EMS command staff started using RhodiumSE’s special event features just days prior to the start of the 10-day event. Managers were able to quickly import existing IAPs and pre-plan data for a multitude of venues and event areas, and train staff on the fly to begin populating resources and activity reports into Rhodium. RhodiumSE mapping layers allowed command staff to instantly view resource location and status for each venue. Spontaneous events, such as protest marches, were also added on-the-fly and could be monitored block by block as they progressed.
The high degree of situational awareness across a broad special event area also allowed for improved response to non-event incidents. Winter conditions caused a 25-car pile-up northwest of Minneapolis the day before the Super Bowl. Rhodium helped EMS command identify response routes and efficiently backfill crews.
“We’ve never been able to track and record what’s happening at events in a variety of jurisdictions as easily as we did with Rhodium. We needed the ability to funnel information to a Multi-Agency Coordination Center and then disseminate intelligence to other groups on the periphery. Rhodium was absolutely instrumental in doing that with efficacy and efficiency.”
-Kurtis Bramer, Deputy Chief of Operations and Emergency Manager, Hennepin EMS
“It was extremely intuitive and took about five minutes to get the general feel. We worked to put as much information as possible into Rhodium and created mapping layers for each day, and events within a day. We could then easily switch layers on and off to show only the information we needed from event to event and day to day.”
-J.B. Guiton, EMS Commander, City of Woodbury EMS
By deploying Rhodium, the Plano Police Department and Plano Department of Emergency Management now have a solution in which all users can view and update critical incident information. This allows information to be shared seamlessly between incident stakeholders and provides a tool that supports collaboration between multiple staff, all entering data simultaneously. Rhodium’s Command Board provides a common operating picture for incident staff for enhanced situational awareness.
The ability to pre-populate information using the Rhodium pre-planning tools has provided shortcuts to rapidly deploy the Rhodium system during a number of contingencies or planned events. The ability to create Incident Action Plans that are customizable to the specific position and function requirements of the City’s events and incidents has been instrumental.
Since purchasing Rhodium, Plano PD has deployed the system on all of their SWAT call outs in addition to large events such as the Plano Balloon Fest and the 4 th of July Celebration. When an EF4 tornado struck Garland, Texas, the City of Plano Emergency Management staff, in collaboration with Tarrant County College (another Rhodium customer), utilized Rhodium to support Incident Action Plan development for several jurisdictions that were impacted.
“Rhodium has allowed us to manage events with only a fraction of the people we normally use without missing a beat. We didn’t require much training upfront. Rhodium is rather self explanatory. The product is excellent and the Rhodium team is always looking for feedback and suggestions on how to make their product better. We looked at several options but no one came close to what Rhodium was offering.”
-Detective Fred Garcia, Plano Police Department
Rhodium provides an easy to use platform of tools that are robust and flexible enough to be molded to a specific agency’s needs and operations. Rhodium’s enhanced ICS forms, accountability, and real-time communication tools have assisted Central EMS in deploying the system as an effective means of incorporating ICS into their daily routine as well as large event operations.
With only a 2-hour training session, Central EMS dispatch and command staff users were able to efficiently deploy the solution. In fact, Central EMS reports that Rhodium is so user friendly that the officers have wanted to use the program every day.
“Central EMS has deployed Rhodium at every Razorback home game this season. We are still learning all of the features that are available through Rhodium and continue to find additional ways the program can help Central EMS function more efficiently at these mass-gathering events. Currently, Central EMS uses Rhodium to prepare and publish an IAP for every event. We also use Rhodium to assist in tracking units’ tasks throughout the event. The log that is provided through Rhodium allows for immediate evaluation of the event and assists in identifying needs for future events.”
-Battalion Chief Joshua Kuykendall
The fire districts were able to access the Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite from their iPads without needing to install or setup any software. Users were able to quickly configure and use Rhodium’s command board features to record and share data on resource locations, assignments, and mapping information critical to the operation. A neighboring county (also using Rhodium) was able to create and share its Incident Action Plan using the Rhodium Enhanced ICS Form module.
“We set up my tablet on the fly to show mapping of the area and capture critical information related to the fire ground such as plotting where fire activity was, and the location of dozer and hand lines. We also began tracking where our unit assets were located so that they could be easily found and tracked on the tablet. Seeing how data could be captured and shared quickly provide the absolute worth of Rhodium Suite.”
- Chief Vinny Burns, Donald Wescott Fire Protection District
Image Credit:University of Texas-Houston
The department was able to deploy the Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite and the Enhanced ICS Form module to create detailed Event Action Plans and share them electronically with outside organizations and stakeholders. The process of creating Event Action Plans typically took several hours, but the use of the Enhanced ICS Form module now allows this process to be completed in less than an hour in most cases.
“I have begun using Rhodium to conduct all collaborative planning for all major events. The ability to bring in Commanders and Team Leaders, allow them to open their individual Incident Command forms while working at stations in a central command post is invaluable. Rhodium eICS software allows for real time planning across multiple ICS 201 and 204 forms. The ability of the Incident Commander to give clear commander intent and immediately begin to get clarification regarding individual team leader assignments is a huge efficiency increase from the traditional hand written or simple typed form planning. The fact that Section Chiefs and Team Leaders can develop their work assignments and teams, type the information once and have it saved immediately to the same IAP almost instantly will allow those leaders more time to effectively coordinate their teams and the response, and a lot less time spent saving documents, sending e-mails and tracking down the latest version of the IAP.”
–Sergeant Scott Barnwell
The airport authority was able to deploy the Rhodium™ Incident Management Suite and the Enhanced ICS Form module to track day-to-day information and provide departments, including the ARFF department with the ability to quickly access pre-incident plans, manage active incidents, and share data across a large number of stakeholders including the airport Emergency Operations Center, Joint Information Center and directly to Executive Staff.
“Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) departments face significant challenges in managing the complexity of an aircraft accident. Tracking a large number of resources from multiple agencies, identifying hazards and then gaining detailed information about those hazards, accessing preplan and mapping information, managing the various National Incident Management System (NIMS) forms, monitoring weather conditions and showing how all of this is interacting on the incident scene are just some of the benefits Rhodium provides to Incident Commanders. Being able to share all of this information across a broad spectrum, such as back to the airport Emergency Operations Center, Joint Information Center and directly to Executive Staff anywhere there is internet availability, is a valuable tool for managing the incident while simultaneously maintaining operations at Orlando International Airport. The training and support from Rhodium staff has been phenomenal. Most notably, the staff has reached out when incidents have occurred in other parts of the country to ensure Orlando International Airport was monitoring social media information being shared by our passengers. This allowed us to get in front of any developing concerns and provide a proactive approach to customer service. There are many systems on the market to choose from and we are pleased with our choice of the Rhodium product.”
–Fire Chief Duane F. Kann, Chair of NFPA ARFF Technical Committee, Director with ARFF Working Group, Florida Region 5 IMT Member
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