This basic app allows a brigade to coordinate members responding to an RFS callout and also to collect useful information for BIRS and vehicle logs.
You need to host a small piece of PHP code and at least one file on the web somewhere, and this collects information about those responding and displays it. So for example if you have a website called https://example.com you can extract the contents of the zip to the main directory and view it at https://example.com/respond.php. You can download the zip here
The zip contains 3 files, respond.php, respond.dta and phone.json. The first is the PHP which draws the page. It can be changed with a text editor, so you could add you brigade name in the headings. The second is the data on who has responded lately. The third is not needed unless you wish to allow people to say “I’m responding” by calling a phone number. More on this below.
You can then install the app from the Google play store here (sorry I don't have an apple version). When you first run it it will ask for permission to store information on your phone (to store dates, times and callout details) and permission to obtain your phone's location (it collects a grid ref when on scene and on request).
It will also ask for:-
- The url of respond.php as described above.
- Your name - this will be displayed on the respond page.
- A list of trucks in your brigade. The first responder can inform others when only a single truck is required.
Once this is done it will display the respond page. The page displays a list of anyone who has responded in the last 30 mins, anyone who has said they cannot, as well as information about which truck(s) are required so that those first at the station can inform others of that The controls allow:-.
- A button to say you are responding
- A button to Refresh the web page to see the current situation
- A button with a dropdown list of trucks
- A button which allows the respond-to address to be entered
- A button to say you cannot attend
You can also display the Callouts Page. Any time you say you are responding a separate callout is created, and the respond time is noted. A button allows the app to note the times for other statuses, Mobile, At Scene, Returning and At Station.
The list of respoders and the address is copied to the notes field when the Mobile button is pressed.
The GPS is queried for a location when at Scene and that is reported as an Australia grid reference.
- Notes for the current callout can be entered at the bottom of the page
- The forward and back arrows allow you to correct any mistakes.
- The Location button will report the current GPS location in the notes field.
- The Share button will pass the callout details to android for sharing (eg by email).
- The Delete button will delete the currently displayed callout without any confirmation.
While the app was written in Delphi and therefore can be compiled for Apple phones, Apple in their wisdom only allow IOS programs to be complied on a Mac. I don’t have one, so there is no Apple version.
However you can access the responding information by pointing your browser at the respond URL.
The page accepts various parameters. For example https://example.com/respond.php?name=My_Name will show My_Name as responding (Note that you cannot use spaces in the names so please use an underscore instead).
This means that you can bookmark the page and then add to the home screen as an icon, making it fast to say you are responding.
The following parameters are accepted:-
- ?name=xxxx Person xxxx is responding
- ?name=xxxx&type=cannot Person xxxx cannot attend
- ?truck=Cat-1_Only This will change the Trucks Required to Cat-1+Only
Note again that the parameters cannot have blanks and special characters in them (technically they must be HTML escaped - lots on Google) but its easier to replace with underscores
If you have members who do not have mobile phones, you can set up an old android phone as a "phone in to respond point". That phone needs to be able to receive calls and see a web page (ideally via wi-fi). That way a cheap $5 Aldi SIM will last a year. If you load Tasker or similar automation software on it you can respond to a missed call by doing a "Get" to respond.php with ?phone=0212345678 If you have that phone number in the phone.json it will replace the phone with the name of the responder. Please contact me for more information.
There is a page with basic privacy information here.