Community emergency response teams (CERT) now have access to a unique, GPS-based interactive app that allows them to track their fellow team members during a deployment exercise.
The new technology, called Deploy Pro, is designed with an interactive map that displays the position of all CERT members through the use of color-coded pins. In addition, Deploy Pro includes a triage victim counter and a CERT reference guide for CERT members to use when deployed in the field.
The Development of Deploy Pro
Originally designed by Mike Ross, President of 91 Media in Rockwall, Texas, Deploy Pro is expected to be used by all CERT missions throughout the United States.
Ross’ idea for the app was spawned out of an April 2012 mission where he and his team were sent to the wrong staging area during a tornado. Instead of finding the location in minutes, the CERT members, due to the lack of accurate information, took more than an hour to find the location, thereby resulting in confusion and chaos among all CERT teams.
How Deploy Pro Works
CERT members use Deploy Pro by color coordinating the members of the different groups, thereby allowing them to visualize everyone’s location in near real-time. (The map updates every two minutes.)
Users of the system can write notes for other CERT members to see. For example, if members of a CERT team locate a victim they can alert other CERT members. The map function must have a cellular connection to work, although many of the other features, including the fire suppression, first aid, and hazmat placards, will still be active and available even when cellular service is not.
Deploy Pro will be available on both iPhones and Android phones. The app is expected to be available next year.