Best Practices

Recording Standby Hours and Hours Worked On-Call

Are you in an on-call rotation, earning standby pay, and wondering how to record it in MCtime? There are two different statuses to consider:

  • Standby: When you are available to work (outside of your normal shift) within the on-call period. For this status, add a row and change the Pay Code to Standby Pay. Enter the number of hours outside of your normal schedule that you did not perform any work in response to calls.
  • OT: When you do the work (outside of your normal shift) within the on-call period. For this status, add a row and keep the Pay Code as Hours Worked, but add the proper Reason Code for your group (see list below). Enter the number of hours/partial hours you worked in response to a call.

Civilian Scenario A – Standby with No Response Needed:
You were on-call (Facilities, IT and/or CMF mechanic) all day Sunday and then the morning of Monday, prior to your work day. You did not need to perform any work in response to a call.

Civilian Scenario B – Standby with 1.5 Hours of Response Work:
You were on-call (Facilities, IT and/or CMF mechanic) all day Sunday and then the morning of Monday, prior to your work day. You responded to calls and worked 1.5 hours on Sunday.

Uniformed Scenario A – Standby with No Response Needed:
You are a day worker, assigned to PSHQ and you were on-call (Facilities and/or PIO) Monday evening. You did not need to perform any work in response to a call.
Standby MCtime C

Uniformed Scenario B – Standby with 4.5 Hours of Response Work:
You are a day worker, assigned to PSHQ and you were on-call (Facilities and/or PIO) Monday evening. You responded to calls and worked 0.75 hours on Thursday evening.
Standby MCtime D

GroupStandby Reason CodeWord Reason Code
CMF MechanicsFRS072SBFRS072MR
FacilitiesFRS073SBFRS073AH
ITFRS071SBFRS071IT
PIOFRS077SBFRS077PI

Notes:

  • Only one person in your group may be in standby status at any particular time.
  • You may not be in regular work status and standby simultaneously.
  • You may not have more than 24 hours in one day, so remember to subtract any actual hours worked manually from the standby hours.

Understanding the 800 MHz Radio Changes (October 2022)

There are two main changes to the 800 MHz radio system for October 2022:

  • Fleetmap change regarding PG County zone
  • FDTA change regarding tone and EB

Fleetmap Change

PG County has realigned zone 8 to match MCFRS when it comes to Ops and Dispatch.

  • 8A1 is now Ops
  • 8A2 is now Disp

FDTA Tone Gone

Effective with the upgrade to your radio, you will no longer hear a tone when you press your PTT on FDTA. This may take some time for people to get used to, but it was necessary with the other change (EB, below).

FDTA EB Available (but Limited)

The EB is now functional on FDTA, but not exactly likely it is on talkgroups that go through the trunked system. (Remember, FDTA is still a simplex channel, unheard by ECC.) Here are the basics:

  • What happens when I am on FDTA and activate my EB?
    • You effectively launch an EB activation.
    • You will hear a tone every 10 seconds.
    • ECC will not know that you have launched an EB and it is up to your incident commander to include ECC.
  • Will people who are scanning FDTA know that I have launched an EB?
    • Their radios will flash EA received (with your apparatus name and position, as shown in the example below), but it will only flash for them. It will then jump back to their TG(s).
    • They will not hear an extended tone.
    • The orange banner will rotate briefly between your apparatus name with riding position and your known location (if accessible, unlike the image below).
      EB on FDTA
  • What is the range on who will know I have pressed my EB?
    • This is no different than the normal range for FDTA. Line of sight is about a mile, but buildings and various building materials shorten that.
  • What if I press the EB accidentally? Is clearing the EB on FDTA the same as on any other talkgroup?
    • Yes, simply press and hold a few seconds until it clears.
    • There is no need to tell ECC, though.

 

Recording a Save During a Fire in FireApp

Do you believe that someone on your incident saved a person from a fire? Effective September 2022, there is now a place in FireApp to record this. (Note: Do not worry about a formal department definition of the word save. If you believe one of the people on the incident saved a person, it is worth capturing.)

Once you add this to your report, a group of people in MCFRS will be notified and will contact you for more information.

  • Move to the Loss/Casualty tab in your FireApp incident report.
  • Find the Fire Save Data tab in the second-level navigation.
    Fire Save Data tab
  • Click in the box for Fire Saves Performed? and select the appropriate answer to the right (yes/no).
  • Click in the Number of Fire Saves box and select the accurate number, assuming your first answer was yes. (Note: The number will be required if you responded yes to having fire saves.)

Fixing the September 2022 Java Error

With the Java update of version 1.8.0_341, an error may arise. Here is the way to fix that error:

  • Note the security warning pop-up.
    Java Error Message
  • Check the box at the lower left corner, to indicate you accept the risk associated and click the Run button.
  • Wait for the next pop-up warning screen, as shown below:
  • Click the Run with the latest version button.
  • Wait for the last screen to appear, as shown below:
  • Check box box (labeled Do not show this again) and click the Allow button.
  • Run MCtime, Oracle or whatever other app you had intended when you were originally prompted with this error.

As with anything else tech-related, please do not hesitate to submit a TSR if you still have trouble.

 

Requesting to Record a Video Meeting

In an email to Montgomery County department heads dated April 1, 2022, the Chief Administrative Officer provided direction that we must limit use of the recording features in our online meeting systems (Teams, Google, Zoom) to only those selected personnel who need to record:

  • Formal trainings intended for large audiences
  • Public meetings, where there is no expectation/obligation of privacy and meeting is open to public

As such the MCFRS will use the following process for obtaining authorization for recording meetings for a specific window of time.

Form Submitter’s Role:

  • Submit a Tech Service Request (TSR) and choose Meeting Video Recording Request for the category. In the auto-generated e-mail reply, you will see a link for the Meeting Video Recording Request Form. Click that link.
  • Fill in the form. Some notes on the form:
    • Choose Other as your rank if your rank is below battalion chief (career), if you are not an LFRD chief (volunteer) or if you are not an M3 (civilian)
    • Ensure that you have no typos when you input your supervisor’s e-mail address. That individual will receive e-mail that requests for chain-of-command information.
    • Note that, for the purposes of this form, the chain of command among the LFRD will be from the person submitting the form, to the LFRD chief and then to Division Chief Mike Kelley.
    • Select the appropriate video technology you plan to use (Google Meet, Teams or Zoom).
    • Identify the start and stop dates for recording capability.
    • Read the paragraphs of fine print very closely, as they are important. By submitting the form, you agree to them.
    • Supply the specific reason you are recording the event in the text box provided.

Supervisor’s Role:

Preface: If you are an AC, DC or LFRD Chief, please skip to the Approver’s Role section below.

  • Receive the e-mail and click the link to fill in chain of command, if applicable.
    CofC Link in E-Mail Message
  • Fill in the necessary information.
    CoC Fields
  • Click the Submit button.
  • Receive the e-mail message and approve/deny as needed. Approval will move the request up the chain of command.

Approver’s Role:

  • Receive the e-mail and review the request details.
  • Click the Approve or Deny button and wait for the form to load in your web browser.
    Video Approve or Deny Buttons
  • Change your response, if needed, and then (for approve or deny) provide the reason why you are approving or denying the request.Video Record Denied
  • Click the Complete button.Note: The form will then trigger e-mail to the next level in the chain of command. This process will continue through the division chief’s approval or denial of the recording request. The MCFRS IT Web Coordinator will then activate the recording capability (Google Meet and Teams) or request TEBS to activate the capability (Teams) and follow up with the requestor.

Approving Working Out of Class (WOC) Hours as a Battalion Chief

Scenario: You are a battalion chief and you have received e-mail, requesting approval of Working Out of Class (WOC) hours.

  • Pull up the Crystal Report to compare the hours listed in your e-mail message to what appeared in TeleStaff, ensuring that the requested hours WOC are legitimate.
    • Go to Quicklinks | Crystal Reports | WOC Audit | Activity Audit Report.
    • Input the proper date range.
    • Note the following sample report:
      Working out of Class - CR Report
  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, found toward the bottom of the left-hand navigation.
  • Click the Battalion Chief Approvals button.
    Working out of Class - Role Buttons
  • Review the report details.
  • Click the Approve or Deny button and then click the Email Report button.

    Note: If you choose Approve, the report will send automatically to the employee as well as FRS HR. If you choose Deny, e-mail will go to the employee who submitted the hours to note that the hours have been denied. Further, please input a reason in the Supervisor Notes box if you deny hours, in order to explain why you are denying the hours.

    WOC E-Mail Button on Approval

  • Click any other FireApp menu item (including Log Off) in order to leave the screen.

Creating a Working Out of Class Report to Submit for Approval (MFF or LT)

Scenario: You are MFF or LT who has been working out of class (for at least 280 hours in the last six months) and would like to submit a report for approval.

  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, located near the bottom of the left-side navigation.
  • Click the Create Report button after you have created your WOC entries. (If you have not yet logged those entries, please click here for directions.)
    Working out of Class - Create Report Button
  • Check the boxes of the items you wish to include in your submission for approval.
    Notes:

    • Anything grayed out has already been submitted. If an item was denied in error, you will need to resubmit that entry.
    • All selectable items (i.e., non-gray) will appear at the top of the list.
  • Select the appropriate battalion chief from the drop-down list and click the Send to BC button.
    Note: You will not be able to send the report until you select a BC. When the items you have selected turn gray, you will know that the report has been sent. From there, you will also get an e-mail confirmation message.
  • Log off of FireApp when you are finished.

Creating a Working Out of Class Report to Submit for Approval (FF3)

Scenario: You are a FF3 who has been working out of class and would like to submit a report for approval at the end of the pay period. (Note: To cut down on the possibility for error, it is preferable for you to submit one report per pay period.)

  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, located near the bottom of the left-side navigation.
  • Click the Create Report button after you have created your WOC entries. (If you have not yet logged those entries, please click here for directions.)
    Working out of Class - Create Report Button
  • Check the boxes of the items you wish to include in your submission for approval.
    Notes:

    • Anything grayed out has already been submitted. If an item was denied in error, you will need to resubmit that entry.
    • All selectable items (i.e., non-gray) will appear at the top of the list.
  • Select the appropriate battalion chief from the drop-down list and click the Send to BC button.
    Note: You will not be able to send the report until you select a BC. When the items you have selected turn gray, you will know that the report has been sent. From there, you will also get an e-mail confirmation message.
  • Log off of FireApp when you are finished.

Approving of Denying Working out of Class Entries

Effective 07/01/2022, all tracking for working out of class is now performed via the FireApp Working out of Class (WOC) module.

Scenario: You have received e-mail, indicating that someone you supervise has submitted an entry for working out of class.

  • Log into FireApp and click the WOC button, located near the bottom of the left-side navigation. You will see any entries which require your attention. (Note: Do not reply to the e-mail you received about the WOC activity to be approved; they are not monitored.)
    WOC Data List for Officer
  • Click to select the one which you would like to approve or deny.
  • Review the details for the submission and click either the Approve or Deny button.
    WOC Approve and Deny window
    Note: You may not approve any entry that is greater than 24 hours, excluding Daylight Savings.

Entering Out of Class Hours in the FireApp WOC Module

Have you worked out of class (F3 as a primary apparatus officer, MFF as an officer in a station, MFF to primary unit officer while LT or LT as the sole or senior-most officer)? Effective 07/01/2022, out-of-class tracking is now done through FireApp’s Working Out of Class (WOC) module.

  • Log into FireApp.
  • Click the WOC button, located near the bottom of the left-side navigation panel.
  • Click the Member (Enter Working out of Class Activity) button.Working out of Class Role Selection
  • Fill in the necessary fields.
    New Working out of Class Entry
  • Note the following:
    • Activity Type: Select one of the four options.
      Working out of Class Entry Rank Options
      Note: The Firefighter III as a primary apparatus unit officer option will require you to select the specific incident and unit on which you worked out of class.
    • Start DateTime and End DateTime: Identify the period in which you worked out of class in this role. This entry must be equal to or less than 24 hours. If you enter a time range which is greater than 24 hours, your supervisor is directed to deny the entry, except for daylight savings. (If you need to enter time for the period after 24 hours, such as for an incident than ran over into the next day, simply input a second entry for that next day’s activity.) Since tracking is now performed through the FireApp WOC module, you may enter hours that occurred prior to July 1, factoring in a rolling six-month period. (For example, you may go back and input those hours that occurred before July 1 in order to have all of your data in one place, to submit for payment.)
    • Activity Hours: This field will auto-calculate, based upon the start and end times.
  • Click the Send to Superv(isor) button, located at the top of the screen.
    WOC Send to Supervisor Button
    Notes:

    • This will send e-mail to your assigned supervisor. If your supervisor is on extended leave or you need to change supervisors for some other reason, you may search for another officer by using the Supervisor FSID field.
    • If you make a mistake and switch to another FireApp module (effectively saving this entry without sending it to your supervisor), you may return to the WOC module and continue the entry. Additionally, if you made an error and want to have the record removed from the database, simply submit a TSR to request the entry be deleted. Please be as specific in the description as you can.