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State of Maine Forest Services Case Study

CLIENT: State of Maine Forest Services
PARTICIPANTS: Maine Forest Rangers, Inspectors and Wardens

OVERVIEW:

PACOM

Global Relief Technologies (GRT) has worked with the State of Maine Forest Service since 2010. All of the Maine Forest Rangers have been utilizing on a daily basis PDA’s running Rapid Data Management System (RDMS) and to date Maine Forest Rangers have completed over a hundred thousand RDMS assessments.

The Maine Forest Rangers are using RDMS to do all Field Inspection Reports, which include timber harvesting compliance checks, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) registrations, illegal dumping sites, burning permits, water quality inspections, timber theft, timber trespass, railroad right of way, and property inspections. Since July 2010, the State of Maine Forest Service has conducted over 125,000 inspections using Rapid Data Management System (RDMS) by GRT and over 700 “Wildfire Situation Reports”. Maine Forest Rangers use the RDMS system to send in the “Wildfire Situation Reports” when arriving at the scene of a wildfire. This provides the Maine Forest Service operations command staff an up-to-date situation status of all wildfires statewide 100% real-time through the RDMS solution.

According to Jeffrey Currier of the State of Maine Forest Service, “Rapid Data Management System (RDMS) by GRT has greatly enhanced Maine Forest Ranger field productivity by over 50%. Ranger supervisors are able to more closely monitor Ranger activities and provide more timely guidance.” Currier went on to say, “Maine Forest Rangers are also using the text message and cellular phone capabilities to communicate more effectively.”

The Maine Forest Rangers are using the text messaging features of Rapid Data Management System (RDMS) by Global Relief Technologies (GRT) for general messages to Forest Rangers in field; National Weather Service warnings watches and advisories; notification of open burning permits from our statewide online burning permit system; and critical staffing and emergency alert messages. Maine Forest Rangers are also using the RDMS ALERT function as an officer safety geographic position notification tool.

SITUATION:

  • Forest Rangers are responsible for Wildfire Control, Natural Resource Law Enforcement, and Incident Management/Disaster response.
  • Forest Rangers need to be integrated into State Emergency Management.
  • Forest Rangers currently employ a paper-based data collection model with manual data entry into backend systems for most of its field service data collection activities, such as disaster management assessments, timber harvesting, water quality, wildland/urban interface inspections, road damage, federal excess property program inventory, fall foliage assessments.
  • Data is handled at least twice (collection/data entry) allowing for transcription errors and inefficiencies in employee utilization. Additionally, capital costs are higher due to excess field and depot inventory stocking.
  • Because the process is manual, there is a lag time between data collection and data visibility-preventing rapid and accurate response, especially during emergencies.
  • Many Forest Rangers current systems lack a GIS input and display.

SOLUTION:

  • GRT’s RDMS solution supports the collection and real-time reporting of data associated with Rangers in the field responding to emergencies or day-to-day assessments.
  • The RDMS solution improves productivity and accuracy of information from the field as well as allowing for real-time decision making by supervisory personnel.
  • The RDMS solution is available 100% of the time using cellular data networks as well as integrated satellite communications during emergency and/or disaster situations and in disconnected environments.
  • Each of the assessments collected via RDMS is saved with geo-location information providing: visibility into geographic areas affected, severity of the issue, asset or assessment location, and the location of Forest Rangers and the paths they've travelled.

VALUE PROPOSTION FOR RDMS:

  • Increases Rangers' productivity
  • Increases operational efficiencies
  • Creates strategic visibility and reporting
  • Provides GIS capabilities
  • Provides connectivity 24x7

VALUE PROPOSTION FOR RDMS:

“With RDMS, the Maine Forest Rangers are able to electronically collect 36 distinct inspections, resulting in an enhanced Ranger productivity by over 50%. RDMS has truly revolutionized the way we do business.” Jeffrey Currier, Regional Forest Ranger Manger

Department of Conservation, Maine Forest Service