While the above subject raises concerns re training lead time and cost, the package discussed below is free, and the IT Director discusses the training issue. The CAD package is available at
https://sourceforge.net/projects/openises/ and is free. (Package name is Tickets CAD; Other free CAD products may exist.)
One IT Director has posted the following re his experience using his backup CAD.
"I am the IT Director for a fire department in the Houston area. Our is normally dispatched by a regional PSAP/dispatch center.
"We began ramping up for Harvey Friday afternoon. Saturday afternoon, the dispatch center began receiving calls for evacuation from across the county. We started getting large lags from them and took over our own dispatch. We ran our entire fire department, as well as several state and federal task forces and strike
teams assigned to our department all through Tickets. We had over 62 individual units/resources we were tracking and dispatching.
"At one point we had over 100 houses to evacuate. We built a new call for each address that called in and set the on scene incident commander up with the mobile version of tickets so he can see
new addresses without tying up radio traffic. We quickly became overwhelmed ourselves, but one of the EMS supervisors used to work as a dispatcher at a very large PSAP that used a Tier I CAD .
He was most surprised about how little screen lag there was and how easy it was to learn. It took him about 15 minutes."