Managing and displaying
What is PageTrack ?
PageTrack is a web based system that runs on mobile and desktop platforms. The system manages and displays incident information for responders, and is optimized for Fire and EMS.
Unlike many CAD based systems, PageTrack can show both apparatus and personnel responders. PageTrack doesn't forget Volunteer and Mixed departments. It also works with paid departments
with multiple stations.
A key feature of the system is the ability for a department to add water resources, pre-plans and map annotations about specific locations (such as "Bedbugs at this house")
that are displayed when responding. When the call involves mutual aid, all departments dispatched can see all the other departments resources displayed on their screen. Everyone has
the "big picture" and can start to plan and adapt their response to real time conditions- before they get On Scene.
The system receives the same information that most CAD systems send as text messages in an email. It then sends out text messages to all the appropriate responders
that they receive on their phones. A tap of a URL in the text message and a map is displayed showing all the real time information.
Apparatus can leave a tablet on a web page (called the "Park Page")
that shows all active calls for your department. A tap on the call that the apparatus is responding to and the map associated with the incident is displayed.
Responders have "skills" such as "fire" or "EMS" or "Rescue" that are used to insure that responders are only paged out to calls that match their training.
Fire district boundaries can be entered into the system to enhance the map display and show which department is the primary department for the call. This avoids the embarrassing
"Is that street in our district or not" moments. A PSAP centric view of all calls in the PSAP has it's own web page, the "UberWatcher", that shows the complete status
of the PSAP for all departments using the system. This is a great way to have situational awareness at your station regarding how busy of a day everyone is having.
The system uses Google Maps as the underlying display, which means that current traffic, routes, and ETA of incoming units is displayed. Your PSAPs address
database can be imported into the system to allow for address verification. If the dispatch address is not in the imported database, you can see it and be aware that
there may be a problem before you get on scene.
The highlights of the system can be seen here. The complete list of features would be large and is best understood once you have seen the system work. Like
any software system, you'll find that you will use 20% of the features 80% of the time. As with any robust system, it takes time to discover all the features. That said, you
can teach a new responder how to "take a call" and see what's going in less than a minute. This project started in 2011 and is currently in use by over 20 departments in
9 PSAPS. Their feedback has been very valuable in insuring that the system meets the needs of the "Boots on the Ground".
My name is Pete Hallenbeck, and I have been working on this system 50+ hours per week for around 8 years. My background is 40+ year as an electrical engineer
working on embedded systems with Hardware, Software and User Interfaces. I have been a volunteer for over 26 years at the Efland Volunteer Fire Department in Efland, NC where
I am currently the Deputy Chief.
So have a look here, and send me an email if you're interesting in giving the system try.
Privacy and the PageTrack System
The web based PageTrack system has various information entered by users that have privacy concerns. The user accounts, apparatus information, dispatch information, map icons and pre-plan information can
all contain information that can be considered sensitive.
No information stored in the PageTrack system is shared, sold or provided to people or parties outside of the first responder community. Screen shots and examples used to demonstrate the system are
sanitized so that exact details such as incident location or information that can be used to identify patient names are protected. Incident report information, such as NFIRS reports, are only provided to responders
and 3rd party Record Managment Systems such as "Emergency Reporting" or state and federal agencies that are authorized to receive this information.
If a department or PSAP decides to share information with the public, such as the location of responding emergency vehicles or summary incident information, and that information comes from any part
of the PageTrack system it is up the the agency sharing the information to make that decision. An example of this is providing the location of emergency vehicles to the public via Google Maps or the Waze app.
Any medical information collected can only be entered and viewed by responders on the scene or supervisors within the system or hospitals using the system.
Those personnel then can share reports with whatever parties they deem necessary and that are within the scope of the HIPA laws.
Information entered by a department, such as user accounts, water sources, location specific information, apparatus information and pre-plans, can be viewed by other departments in the system. However
that information can only be modified by the department that created the information. It should be understood that a great deal of the value of the system is the ability to see information entered by
mutual aid departments when responding to calls. It should also be understood that most of the dispatch information is broadcast over radio channels that can be received by the public using off the
shelf scanners. And finally it should be understood that a great deal of the incident information is considered public record by law. All that not withstanding, the PageTrack system does not
provide any means to share any information with the public. Users of the system would determine what information from the PageTrack system, in the form of screen shots, files, incident summaries, should be
shared with outside parties.
The time critical nature of emergency response requires that users be able to move about the various web pages in the system without having to "log into" the system more than once. As such,
responders should understand the need for controlling physical access to electronic devices that can access the system. System administrators within a department should remove or disable accounts when personnel
leave the department.
Cookies are stored on responders devices. Information such as the department the responder is associated with and login credentials are stored in the cookies. This is another reason that
physical access to devices need to be controlled. Responders also need to be advised on their responsibility to maintain the privacy of citizens who receive assistance,
have their private information (such as health warnings or access codes) stored in the system and the general scope of HIPA laws. The best privacy and security policies are the result of
good system design and educated responder users.
Privacy and the Location Update App
This app is used to send your GPS location information to a server that you enter in the app. Your location information is only sent to the server you specify and nowhere else. The identifier is how the server knows who you are.
This identifier is set up by the administrator of the server. It is suggested you make this a unique identifier and not any password you use with other systems.
The server URL and Identifier will not be shared with any outside parties, and is only stored on the app on your phone. Your location is not shared with any outside parties- it only gets sent to the server you specify.
The "Send Device ID" enables the app to send your device ID to the server. This can be used as an additional way to identify who is reporting their location to the server.
This allows server side software the ability to restrict reporting to a single physical device.
When your phone screen is off, and the "Run in Background" is enabled, your phone will continue to send your location to the server. This conserves battery life. The app may request access to the GPS.
This is, of course, required in order to send your location to the server you have specified.
You can stop having your location reported to the server by doing any of the following:
1) Disable reporting in the "about" screen.
2) Kill the app on your phone.
The app does not store any history about your past locations. All it does is send the current location to the server you specified.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know more, or get set up to try the system, send us an email at
A primary goal of PageTrack is to provide an affordable information system that doesn't leave small rural and volunteer departments without information management resource.
As such, we don’t' have a "Sales" or "Support" department. We just want to support you in anyway we can.
PageTrack relies on cellular LTE data to provide connectivity to the PageTrack server. About half the departments in the USA have poor to no cell coverage. If
your in this group, as much as we would like we can't help you. Regrettably it is not a national goal to provide coverage over the majority of the US (no matter
what the coverage maps on the carriers web sites show).
PageTrack is billed annually. You can try the system at no cost and use it until such time as you have determined if it's right for you or not. There is no
"30 day trial" type of limit. We know you are busy and it can take a while to set up your account, enter your users and the like. If you don't decide after
6 months or so, we'll get up with you to figure out how to help you with your decision.
In an odd way, PageTrack is a "social system". The more departments in a PSAP that use it, the more valuable it becomes because you can see each other's responders
and resources. So it PageTrack works for you, talk to your mutual aid departments and see if they want to try it. Adding a new PSAP to PageTrack takes us some time.
There is a lot of information to enter, and we have to figure out how to parse the dispatch text you get from your dispatch center.
After the first department, adding more departments is much easier and quicker to do.
There are no standards for exchanging data, so each PSAP is a kingdom unto itself.
Having National standards that also allow for Local Control is a daunting task, but it must be accomplished.
After the first department, adding more departments is much easier and quicker to do.
To keep all of our costs down, try to mentor or "train the trainer" on the system. 70% or so of the departments in the USA are small or volunteer. Too much technology is
overpriced for these departments. If we all work together, we can have affordable solutions.