California launches real-time responder tool ahead of wildfire season

Published On: June 17, 2023

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has launched a real-time tool designed to help first responders react quicker and more effectively ahead of wildfire season.

Next-Gen SCOUT, which utilizes information retrieved from Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System Program (FIRIS) aircraft, is a web-based tool that gives first responders and other supporting agencies real-time locations and data from wildfires and other hazards.

The information gathered from Next-Gen SCOUT includes road closures, automated vehicle location, predictive analytics, and video feed.

“The utilization of this technology allows the firefighters on the ground, Incident Commanders, and key decision makers to have real-time situational awareness,” said Brian Marshall, Cal OES Fire and Rescue Chief, in an announcement. “This creates a proactive approach in responding to disaster, not a reactionary approach.”

Next-Gen SCOUT has been designed to improve coordination between all responders, including workers with limited internet coverage.

Next-Gen SCOUT, which replaced The SCOUT (Situational Awareness Collaboration Tool), is currently accessible via desktop and mobile web browsers but will soon feature a mobile application.

Cal OES recently offered multiple training opportunities for chief officers, fire captains, fire communication dispatchers, and IMT members, among other responders.

About the Author: Will Keys

Will Keys writes about technology issues for the GovReport. He is a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. He can be reached at will at govreport.org