Overview of Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) Systems
Introduction to the Micromation CAD System
What it Provides .
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) for emergency services is largely regarded as an essential feature of an Emergency Control Centre. With the advent of more powerful computers, and vast system software capability, the today’s CAD systems allow the operator to enter any information, or look up any information at the click of a mouse. But this was not always the case.
Many year ago, the emergency service control room operators would have an “Occurrence Book” in which all occurrences would be recorded. Early computer systems simply mimicked the occurrence book functions, but as time went by, the computer systems grew in complexity, till today the functions of many of the CAD systems are vast.
With the increase in functionality came increases in prices, and increases in complexity. Emergency service operators could no longer get away with only knowing how to write, they had to become computer operators, and in so doing needed to be able to find their way around operating systems, as well as CAD application programs. In fact, to be proficient, many CAD systems today require operators to undergo extensive training on the CAD system, as well as training on the computer system software such as Windows 2000. No longer could old and experienced staff spend their latter working days before retirement in the relative comport of a control room – they simply did not have the necessary skills for this new age environment.
Today things are even further complicated by the increasing use of multidisciplinary control centres, which required the operators to be proficient in the Call Taking and Dispatching of many different emergency service providers.
In first world countries, many operators are extremely computer literate, and have no trouble negotiating complex and extensive CAD programs, but in developing countries, operators are usually chosen for their knowledge and proficiency in the languages of the region, rather than for their computer literacy abilities. What this means in practice is that CAD software packages developed in first world countries are often not suitable for staff use in developing countries. On a smaller scale, the CAD packages used in large cities are often too complex for the folk who operate control centres in the remote towns and country areas.
What does this mean for the councils and provinces that install and operate emergency control centres? It means that the installation of an effective CAD system is virtually totally dependant on the IT ability of the control centre staff. If the staff your emergency control centre intend using could not hold down a position in an IT company, the best (and most expensive) CAD system in the world would be a total waste of money. Moreover, you would be lucky if they were able to use even a small fraction of the CAD system’s capability.
In short, you would have frustrated staff, low staff morale, and poor emergency centre performance, not to mention a flattened budget!
With CAD systems, as with many other things in life, there are “horses for courses”. Micromation has realised this fact, and now is able to offer its top of the range CAD system, supplemented with its functional down-to-earth economical “XX” system. So now you can choose a system from Micromation that suits your staff and your budget.
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State-of-the-art emergency management system based on the open systems architecture.
Comprehensive Integrated Incident Reporting and Call Handling system aimed at improving the emergency services of Local or Regional Administration and Metropolitan services and other organizations requiring an emergency management system.
Its ultimate goal? To save People and Property in case of Emergencies.
Fully integrated system that gives the user a bird's eye view of the scene of interest, be it an aircraft disaster, traffic accident, chemical spillage, building on fire, natural disaster, armed robbery or hijacking. The modularity of the system enables the user to configure the system to satisfy his current needs and, as requirements change, expand and upgrade by adding further modules.
The design and modularity make it ideal for :-
Civil Protection Services
Police Control Centers
Cash-In-Transit (CIT) Control Centers
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MICROMATION CAD PROVIDES ...
Provides Quick Reactions
The use of true Geographic Information System (GIS) data models enables the user to link geographic data (maps, streets, landmarks, houses and buildings) and non-geographic data (telephone information, address information, street information, house and building information) at the click of a button. This allows the user to effectively select the best service to turn out to the incident in order to ensure that help arrives on scene in the shortest possible time.
Provides Quick Information
It has an extensive call-taking and recording facility that assists the operator in capturing information in the shortest possible time. The use of Caller Line Identification (CLI) further assists in effective and fast call capturing. Captured information can at any stage be passed on to another center for dispatching purposes or further data capture.
Fully complies with the latest designs in Local Area Networks (LAN’s) and Wide Area Networks (WAN’s).
Utilizes various transmission mediums, i.e. telephone lines, fiber-optic cable, radio frequency and microwave. There is no need to change or upgrade existing networks.
Will utilize these networks as far as possible for its data communications.
Will also utilize third-party data communication networks when they prove more cost-effective and reliable.
Provides Quick Response
Provides Quick Access
Makes full use of the radio and telephone communications infrastructure in place, or a new communications infrastructure can be established as part of the system.
Has an information security system that enables only authorized personnel to access information from the CAD database.
Provides Quick Training
Makes use of a consistent graphic user interface that enables the user to move from the reporting subsystem to any of the dispatching subsystems without the need for retraining. All subsystem modules are designed to run directly from the control panel. Opening and closing of Windows, selecting of programs using icons, etc. makes a user-friendly system.
Provides Quick Results
The benefits of using the system are numerous:
Easy to use
Fits in with small and large emergency centers
Up-to-date information system
Integration with existing systems
Upgradability for future expansion and needs
Effective and simplified data management
But most importantly, the major benefit of using the Micromation CAD System is the saving in terms of lives and property. There are currently a number of South African "107" (911) Reporting and Dispatching centers that have a system adapted and installed for their specific needs. We can do the same for you!
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Runs on Microsoft Windows NT/95/98/2000.
Microsoft SQL 6.5/7 database.
Year 2000 compliant.
Incident Reporting subsystem with automatic number and location identification.
Extensive user access control system.
Individual dispatching modules for Fire Emergency, Ambulance, City police, Traffic Police and Support services.
Dispatching modules allow for integration with station announcement systems and remote printing of turnout details.
Integrated shift planning and rostering subsystem.
Extensive data management subsystem for data entry and manipulation.
Integrated paging and faxing modules.
Management information subsystem with standard reports.
System maintenance includes database backup and archiving.
Integrated alarm monitoring system for automatic call registering initiated by domestic and public alarm & panic systems.
If you would like us to email you more information on the Micromation CAD System, as well as a Power Point presentation on the various facilities that it offers, please click firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to include your name, position, company name plus phone number including area code, and we will email you a self extracting 616 KB zipped file!
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Micromation's CAD System is a fully integrated system that gives the user a birds eye view of the scene of interest, be it an aircraft disaster, traffic accident, chemical spillage, building on fire, natural disaster, armed robbery or hijacking. It is a state of the art command and control system for the paperless control centre.
The system is designed for the recording of incidents of any kind at any one or combination of the following control centres:
107 (911) Reporting;
Armed response services;
Service centres (such as electricity utility, water, waste, towing services, etc);
Delivery services (such as cash-in-transit and courier services)
Once captured using the incident reporting module the incident information will be distributed to the pre-selected dispatching centre or centres be it on the same premise or located elsewhere. The incident handling module in conjunction with the shift planning and duty rostering module allows the dispatch centre to respond with the best equipped response team to the incident. The CAD mapping system may be used to calculate the shortest route from the selected response team to the incident allowing the dispatcher to navigate the response team effectively.
To populate and update the database a maintenance module was designed giving the user a user-friendly graphical interface to enter and correct information. Through the maintenance module the user can set the access control of operators to the system, populate a personnel and streets database, link incidents to dispatch centres and all the other tables that assist the call taker and dispatcher to capture and handle an incident with the click of a button.
The management information system allows the control centre management to draw extensive management reports an all aspects regarding the incidents captured and the response to these incidents. Using the management information system it is possible to draw conclusions on high risk areas be it crime, traffic or fire related.
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The Micromation CAD System is a totally integrated command and control system specially developed in South Africa for the South African emergency services namely Fire & Ambulance services, Traffic services, Security services and the traditional Community Preparedness or Civil Protection services.
It consists of a number of building blocks allowing it to be configured for the typical control centre or for a 107 (911) reporting centre. Both configurations have been implemented successfully at Johannesburg, Pretoria, Germiston, Alberton, Tygerberg and the Khayalami Metro.
The configuration designed for a typical control centre consists of a call capturing module, a call handling module and management information module. Modules such as paging and faxing can be added to the system.
The configuration designed for a 107 (911) reporting
consists of a call capturing module, incident handling, maintenance
paging module, faxing module and management information module. A
unique feature of the Micromation CAD System is the direct interface
with other control
centre systems such as the ESS system supplied by Sysman. Another
is its close loop control on all captured calls even when handled by
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The system is a fully integrated reporting centre system that has its own call handling modules (Ambulance, Fire and Security services) or may be interfaced with the call handling modules of existing control centre systems. Such an interface is operational between the CAD system and the ESS (the emergency management system supplied by the company Sysman) system in Pretoria.
Following is a short description of each of the Modules within
1. System Access Control Module or Control Panel
The system access control system grants the user access to the
and control system and accompanying Modules. The Module is an
control system that is sign-on code and password driven. This
unauthorized use and/or abuse of the system. All inputs into and
processing on the command and control system are monitored and
by linking a specific sign-on code in use to each transaction
Access rights vary from limited to total access to all available
on the system.
2. Incident Reporting Module
The incident reporting Module is used to record electronically all complaints, enquiries and incidents reported telephonically or by any other means to the Reporting and Control Centres. The operator is notified of a specific incident by telephone and/or radio communication. The relevant information, including the nature of the incident, the geographic location and details of the person reporting the incident, is recorded on the system. The Control Centre(s) that must be involved with the incident takes/take note of the incident by computer and mobilizes/mobilize the necessary operational unit(s) to investigate and deal with the incident, as discussed in the different Incident Handling or dispatching Modules.
The incident reporting Module also incorporates the CLI (Caller
Identification) facility. The number of the caller with associated
and medical information will be displayed on the call-capturing screen
and on acceptance of the call be written into the call log. This
saves time during the call capturing process and ensure a callback
should the call be lost for any reason. Linked to the CLI are all
details on the subscriber of the telephone and additional information
the occupants at the residence. This allows for the recording of
history on occupants.
The incident reporting Module also offers a landmark and routing feature. The landmark feature enables the call taker to enter a landmark whereupon the system will enter the location of that landmark. The routing feature enable the call taker to enter any street location or landmark as origin, a street location or landmark as destination and the route between these will be displayed in the format it is saved on the database.
A mapping feature may also be linked to the incident reporting
entering the incident location the call taker may select the locate
which will display a map of the area with the incident location
on the map.
3. Incident Handling Module (Dispatching)
The incident handling Module is used to record the steps of the
process of incidents for record purposes. The Dispatch Operators at the
various control centres are responsible for the inputs into this
This entails a step-by-step recording of the actions to be followed by
operational units when dealing with and finalizing an incident. The
status of each incident is displayed on the computer screen at all
This screen is known as the incident status screen. It consists
a brief description of the incident, the location of the incident and
exact time the incident was reported. Updating of the completion stage
of an incident is executed by zooming into the incident concerned,
the necessary inputs and returning to the incident status screen.
When an incident has been dealt with fully, the Dispatch Operator
confirms that the incident has been handled. The incident status
screen is adjusted accordingly so that the incident concerned is
programmatically from the list of incidents still to be dealt
The Reporting Centre Coordinator monitors the progress of completion of
each incident on an ongoing basis and takes the necessary steps if the
completion of the incident requires additional assistance and/or if the
completion does not take place as one would wish.
3.1 Dispatch Module for Traffic, Security & Essential Services
The incident handling Module for traffic, security and essential services has three progress phases namely dispatched, arrive on scene and job complete. During the handling of the incident the operator may attach specific actions to be performed to this call. An incident with actions to attend to can not be closed by the operator until all outstanding actions are complete.
This module may also be used to dispatch and keep track of
personnel such as after hour electricians, plumbers, etc.
3.2 Dispatch Module for Ambulance Services
The incident handling Module for the ambulance services records all actions regarding the transportation of patients from the scene of the incident to a hospital. Patient details, the kilometers driven and any transferring of patients are recorded. An ambulance call will be closed when releasing the last ambulance that has responded to the incident. This will remove the call from the call list and update the call status at the reporting level. This completed call will be written into the calls to be finalized list.
The system may be set up to assist the dispatcher in selecting
right unit and personnel for a specific incident. Personnel may be
to vehicles and vehicles may be assigned to specific types of
When set up the system will also indicate to the dispatcher the station
that should turn out to the incident. In no instance the system will
a decision on behalf of the dispatcher but will make recommendations
the process of dispatching units and personnel.
3.3 Dispatch Module for Fire & Emergency services
The fire and emergency incident handling Module display only those calls that have to be handled by this service. Calls in the call list are displayed in order of priority. Upon selection of a call to be handled the system will highlight the station that should respond to the incident based on the location of the incident. All available appliances linked to that station are displayed. Upon selecting an appliance all available personnel are displayed. The system also allows for the linking of personnel to a specific vehicle (refer to the Shift Planning module). Should such a vehicle be selected the attached personnel will be displayed in the selected crew window. The operator can dispatch this vehicle upon which the system will print a turnout slip at the station where this vehicle is stationed. During the process of handling the incident all action are recorded and provision has been made for entering additional information in the form of notes.
This module makes provision for the dispatching of specialized
as well as specialized equipment other than the normal appliances and
that belongs to a station. Upon releasing the last appliance on this
the call segment will be closed and removed from the call list. The
system call list will also be updated and this call segment will be
into the calls to be finalized list.
3.4 Fire and Ambulance Finalisation
The finalisation module displays all fire and ambulance calls to
be finalised. Finalisation can be done remotely at the station that
to the incident. This remote station may be linked via wide area
or dial-up modem to the main server. Only the calls handled by this
station will be displayed on their finalisation screen.
Upon finalising a call the system will assist the operator in completing all required fields. Once completed an incident report and invoice will be displayed. The operator may print the reports or just close the call. At this point the call will be removed from the finalisation call list. Should the operator require to update a finalised call he may reverse the call status back to the to be finalised status.
4. External Enquiry Module
The external enquiry system is an interface through which the
of the command and control system are able to gain access to databases
outside the Council to obtain information from them for official use
as telephone subscriber detail from Telkom. This is no online link but
a scheduled download from the third party database or databases.
5. Shift Planning Information Module
The shift planning information system is a register consisting of details of available staff and vehicles. Shift periods may be created uniquely for each discipline or station. Shifts per day are entered and displayed on a timeline. The shift information is entered by the supervisors concerned and/or an authorized person every day. The Control Centre uses this information to identify, inter alia, available officials when incidents must be dealt with, to be kept informed about available staff, to be aware of the areas to be patrolled during a shift and to identify officials for carrying out special services.
The system has three facilities. A main input facility is
to record on the system the original shift information in terms of
details, vehicles, tasks, instructions and areas to be patrolled for
specific shift. An enquiry facility is used to extract the input
information from the system. The third facility is used
by the Control Centre. This facility consists of a joint
facility through which enquiries can be made and details of additional
tasks assigned to specific officials can be input into the
There is also a database relation between the shift planning
Module and the relationship in that the names of officials will be
to the completion of an incident when an official/unit is identified to
deal with an incident.
6. Management Information Module
This system has two types of enquiry facilities. The one facility
offers the user specific information in a fixed pre-determined format.
The second facility enables the user to design purpose-directed
information according to a personally chosen specific format and to
the necessary information. To obtain purpose-directed management
end-user software aids are used.
7. Maintenance Module
The maintenance system is the interface through which the appointed System Administrator performs essential and routine maintenance on the system. This maintenance concerns the following:
Maintenance of the system access control Module.
Maintenance of all pull-down choice box options of all Modules.
Maintenance of the back-up of data on the system.
Maintenance of the computer network.
As a result of the standard technical nature of the maintenance
no specific requirements are prescribed in terms of the operation and
to be followed.
8. Archiving Module
The user is able to archive data from the database or to do a complete database backup. The archiving Module keeps a record of when data was archived or restored. The user has the opportunity to restore any of the archived data to the database in the event of archived data being needed. The archiving Module also provides the user with the ability to view results of all database backups, database loads, archives and restores, database statistic updates and database consistency checks.
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