In 2012 (2 facilitators ago) the Clinton Fire Department asked EAST at Clinton High School to gather latitude and longitude data on all fire hydrants and create maps for firefighters. EAST students diligently began this work and successfully mapped nearly 90% of the fire hydrants in the City of Clinton. In 2013, the facilitator retired, the students graduated, and the project was forgotten. The fire department never got all of the maps. Fast forward to the 2017-18 school year where there is once again a new facilitator and new EAST students. The fire chief asked us if we could finish the project and of course, we agreed it was about time to get it done. After some discussion, it was determined that the gathering of data would be easy but it really made no sense in 2017 for firefighters to be carrying around big maps in order to locate fire hydrants. That's when freshman David Saavedra said, "I could make an app" and ERNY was born.
ERNY (Emergency Response Near You) is an app that will be available for iOS devices for now. It shows the location of nearby fire hydrants in your local area. As of now, it only covers Van Buren County, but as time goes on, it will cover more area. The app shows the water sources, water pressures of the fire hydrants, and the type of hydrant. Later, the app will have directions to the fire hydrant from your location. David used Xcode, the primary go-to app development software for Apple applications to create his app. He also had to learn to use the coding language Swift in order to develop the app. Firebase is used to import the geographical data into the app.
In the spring of 2018 development began on the app. In the fall of 2018, a prototype was complete and David entered it into the Arkansas District 2 Congressional App Challenge. ERNY won and David was invited to a luncheon to receive an award. He was also invited to attend the #HouseOfCode in Washington D.C. on May 9 where he was able to present his app to several Congressmen and other members of the tech community.
ERNY is currently still a prototype but we hope to have it available for Clinton Firefighters to test by the end of July. The next steps are to enter all fire hydrants in the county, and then perhaps even the state. This project doesn't currently have an end in sight. David is currently learning Java so that in the fall, he can add android access.