Many fleets are concerned with responding quickly, but for police, first responders, and emergency medical services (EMS), it affects lives. In addition to day-to-day challenges, many factors such as growing cities, increasing number of calls, or understaffing put extra pressure on fleets when trying to meet targets. In this article, we review some solutions that can help streamline operations for first responder fleet vehicle tracking.
Geotab offers many tools and features for fleets in law enforcement and emergency services.
Having a clear picture of the location of vehicles is essential for fleet tracking. Active Tracking delivers location information with higher frequency and precision. This premium quality tracking solution is available to users on the ProPlus software feature plan. By enabling Active Tracking in your MyGeotab fleet management software, you can see your first responders driving in near real-time on the Map.
Learn More: Read how Active Tracking works and watch the video.
The Nearest feature in MyGeotab allows you to click on the map and quickly find the closest vehicles to the location selected.
How to Dispatch the Nearest Vehicle to an Emergency Address:
Dispatch nearest feature in MyGeotab
To keep emergency workers safe, first responder fleets must be able to stay in close communication. Messaging is now available in Geotab Drive. In order to use messaging, make sure Feature preview is enabled in your user profile and then your administrator can set up a clearance for messaging for you. To learn how to create a security clearance for users in MyGeotab, watch this video.
From your MyGeotab database, from the main menu select User, and then click on Clearances at the top of your screen. In the search box, search “Drive App user” and select it. At the top of the page select Add Sub-Clearance.
Setting Up Drivers Before Logging In
From the main menu, select Administration > Users. If your driver is already within the database, search for their name or email in the search box above. To learn how to add users in MyGeotab, please watch this video.
Ensure that the driver has the security clearance set to First Responder in the User tab. Then select the UI tab, turn on Feature Preview for this driver. Select the Save button at the top of the screen.
This is the Dashboard upon login for the driver with a First Responder security clearance in Geotab Drive.
Sending Dispatch Location Via Geotab Drive When you send the address of the emergency to the vehicle/driver, the driver will receive this in the Messages section of the App. The driver taps, then it will open the route in the navigation app of choice on their tablet or smartphone.
Note: The use of a navigation system requires cellular data on your mobile device to display the routes. Please use at your own discretion.
To review the steps for dispatching the Nearest Vehicle to an Emergency Address in Geotab Drive, jump to this section above.
The driver will receive the message as seen below. By simply clicking on the link, the route navigation through Google Maps will commence.
What if you could also know the availability of your first responders at all times? Equip your drivers with IOX-GARMIN to make dispatching easier. Set up status groups so that your drivers can keep you updated on their working status. For example, if a first responder is already taking on an emergency, they can set their status to “Emergency.” Each vehicle can have four available status options to choose from.
You can also send messages with the location of the emergency to Garmin.
1. To do this, go to MyGeotab > Rules & Groups > Groups. Under the Company Group, create a group called “Status Groups” with subgroups for each of the statuses below and Save.
2. Under the Vehicle Edit page, click on the Groups tab and under Messaging Status Groups, select the status groups to add to the vehicle. Once these are saved, the driver’s Garmin will be updated and they will have these status options to choose from.
3. Drivers can set their status by choosing Quick Message. These statuses will be displayed when hovering over their location on the Live Map in MyGeotab.
4. From the Map, you can also select from the Map drop down menu > Highlight groups > Status Groups. By assigning colours to the Messaging Status Groups when you set them up, you will be able to differentiate the status of each of these vehicles by colours on the Map as well.
Geotab supports any Garmin model that supports FMI 15 or FMI 45 interface. Find more information in this IOX-GARMIN spec sheet.
What if you are a first responder and you have reached the emergency and realize you need more hands on deck? Set up an IOX-AUXM to a alert button in the vehicle. Then, create a rule in the system for this, so that every time the button is pressed one or more person can be notified immediately.
Adding an Exception Rule for Aux1 The Geotab Add-On IOX-AUXM can monitor four different signals from the vehicle in real-time (which doubles to eight signals with two IOX-AUXMs). It can measure events such a door opening and closing, seat belt sensors and sirens on emergency vehicles.
If you have the alert button wired to Aux 1 for example, you can create a rule in MyGeotab and set up recipients to be notified when this alert button is pressed (see steps below). You can also create a distribution list, which is a reusable list of multiple recipients.
You can also connect IOX-AUXM to signals such as the emergency lights on an ambulance or police car and set up rules similar to above. You can use the data collected to measure your first response time and find ways to constantly improve your efficiency. These are just a few examples of how to expand with this Add-on to find out additional insight on your fleet. Find more details on Geotab’s IOX-AUXM here.
Contact your authorized reseller to purchase or find out more information about any of these features.
Here is a summary of even more telematics features that apply to police and first responders.
If you want to learn how to optimize your first response time and efficiency with Geotab, please visit our fleet management solutions page.
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