U.S. National Grid Case Study

Mission Manager: An Essential Tool for U.S. National Grid

Although it has been in use for close to a decade, the U.S. National Grid was not a part of most emergency management software until a few years ago – something that Al Studt identified as a crucial need. An authority on the U.S. National Grid, Studt teaches classes on the grid and writes a number of articles on its utilization. Today, Mission Manager plays a key role in his classroom lectures and day-to-day operations.

Mission Manager is a key component of Studt’s professional toolbox. The cloud-based mission management system helps first responders organize and manage critical events with the utmost confidence and efficiency through training, planning and 24/7 real-time situational use for the best possible outcomes.

In addition to working as a system engineer for fire suppression systems at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Studt is a Lieutenant with Canaveral Fire Rescue and serves on the Florida Task Force #4 search-and-rescue team, one of just eight in the state. Studt’s professional efforts have him lending his expertise to everything from storm event dispatching and logging to electrical equipment geo-location.

After a disaster, when the “normal” means to describe locations, such as street signs, are gone, the U.S. National Grid (USNG) provides a standardized grid reference system that is seamless across jurisdictional boundaries and allows for pinpointing exact locations. USNG is among several grids available on Mission Manager.

In the early stages of Mission Manager’s development, founder Mike Bailey called upon Studt to leverage his deep expertise in the U.S. National Grid. Based on Studt’s input, Mission Manager is now fully integrated with the U.S. National Grid and is the “go-to” software tool for top emergency response teams and professionals – including Studt himself.

“Mission Manager is the best web tool out there that displays National Grid.”
– Al Studt, fire suppression system engineer and U.S. National Grid authority

A ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for U.S. National Grid

With National Grid integration, Mission Manager became a truly one-stop shop for emergency response teams; allowing personnel to locate victims, guide crews to fires, track weather events and more.

Studt uses Mission Manager every day. “Not a lot of people use it to the level of detail that I do,” he says, noting that the program has proven valuable in his role at Kennedy Space Center as well as during emergency operations preparation with Canaveral Fire Rescue and training missions with Florida Task Force #4.

Studt’s favorite features of Mission Manager are the mapping and U.S. National Grid functionality. Before Mission Manager, Studt used disparate tools and applications for mapping. Now, everything he needs for U.S. National Grid is all in one place.

At Kennedy Space Center, Studt and others use Mission Manager’s web interface tool, to locate the exact coordinates of fire protection and electrical equipment, favoring the program’s street view functionalities.

“Mission Manager is the only tool that has National Grid overlay with weather.”
– Al Studt

In April 2014, he used Mission Manager to help locate the exact position of a controlled fire in the Fox Lake area of Florida, which jumped boundary lines and quickly grew into a wildfire. With Mission Manager’s maps, he triangulated the fire and determined the U.S. National Grid 1 km square location of the fire. Studt added, “Mission Manager is an excellent way for firefighters to geo-locate fire hydrants in unfamiliar areas.”

Preparing the Next Generation

Studt is a renowned expert in the U.S. National Grid and teaches students about its uses, both in cooperation with his state task force and as an independent contractor.

“I always use Mission Manager when I teach National Grid classes. It’s a great tool for my students to see the mapping of the grid layers in real time,” he said.

“Mission Manager is the best way to teach someone National Grid.”
– Al Studt

With the program’s dynamic zooming, students can move all across the grid and watch it change intuitively, preparing them to act and leverage the tool as support in real-world emergency response missions. Studt also writes educational articles and case studies on the U.S. National Grid. He says, “I can’t write an article on National Grid without referencing Mission Manager.”

See related article in 9-1-1 Magazine 

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