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New Basic First Responder System From Ann Arbor's ERT

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On-scene personnel accountability remains a critical problem for fire departments across the country. Basic hang-tag systems rely too heavily on manual steps to be effective in the chaotic environment of a fire, but automatic systems are often out of reach due to today’s shrinking budgets. Ann Arbor-based ERT Systems has introduced a new system designed specifically to solve these problems.

OnSite Basic is an economically priced system that provides automatic personnel accountability and reporting in a compact, easy-to-use package. While OnSite Basic doesn’t provide the continual, zone-based tracking offered by ERT Systems’ flagship OnSite ERT, it does give the incident commander fully automatic, real-time accountability at a price point that fits within just about any department’s budget.

And since ERT and Basic use the same wireless tags, the two systems are fully interoperable (providing direct support for mutual-aid communities), as well as an easy upgrade path from Basic to the full OnSite ERT system when budgets allow.

Created by retired Fire Commander John Ellis and technology expert Dennis Carmichael, OnSite Basic and OnSite ERT are portable, rapidly deployable systems designed specifically to meet the unique needs of firefighters and other emergency responders. OnSite ERT is already in use at over 60 departments across the United States and Canada, with more on the horizon.

“It’s clear that firefighters want the accountability and tracking that OnSite ERT offers, but budgets remain tight and grant funds are being cut,” said Carmichael, president of ERT. “We created OnSite Basic to fill that middle ground, between manual systems that can be hard to use, and fully automatic tracking, which is ideal but which can be an investment. ERT Basic makes our advanced technology available at an entry-level investment.”

Added Ellis: “As a Chief Officer, I know how difficult it is to maintain accurate accountability on-scene. Our goal is to make simple, accurate personnel accountability available on every fire scene. It’s all about safety, and with OnSite, the chief might be able to send someone home who wouldn’t have made it otherwise.”

ERT Systems also offers ERT Central, an on-line database for automatically sharing information between mutual-aid partners, regional response, and remote emergency operations centers. OnSite ERT is on the DHS Authorized Equipment List and is approved for grant purchase. For more information, go to www.OnSiteERT.com or call (734) 327-9532.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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