The Power of Incident Preplanning

The Power of Incident Preplanning

Wednesday, 08 December 2021 22:22

In a previous article, we wrote about New Year’s Resolutions for fire departments. We discussed how important it is to set the right kind of goals and develop your process for how you’re going to achieve them. Without a comprehensive plan in place, your department may be right back in the same place you were in last year. 

In his book The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” If your goal as a department is to save as many lives and protect as much property as possible, it may be just wishful thinking if you do not practice proper incident preplanning. 

In this article, we are discussing the power of effective incident preplanning, and how the right technology can help. 


How Do You Define Incident Preplanning?

Some might answer this question initially as one of the most tedious chores your firefighters must complete. The NFPA 1620 provides the standard by which firehouses develop their incident preplans:

“This document provides criteria for evaluating the protection, construction, and operational features of specific occupancies to develop a pre­incident plan that should be used by responding personnel to manage fires and other emergencies in such occupancies using the available resources.”

The idea is to know everything you possibly can about a structure before sending in your firefighters and paramedics. 

An Incident Preplan Should Include:

  • The type of construction and materials used for building a structure
  • The material from which the roof is developed
  • All fire alarms present on a property and the details of the fire suppression system
  • Any and all potentially harmful and hazardous materials present
  • The location of each fire hydrant and other water sources
  • When and where to expect people and who might be around at night and on weekends
  • Barriers to entry, such as fences or gates
  • The locations of all shutoffs for utilities
  • Photographs of important components such as FDC's photographs, key box, floor plans, and so on

This information is necessary to save lives and raise situational awareness for all personnel. However, the process of getting all this data can be time-consuming and tedious. Many times, you will have to survey the same structures multiple times before you ever use the data you get from them. 

At the same time, when you do need the data, you need it to be accurate and thorough. 

If you want to make sure you have all the right information at the right time, without wasting the time and energy of your firefighters, you need to take your incident preplanning to the next level. You can do that with our comprehensive Preplan Wizard.

How StreetWise® Takes Preplanning to the Next Level

Modeled after the NFPA 1620 standard, our unique system includes field surveys that provide the easiest way for your team to create pre-incident plans using the same tablet they used to respond to the incident. StreetWise is a full-featured preplan management system, including data collection, storage, distribution, and display.

The wizard guides you through all of the critical details specified by the NFPA standard and allows you to submit photos instantly. New preplans are quickly linked to all agency devices, including mutual aid partners using StreetWise. If network connectivity is unavailable, preplanned data can be cached to the tablet for offline access.

What does that mean for your firehouse? It means unparalleled situational awareness for all personnel, improved response time, and lives saved in your jurisdiction. 

The StreetWise® Difference

You do not have to get stuck with software made for police departments. We have developed a  true, feature-rich, cloud-based mobile solution designed exclusively for fire and EMS apparatus. StreetWise's solution is a combination of response and planning software, combining these two formerly separate functions into one platform.

StreetWise makes it simple for your firefighters to do genuine on-site pre-incident surveys in accordance with NFPA 1620, and then we make that data available at the touch of a button during a response. 

Departments benefit from using it as a standalone MDT, integrating it with their Emergency Reporting® NFIRS report, and enjoy having the opportunity to utilize the bi-directional interfaces available for sharing AVL and status buttons back to many CAD systems.

If the new year has your department preparing to perform incident preplanning surveys in your area, your firefighters will appreciate our intuitive preplan surveys that integrate so seamlessly with our cloud-based mobile response software. 

For more information about our firehouse-specific system, contact the team at StreetWise today