October 19, 2010

Additional CAL FIRE station connected to HPWREN

By Marc Hafner, CAL FIRE Battalion Chief B3318

An additional CAL FIRE Station 86 located at the base of Mount Woodson in Ramona is now connected to HPWREN. This is the Battalion Headquarters station and much of the business that affects daily wildland and other emergency operations for the battalion takes place from this location. While the station was on their previous connection via a geostationary satellite, there was a serious delay in the data exchange. The change in the data backbone has increased productivity by 600%.

This is verified by a small survey that I had staff conduct over the month of August. I had them log the time it took to conduct daily repetitive tasks, like logging into the Cad Web program to update daily staffing, entering fire reports, and using the Target safety program. Each of these functions is fairly straight forward, and is not as subjective as e-mail might be.

An example of the increase of productivity is the Cad Web staffing. The study showed that it took an average of 6 minutes to log in and update the staffing each day using our previous connection. Using the HPWREN it takes 1 minute per day.

Battalion Chief Marc Hafner said, "Essentially, prior to utilizing HPWREN firefighters productivity was delayed waiting on computers, now with the new connection the computer is waiting on us."

Battalion Chief Marc Hafner (right) and Captain Cesar Nerey (left) are preparing the HPWREN antenna for its installation on the roof of the Mt. Woodson CAL FIRE station, underneath the old satellite link antenna.

Main HPWREN web site (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)