreetWise® can help you better serve your community and team by improving every aspect of communication. We are happy to provide a free demonstration to prove how effective our software can be. 

If you are ready to find out more about how your department can benefit from updating technology, we are here to answer your questions. StreetWise®® is a suite of full-featured software products specifically designed for firefighters & EMS. 

Our system is designed by fire and EMS people who have been where you have been. Rather than continuing to use software designed for police response, we created a mobile solution for you.

Contact StreetWise® for more information about how our technology can improve your incident command strategy.