BARB (Box-area Automated Run-card Builder) is a one-of-a-kind software application for automating the building of static run-cards.


BARB automates the building of static run-cards for a CAD system. By expertly processing and handling the building of station and unit orders based on the type of dispatch system installed at a department, BARB can save hundreds of hours of labor by building error-free run-cards in just minutes.

BARB can also be used as a critical planning tool for disaster situations. The automated process allows for inclusion of unlimited mutual aid and region-wide stations, specialty vehicles, and more.

BARB Capabilities

• Automates the run-card building process

• Utilizes powerful street network QA tools to ensure street connectivity and routing accuracy

• Incorporates complex mutual and auto-aid response plans into existing run-cards

• Avoids mistakes when making manual run-card adjustments and automatically apply changes hundreds of stations/units deep

• Deploys customized business rules to support department specific dispatch policies

• Ensures continuity between run-card maintenance

• Creates new deployment and street network scenarios to generate run-cards that can be used as either a preplan or in the CAD system for special situations, such as:

– Road construction
– Parades or special events
– Disaster situations

• Produces physical run-cards for emergency use if the CAD system and/or AVL goes down

• Exports run-cards to CAD-specific format

• Builds complex run-cards for CAD systems with or without AVL

• Runs within ArcMap using Esri add-ins

“We use BARB due to a lot of construction and bridge work in our city, so with detours and some speed limits that have dropped from 50 miles an hour to 35 miles an hour,  we’re finding a need to change our run-cards on the fly.”


What is a run-card?

Even the most modern CAD systems which rely on AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) to dispatch the closest available unit maintain a static set of run-cards. Though now a large data table, they were originally physical cards referenced by dispatchers. These cards indicate, for every response zone (or box-area as traditionally known), the order of responding units from closest to farthest. These orders can be very long and may include resources from other emergency agencies. Deccan’s Box-area Automatic Run-card Builder (BARB) greatly simplifies the process of developing these run-card files. Not only that, but it also allows for consideration of local operating guidelines (business rules), road closures, and determines actual travel times between areas (rather than AVL’s traditional “as the crow flies” calculations).

How can BARB help me with disaster preparedness?

BARB is used to build massive run-cards in planning for a catastrophic event. It automates the building of time-sensitive run- cards up to and over thousands deep. In addition, BARB can incorporate unlimited mutual-aid stations to support unpredictable disaster scenarios. Thus, if a major event occurs, departments can automatically switch to the pre-planned disaster operation with the advantage of having the data and map layers already configured within the CAD system.

How does BARB work with area-wide mutual-aid response?

Major disasters generally choke the CAD system and tax a department’s available resources. Extensive run cards, including area-wide mutual-aid stations, can cope with large-scale disasters; but without an automated system, the process is tedious and error-prone.
BARB can include mutual aid agreements at both the regional and statewide levels and logically select units for the scene with the shortest response times. At dispatch, it can provide the deployment officer with a comprehensive list of available units and their types and within minutes, automate the building of massive response, time-sensitive run-cards.

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