Berne & Westerlo Fire Districts Join Efforts to Conduct Operations Drill to Improve Firefighter Accountability

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A large scale interior operations exercise was performed by Berne and Westerlo Fire Districts, with LINSTAR, Inc., an Elliott Mobile Solutions™ Certified Solutions Provider, as part of a joint venture to test, train and refresh participating departments’ skills and to evaluate the District’s new Emergency Event Manager Solution (EEMS) in a live environment. The EEMS system is designed to provide first responder identification and electronic tracking to improve first responder safety and accountability.

The Berne and Westerlo Fire Districts, located in New York, coordinated an emergency response drill at the Berne‐Knox‐Westerlo School District with participants from local volunteer organizations including Berne, East Berne, Westerlo, Gallupville, Knox and Huntersland Fire Companies. This exercise was executed with a heavy emphasis on firefighter safety and accountability and employed the Elliott Mobile Solutions™ Command Center, integrated with the EEMS and Mobile ID software, a Mobile Command Case and multiple remote handheld devices to identify, track and manage personnel on scene.

The event was a simulated emergency response to a burning elementary school. The six fire companies ran a dozen interior evolutions, involving two entry points for both search and rescue operations and firefighting. All firefighter activity was managed in real‐time from the command post, a short distance from the school. Firefighters and staff from participating agencies had been previously credentialed, so they were able to easily check into the event upon arrival. All other personnel and participants that required credentials were very efficiently enrolled and instantly provided ID badges as they arrived on‐site, using third party IDs and drivers’ licenses to obtain much of their data.

Chiefs from Berne and Westerlo monitored the command post while Safety Officers worked with representatives from LINSTAR at the remote checkpoints to scan firefighters “IN” using mobile handheld devices, when they entered the building for search and rescue. Firefighters were scanned “OUT” upon exiting the building. This process of electronically tracking and managing activities at the scene allowed Chiefs at the command post to account for every firefighter while in the “HOT ZONES,” providing real‐time access to personnel assignments, so they could determine who was in the “burning building,” and who was not, at any given point.

The system’s robust reporting features allowed departments to run reports providing valuable data detailing activities that occurred during the exercise ‐ for viewing during the event and evaluation after completion. “Our new Elliott Mobile Solutions™ Accountability System worked flawlessly and the results exceeded our expectations. The system has proven to be a valuable investment in the safety and accountability of our firefighters and will improve overall efficiencies for our interior operations.” – Rich Guilz, Berne Fire District Chief.

The success of the Berne and Westerlo Fire Districts Operations Drill left each of the departments better trained and prepared to capitalize on the Mobile Solutions™ Emergency Management System during future emergency events.

LINSTAR, Inc. offers fully integrated solutions for portable credential issuance, emergency management and incident command ‐ for tracking responders, resources, patients and evacuees at emergency events – and ensuring their safety. LINSTAR also installs secure building access control, video surveillance and LPR solutions and is considered New York State’s “one‐stop shop” for any credentialing or physical security requirements. To learn more, visit

About Elliott Data Systems, Inc.
Elliott Data Systems, Inc. is a Mobile Solutions™ systems developer and integrator with expertise in deployment of Mobile Security, Positive ID and Accountability Solutions. Elliott Data Systems, Inc. is partnered with a national network of Certified Solution Providers who are trained and certified to sell and support Mobile Solutions™. To learn more, visit

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Jason Rezabek

Jill Boschert
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