Tuesday 3rd August 2021 – XÀBIA AL DÍA with Mike Smith
The Fire Department of the Alicante Provincial Council has launched a new mobile phone application for the control and monitoring of agricultural fires. The president of the council, Carlos Mazón, and the regional secretary for Emergencies, Javier Sendra, have presented this innovative technological platform that, in addition, will reduce the risk of incidents and prevent forest fires.
Mazón explained that “we are the first Provincial Council to launch this preventive initiative, a pioneer in all of Spain, to control and minimize the risk of burning of pruning remains and stubble“. He added that, during the summer season when the potential for fires is particularly high, such activities are “absolutely prohibited“.
The App is called Control Foc and can be downloaded for free on any smartphone for both iOS and Android platforms and allows citizens, firefighters and municipalities to be connected. It has a simple and intuitive design so that it can be used without difficulty, especially by older people, and offers different features depending on the type of user.
In particular, it allows farmers to consult information on aspects such as pre-emergency levels, whether or not it is allowed to carry out activities involved burning, and even if there are notices and restrictions in force. In addition, they will be able to indicate the start and end time of the burning to activate monitoring by the fire department and notify them immediately in the event of any emergency situation or lack of control of the fire. A representative of the company which developed the App said: “At the push of a button, the system will send the firefighters the location coordinates so that the extinction is faster, more coordinated and efficient“.
For the members of the CPBA, it helps them control the fires through a geo-location system and enables them to monitor them live, so that, if the farmer activates the fire alert, the firefighters receive the notification instantly. “Thanks to this initiative, which combines the resources of the Control Center with telephone and online assistance, the CPBA increases its capacity to respond to uncontrolled burning,” said Javier Sendra.
The app also has many advantages for city and town councils, since it simplifies the administrative processes to register users of bonfires, making it easier to send notifications to them and reduce the workload of municipal technicians, increasing the efficiency in information management and offers great security control.
With the aim of making it easy to use the app, the Alicante Provinicial Council has got together with the developers to design a training plan that will be distributed to all municipalities in the province so that councils and users can learn how to get the most out of the facility.
In the first phase, the courses will be offered to municipalities with a population less than 5,000, so that, as Sendra explained, “on October 15th, when agricultural burning is authorized again, the residents of the town and the workers of the council are prepared and familiar with this project“. The training will extended to the rest of the province at a later date.
Finally, Carlos Mazón highlighted the “magnificent work” of the firefighters of the province, calling them “a team of professionals of which we are very proud for their enormous dedication and excellent preparation“. He emphasized that the Alicante Provincial Council is providing more resources and investment to guarantee safety and offer the best service, both to municipalities and citizens.