Do you think there is a place in the fire department for computer fire command boards, are they practical or is the white boards or tactical worksheets enough?

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They certainly have their place, perhaps more so with the newer BA and helmets that have HUD for remaining air, temperatures etc. But the expense!

Of course, there is more that can go wrong with them, and Murphy is always on the fireground. And whiteboards can work very well also.

Not having nice new equipment, and blanching at the cost for my FRS to replace all the BA sets it has, as well as the cost of purchasing computerised command boards, I can't see it happening here in my time.
Our neighboring Dept is starting to use them and so far its still in the learning stage for them I believe, from what the DC was telling us, I would like to see us get them and to also keep the white board as a back up.
What kind of system your neighbors use? Its a good idea to keep a white board as a back up.
I haven't seen the new ba and helmets with the hud for the temps. could you tell me who makes them..
and I agree. BA's are very important.
I've heard that the newer Draeger can have those things? And maybe the Gallet helmets? Of course I could be wrong, but I've read posts about them. Our issue is simple, basic, but works :)

Well I think it also depends on which level of command they are used. Thus our chief doesn't have a computerized command board, but the command van (dispatched to any activated fire alarm etc) has a computer (just basic things like data bases and communications). The normal command unit over here is classified as "Command 1", bigger fire/MCI scene require either a command support unit (that's what we have in our city), or like in many bigger cities a "Command 2" classified command truck. They usually have the same computer equipment like in command centers and do use computers e.g. to get an overview of the scene, where which units are and where to set up standby areas, dirveways and so on. The really big cities then also have a "Command 3" classified truck, the biggest one possible, usually based on a city bus or a truck, they have multiple computers etc and as far as I have seen it they are very glad to have them.

Just few weeks ago I was watching a drill with 70 simulated victims. besides two "Command 2" trucks which were set up little bit off the scene, the "Command 1" van was  standing right on scene. They wrote the emergency vehicles's call sign on duct tape and just posted them on the side windows of the command van. I looked quite odd, but somehow it worked also without the computers

The most important overall aspect of maintaining a command board is record-keeping, or documentation. A computerized board would be ideal for maintaining a record of what was done, when and by whom (CYA). Beats taking notes on a clipboard or snapping photos of a dry erase board!

We don't not have an electronic command board, but I hope we will some day.

There are pros and cons. Pros would be a little more orginization, more accurate accountablity. but on the other hand the purchase exspense plus expense of training on them. plus if something goes wrong with it the expense of repairing or replacing them.

White baords or tactical sheets are enough. 

The more dependent management become on electronics the less likely they are to really pay attention to what is going on around them on scene.

Hell some shift officers or incident commanders have enough trouble getting to the scene - they do not need another level of electronics to distract them from their primary job of keeping firefighters and the public safe

Although computerized fire command board may apprear to be complicated to used on a fire scene, it bring a lot of advantages like rolling back every assignments like a movie so you can see who was assigned where and when. You may better control PARs as a timer will warn you and keep track of them. It's a great tool for accountability. You may eventually have wireless data communication between firefighters on-scene and your PC board with information like air-level, low-air alarm, PASS device activation and MAYDAY calls, all of this with individual ID. To my knowledge, the most advanced and user-friendly PC electronic board I know is made by IVsoft at

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