About message formats

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When we get an alert from you using the alert email address, we process the alert using a server. This server performs an operation called "parsing". Parsing means deciphering a message to figure out what part is the address, what part is the title, and so forth.

Most of the time, we ask that you send messages through the alert email address from your dispatch. We then look at those alerts and try to program the server to understand them. In this way we can make our server work with whatever your CAD system is already using. This is called the Activation Process.

In some cases, this is not possible. For example, if you don't have a CAD system capable of generating an automatic email. In these cases, some departments send us messages that they write by hand.

When an automated message is not possible...

If your CAD system is one that is unable to send automated messages, we recommend that you send messages to the alert email address in one of the following formats:

NATURE;ADDRESS;CITY;DETAILS

for example,

CAR CRASH;123 HUCKLEBERRY LN;BREMERTON;One vehicle is on its roof

This simple format is called StandardA. Another standard format that is capable of greater complexity is the Cadpage format. Cadpage uses standard NAME:VALUE pairs:

CALL: CAR CRASH
PLACE: Wendys
ADDR: 123 HUCKLEBERRY LN
CITY: BREMERTON
ID: Some identifier for this alarm (123456) 
PRI: Internal priority level (HIGH, A, 123, etc)
DATE: CAD date (10/17/2012)
TIME: CAD time (13:45:06)
MAP: Map page or number: 123-456, Page 5, etc
UNIT: UNIT1, UNIT2, etc
INFO: Notes, data, other information

Each alarm using Cadpage format should at least have a CALL and an ADDR and CITY. All other fields are optional. You may also add custom fields of your own, which we will put into the notes section of the app. For example, adding the custom field "RISK"

RISK: Moderately low

Will cause "RISK: Moderately low" to appear in the notes area.

If you don't have an address

You may also use a latitude and longitude instead of an address. This may be more accurate than using an address in areas where Google does not do a good job of mapping. It's also more accurate, provided your GPS coordinates are good:

BOAT FIRE;44.720515,-122.169883;DETROIT LAKE;Everyone is drunk


Summary

Using these formats will help our servers do the best possible job of understanding and mapping your alerts. The simple message format described above is called StandardA, and the more complicated version is called Cadpage. Just let our technicians know which format you plan to use -- the server does not automatically detect the format type.