South Australian Country Fire Service

The South Australian Country Fire Service (SACFS) is a massive operation with volunteers spending more than three million hours annually safeguarding South Australian communities and providing aid for roughly 8,000 incidents.

Supported by 425 brigades across the state, more than 800 fire trucks, and an astonishing 13,500 volunteers, the government organisation offers fire, rescue, and hazard services in response to events including fires and motor vehicle accidents. Their volunteers spend more than three million hours annually safeguarding South Australian communities and providing aid for roughly 8,000 incidents.


Their response strategy also involves a fleet of aircraft and their attendant pilots, all of whom are kept safe and accounted for by TracPlus. Here’s Aviation Operations Officer Corey Dunn (who’s been with SACFS for over 25 years) on how TracPlus supports the organisation in serving and protecting the state of South Australia.


Tell us a bit about yourself and your company. What do you do, and how do you use TracPlus on a daily basis? What assets are you tracking?

I’ve been an officer of the South Australian Country Fire Service (SACFS) for over 25 years. I’m the Aviation Operations Officer, a member of a small team responsible for the management of 26 aircraft, 38 aircrew personnel, and 43 airbase resources utilised for the provision of aerial firefighting response and support to rural fire suppression operations in South Australia.


We use TracPlus to assist us with the operational management of these aircraft (i.e. flight following, aircraft status monitoring, pilot and aircrew allocation, post-event investigation), as well as for the tracking of air support vehicles and fuel tankers during response.


Other parts of the organisation also use TracPlus to monitor staff who work remotely or independently in country areas of South Australia.


How did you become aware of TracPlus, and when did you begin using us? What was involved in your decision to become a TracPlus customer?

SACFS first started using TracPlus in about 2013. It was the only provider of this type of technology that also offered the appropriate support to meet our needs.


What TracPlus features and functionalities are the most important for you, and why?

The real-time and accurate tracking of aviation assets is the most important functionality of the TracPlus system for us. Other important functionalities include the fact that we can manage all of our aircraft and air support vehicles from a single technological platform and the ease with which TracPlus has been able to be integrated with other operational systems we use, such as FireMapper.


The recent development of a ‘Status Board’ also provides us with a real-time ‘snapshot’ for coordination, a quick reference, and briefing purposes of the operational status, location, and crew details of our entire aircraft and support vehicle fleet.


What would you say are the biggest strengths of the TracPlus system?

In our experience, the TracPlus system has been a quite robust, user-friendly, and scalable system for our operations.


What key issues for you have TracPlus helped with?

TracPlus has provided an enhanced level of safety for our operations, and it has easily integrated into our flight following and search-and-rescue standard operating procedures. With the integration of data vault outputs, TracPlus has also allowed us to measure the operational effectiveness of aerial firefighting operations and to perform post-incident analysis.


Anything else you’d like us to know?

TracPlus, particularly in the early days of our use of the product, we're more than happy to provide in-house training to our air desk personnel on the operation of the system in order to get the most out of the product.


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