Requesting Additional Resources (SMS)

About Additional Resources Requests

Beacon makes it possible to request additional resources after an incident has already been created. However, only one person per incident is able to request additional resources. This person is the “Incident Commander” — the first person to confirm their arrival on-scene.

Included here below is a demonstration of how requesting additional resources functions. Please take note that the two phones represent two different responders.

  1. Responder 1 is assigned to an incident and is told to “Proceed to Location”
  2. Responder 1 confirms arrival on-scene
  3. Because Responder 1 is the first person to confirm arrival on-scene in this example, Beacon marks them as the “Incident Commander” (IC) and asks them if additional resources are needed. If the answer is “Yes”, Beacon wants to know how many additional vehicles[1] are needed. (If the answer is “No”, the responder should reply with 0)
  4. In order to assist the IC with this decision, Beacon also sends an “Incoming Resources Update”[2], which includes two pieces of vital information:
    1. The names of all other Assigned Resources, and
    2. Their estimated arrival time to the scene[3]
  5. In this incident, the IC determines that two additional responders with vehicles are required, so the IC sends “2” to Beacon
    • Important: If the IC requests additional resources before Confirmation Window 2 closes (as commonly happens when running practice simulations with Beacon), an Additional Resources Request will not be sent out to available responders because Beacon is still waiting for replies from the Initial Alert.
  6. When Beacon receives the IC’s request for two additional vehicles, Beacon sends out an Incident Alert to all available responders[4], indicating that this particular alert is a request for additional resources
  7. Responder 2 replies to this request just as they would reply to a regular Incident Alert, including the Incident ID (“15603”) and their expected time to arrival on-scene in minutes (“8”)
  8. Beacon then makes a decision and, in this case, assigns Responder 2 to the incident and tells them to “Proceed to Location”


[1] Currently, Beacon only allows for additional “vehicles” to be requested, which includes all responders with vehicles capable of transporting vehicles (e.g., ambulances, cars, fire apparatus, boats). In a soon-to-be-released version 4.0, the IC will have the ability to specify the types of responders and vehicles they would like to request.

[2] The Incoming Resource Updates can be sent at multiple times, specifically: 1) When the IC confirms arrival on-scene; 2) When Confirmation Window 1 and/or 2 closes; and 3) After Additional Resources have been assigned to an Incident.

Please note: If you are practicing with Beacon and going through the steps of the workflow very quickly, it’s possible that these updates will come at times that don’t seem logical. They’re actually coming exactly when they’re supposed to, as detailed above; what’s illogical is how quickly you’re going through the steps in Beacon.

[3] The estimated time to arrival on-scene included in the Incoming Resources Update is calculated by subtracting the number of minutes that have passed since the alert was created from the number of minutes the responder self-reported when they replied to the Incident Alert. For example, if the responder said they could be on-scene in 10 minutes, and 5 minutes have passed since the alert was created, the Incoming Resources Update will say that the responder “is arriving in 5 minutes.” If the number shows up as a negative, that means that the responder should have already arrived on-scene that many minutes ago. The reason we do it this way is because these responders are using SMS, so we needed a way to estimate their time to arrival without using GPS or bothering them for additional updates.

[4] These alerts function exactly the same as Incident Alerts with the exception that Beacon will only accept replies to additional resource requests from responders with transport vehicles. As mentioned in Note 1 above, this will soon be expanded to give the IC greater ability to specify the type and number of additional resources needed.

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