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Scan2CAD in Emergency Services

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Firemen respond to an emergency using drawings prepared in advance of the fire. Scan2CAD’s intelligent raster to vector conversion functions allow paper drawings of a building to be scanned and converted into a CAD file, allowing emergency services to view a building layout on-site, giving fire-fighters a vital edge in saving lives and property.

Scan2CAD raster to vector in fire emergency services

AnchorPoint Solutions, LLC, based in Tacoma, WA, is a public safety technology consulting company whose expertise and focus is on E-911 Fire/EMS (Emergency Medical Services) agencies.

In offering end-to-end solutions for Fire Service pre-incident planning, AnchorPoint Solutions now includes Scan2CAD v8 professional raster-to-vector and PDF-to-CAD conversion software in their product line-up. The company also uses Scan2CAD in-house for paper to CAD conversion.

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AnchorPoint Solution’s customers are fire agencies who provide fire suppression, prevention and emergency medical services within their response areas. In order to have useful information available on potential emergency locations, fire agencies take the precaution of preparing and storing pre-incident plans of high risk buildings, complexes and institutions within their area.

Fire pre-incident planning is vital to successfully minimizing the loss of life and property. While complete information is seldom available to fire fighters during the first crucial minutes on scene, many factors affecting time critical decisions can be known in advance. Failing to use these factors in pre-planning a response means that fire agencies are forced to make strategic decisions based on incomplete information, often placing their response at a disadvantage.

Ideally, the pre-incident plan should be easy to read and contain pertinent information needed by fire agencies, e.g. the building’s location, exit points and any specific hazards, etc. For large facilities, pre-incident plans should contain several drawings in addition to one that clearly shows the overall building layout in relation to its street location with fire hydrants, assembly points, etc.

Many drawings are provided by the building’s owners. These are often cluttered with unnecessary details, such as lighting fixtures, plumbing and even furniture. Diagrams that are cluttered with other than the most important details such as alarm panel locations and sprinkler connections can be rendered more or less useless due to the time needed to decipher or sift through the drawing detail.

Intelligent Raster To Vector

As modern building drawings created in CAD software are invariably layered, it is possible to add and delete layers when printing or copying from a file. Many building owners are willing to work with fire departments to customize drawings so that they show only the information that the fire department needs. Some are even willing to help by adding the fire department’s own symbols to their drawings.

However, there are times when no CAD file is available, when a building drawings exist only on paper. These still need to be captured in an electronic format for pre-incident planning. This is where Scan2CAD provides a handy solution to fire agencies. As the industry leading raster-to-vector converter, it automatically converts scanned paper drawings into a AutoCAD and similar PC CAD-compatible DXF file format. In this process, it is a relatively simple matter to extract only the detail that is needed.

Scan2CAD in fire emergency services

Scan2CAD converts scanned paper-based building drawings into pre-incident fire plans. When firemen do not have a CAD drawing to work with, Scan2CAD provides a quick and easy vectorization solution.

“AnchorPoint Solutions is committed to helping public safety agencies solve the problem of managing a wide array of pre-incident building survey information needed to mitigate emergency situations. Scan2CAD fits well into the overall end-to-end solution for fire service pre-incident planning. Scan2CAD has the potential to fill a big gap in the process of completing pre-fire plans. It addresses an issue that can be a big stumbling block to the overall project success,” says Craig N. Coulson, President, AnchorPoint Solutions, LLC.

AnchorPoint Solution’s consultants offer years of practical experience with Fire Service Information Systems, Fire Operations and Fire Administration as well as project management for multiple system implementations, including Pre-Incident Planning, Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management, Staffing, Medical Information, Building Inspections, etc. Its staff are experienced in implementing both custom and vendor information systems and in developing custom applications and systems that meet individual business needs.

AnchorPoint Solutions is also an authorized reseller of The Cad Zone’s The Fire Zone and First Look Pro, two dedicated software solutions for fire services. The Fire Zone is a CAD program tailored to meet the needs of firefighters and fire investigators. According to Craig, “The Fire Zone provides accurate, easy-to-read, pre-incident plans that save lives and property. It is the best software available for creating pre-incident plans, training diagrams, post-incident critique diagrams, and even courtroom-ready investigation diagrams. With Scan2CAD, we have a way to quickly import paper-based building plans into The Fire Zone as a DXF file for editing, thereby saving a lot of redrawing or tracing time.”

Scan2CAD’s intelligent raster to vector conversions are no stranger to use in fire and life safety services. One of its biggest US users is SimplexGrinnell and its parent, Tyco International. SimplexGrinnell is a long and historic leader in life safety and property protection. Over the years, these two companies and their approved agents, as well as building service engineers, estate and facilities managers, etc., have purchased hundreds of copies of Scan2CAD. It allows them to quickly convert scanned drawings of houses, offices, factories, education institutions, etc., into a DXF CAD floor plan for the fitting of SimplexGrinnell’s fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire suppression, integrated security, sound and healthcare communications systems.


For further information, please contact:

Craig N. Coulson
AnchorPoint Solutions, LLC
[email protected]


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