Remote Pre-planning in the Time of COVID-19Pinned Featured
The very real problem of stopping the spread of COVID-19 is now something all North American departments are dealing with.
For many departments, this means reduced staff/work hours, and reduced numbers of non-essential services such as fire inspections and pre-planning.
But the current situation in which we find ourselves doesn't diminish the value and importance of pre-plans. Departments still need to respond to emergency situations, and respond quickly. A pre-plan can be a critical source of information in these times.
Remote data collection is a strategy that many APX Customers have successfully used while limiting time spent in public space, to not only drive efficiency—a valuable thing with a reduced staff—but to create and update pre-plans when site visits are limited/not possible.
In reaching out to these departments in the recent days, APX has identified a number of different methods that departments can leverage remote data collection using our platform. In an effort to help all of the departments we serve, we've summarized these strategies below, and linked to additional information for each method.
Remote Data Collection Methods
Size-up with Street View - Valuable imagery, including building exteriors, best entry points, closest hydrants, and more can be found and pulled out of street imagery like Google Street View. Using your iPad, you can add this imagery to your pre-plans using screenshots captured in Street View. You can then use the SmartCapture annotation tools to mark-up this imagery, further enhancing the information available.
Live Link to Google Earth - Google Earth is a three-dimensional map of the world, allowing you to instantly do a digital walk-around of any building in your area, view exposures, and measure out distances to key points. Using the Google Earth iOS app and APX's URL feature, quickly add a Google Earth link to your pre-plans.
Import Existing Data - Many departments already have valuable building information stored in other systems or historical documents. This can include but is not limited to information within fire safety plans, floor plans, and textual data within systems such as RMS.
If you want to explore how your department can continue to collect valuable building information while adhering to the very important social distancing measures in place in your area, consider implementing these strategies within your department.
That is likely because a URL field has not been added to your form. URL fields were introduced in 2019, and allow users to link to external resources right within a preplan. Usually, these are added as a Google Earth Link field, but a generic Web Link field could also be added if that would be helpful.
To request that a URL field be added to your form, please submit a form configuration support ticket, indicating what type of change you'd like (e.g. a Google Earth Link URL field) and where in your form you'd like it to appear (e.g. Site Plan section).
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