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Mission Manager Strengthens Powerful First Responder Tool
Proven incident management tool debuts new features that improve security and functionality
Mission Manager, Inc. has announced the re-launch of its cloud-based incident manager tool that has helped first responders save lives and property in over 4,400 missions, including the 2014 San Diego fires and Boston Marathon. Product upgrades include significant improvements in infrastructure, data security and technical support.
Mission Manager – the most widely used incident management tool of its kind – provides a turnkey solution for mission planning, preparation and real-time situational awareness during live missions. Featuring a robust database with automated reporting tools, multiple communication vehicles and extensive mapping overlays, Mission Manager essentially replaces the manual process of managing callouts by pen and paper, and producing reports via spreadsheets. Mission Manager ensures teams are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Developed as a free solution by a San Diego first responder, Mission Manager has been adopted by more than 1,200 local, state, national and international agencies in all 50 U.S. states and 20 countries over the past three years. Users include search-and-rescue organizations, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and emergency operation centers. Their missions range from single-person rescues to public events and large-scale natural disasters.
In an effort to meet growing customer requirements, Mission Manager was recently acquired by Poway, California’s Ambient Alert, Inc. Renamed Mission Manager, Inc., the company has invested significant resources to improve functionality, data integrity and technical support.
Among the recent enhancements, Mission Manager was moved to new servers at Amazon Web Services, which deliver a scalable cloud computing platform with high availability and dependability in compliance with security practices and IT standards. Other improvements include continuous database backups to enable point-in-time recovery of data. Mission Manager has also enlisted dedicated staff to provide technical support via the phone, face-to-face, email forums and training videos.
Above: Mission Manager's Logging Screen
“We respect the critical and sensitive work of first responder organizations. That’s why we invested in a more robust solution with solid security,” said Mike Berthelot, Mission Manager President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our company’s flexible pricing model also ensures that Mission Manager will be available to the broadest possible user group, so first responders can continue serving their communities with their critical missions.”
Mission Manager’s new pricing structure serves both smaller search-and rescue organizations as well as national organizations with very specific needs. Under the tiered pricing model, Mission Manager will be available for a full year for less than the cost of one month’s cell phone service for each user. Mission Manager has also established First Responder Grants covering up to 50% of the annual license fee to qualifying non-profit, volunteer community-based search-and-rescue and CERT organizations.
“We believe first responders are investing in their future with Mission Manager,” said Berthelot. “It provides them with a high degree of readiness so they can execute their missions more effectively and efficiently. We are pleased to be a partner in their critical work, and in turn, help save them lives and protect property.”
HOW IT WORKS
Designed to be used on a daily basis, Mission Manager ensures that users are prepared to react before an incident occurs. It is based on three core principles: Preparation, Readiness and Execution. It provides a team-based operational environment for day-to-day tasks and also serves as an online command center during incidents.
When used as a daily tool, Mission Manager tracks and manages everything from attendance records, training, and missions to issued weapons and equipment. It also automates the reporting process, including tracking member’s hours and producing inventory reports, in order to fulfill requirements for standard reports and government reimbursements.
In the Greater Boston area, for instance, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council’s SWAT team used Mission Manager to enhance security at the 2014 Boston Marathon. As a daily user of the program, Sgt. Jim West said his team at MetroLEC relied on Mission Manager to gather the documentation needed to manage team member assignments and send SMS messages to members during the marathon.
“Mission Manager saved us hours of briefing time during the Boston Marathon. It made the team much more effective and efficient,” West said. “We’ve come to rely on Mission Manager.”
During a crisis, Mission Manager allows agencies to efficiently manage mission data via their laptops or mobile apps, significantly enhancing situational awareness. It allows commanders to track all phases of the event in real time, including team locations, event/radio logs and assignment status. It provides a common operational picture across multiple devices with extensive mapping overlays with categories such as topography, aviation, weather, hospitals, police and fire stations, schools, social media feeds, transportation features and natural hazards, including earthquake fault lines, floods, hurricanes and fires.
During the San Diego fires in May, Mission Manager helped the San Diego County Animal Response Team save the lives of over 100 animals, including 70 horses, according to Tony Sawyer, volunteer with the San Diego County Animal Response Team.
“Mission Manager played an important role in helping us track our personnel in the field, and the location where the animals were found and impounded,” said Sawyer, who has served as the team’s administrator for the past three years. “Prior to adopting Mission Manager, everything was done manually on scraps of paper.”
Sawyer noted that Mission Manager was also valuable in producing automated reports after the fires, since the database tracked each member’s tasks, hours and mileage logged into the system. “We used Mission Manager to produce our after action reports, which we had to present to the county to highlight what we did during the fires,” Sawyer said, adding that it also produced the documentation required to receive reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
Mission Manager enables first responders to:
- Track all personnel contact information, including training, certifications and expirations, and medical information
- Organize events, request RSVPs and sign up for events via the team calendar
- Print standard ICS and NIMS forms, such as team assignments, mission status, logs, etc.
- Maintain records for personal gear, team equipment and vehicles
- Customize login access levels for each team member
- Upload documents; control who can see and edit them
- Generate personnel timekeeping and detailed mission time reports ?
- Track deployed personnel in real time on maps
- Create, assign and track team member tasks
- Track the status of personnel responding to missions
- Track “clues” with automated reports and locate them on mission maps automatically
- Drag-and-drop available personnel in standard ICS positions or on team assignments
- Callout line where members can receive information/mission callout telephone, SMS or email
New enhancements for the product include:
- An uptime guarantee of 99.9% through infrastructure upgrades
- Improved security and reliability of user data
- Full-service technical support
- Onsite and web-based training
Mission Manager is available for a 30-day free trial to new users via its website at http://www.MissionManager.com.
- Product Profiles /9-1-1magazine.com (via Mission Manager, 7/16/14)