How A Pennsylvania Fire Company Integrates Technology With Its Volunteer Firefighters
- Administrator reveals how integrated technology changed his volunteer firefighters.
- Remember the good ole days of paper map books?
- The emergency reporting system was notified of its retirement.
- It’s not Kodak, but these cameras get firefighters down tight spots.
- Could you be the voice for your local fire department and volunteer firefighters?
When you see a fire truck zoom by, have you ever considered what technology those firefighters use these days? Are they still using paper maps, walkie-talkies, or outdated equipment? What we uncovered was pretty impressive and eye-opening at how fire departments have changed over the past ten years.
Along with equipment upgrades and improvements, integrated technology has changed the course of responding to an emergency call. Nick Good, the Director of Administration for the Garden Spot Fire Rescue, sat down with our own Nick Martin. He revealed in this video what the public needs to know about volunteer firefighter advancements in their community.
Paper Map Books? We Use This Instead!
You may remember those popular paper map books businesses and firefighters used if you’re old enough. Depending on the part of the country you lived in, there were the Thompson Brothers map books, Rand McNally, Benchmark, and Delorme State atlases. All very helpful, but never current.
In the past ten years, the tablet has joined the ranks and helped change the future of firefighting. For example, the tablet has become the lifeline for both rural and urban fire departments. Though map books are still in print, employed and volunteer firefighters no longer use them en route to a call.
Now at their fingertips, the firefighter can pull up running maps. They can also view building layout plans and any county notes in real-time and sees ariel shots of the property, all while en route to the scene. Those technology upgrades could mean the difference between life or death for victims trapped inside, with only minutes to spare.
All-Inclusive System Is An Emergency Reporting System Upgrade
The days of the manila folder for firefighters are rapidly ending. With the introduction of cloud-based systems, everything is trackable in real-time. The tracking possibilities for a fire department allow for complete transparency, especially when it’s time to seek annual funds from city and county officials.
Should the department’s building suffer any damages or relocate to a newer state-of-the-art facility, the all-inclusive system is always available because it is cloud-based. And with that move, the department, its staff, and the firefighters’ information and files are easy to access. Some areas getting tracked are training hours, responding to incidents, personnel files, requests for training classes, firefighter class history, etc.
How Cameras Have Shifted Driver Navigation Forward
Backup and dashboard cameras on fire trucks have changed how firefighters maneuver their equipment. As an industrial safety feature, mobile fire equipment travels down busy roads and tight streets and can receive alerts of blind spots.
Gone are the days when a fire truck turns down an alleyway only to discover that, too late, the driver cannot navigate and is forced to back up. In the past, that would steal critical time away from the firefighters trying to respond to an emergency call.
The driver’s fatigue stays under control with integrated technology, like rear view, safety backup camera systems, backup sensors, and dashboard cameras in fire rescue vehicles. It also allows the driver to record and transmit video footage remotely in case of a collision or accident.
With Integrated Technology, There Will Always Be Challenges
The firefighting industry has taken many years to move forward. However, there’s still room to grow not only by integrating technology but also staffing, funding, equipment age, volunteers, and demographics. Unfortunately, some still frown on fire truck upgrades, even when it proves to save lives.
Those are areas where the community can step in and be a voice for those heroes that risk their lives. Please take a moment and thank your local firefighter. Also, go down to their building to uncover the technological advances in your city or town. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll let you ride along.
MainStreet IT Solutions Solve Integrated Technology Issues
As with any integrated technology, at some point, a business, organization, or local fire department will experience a technical disruption that could shut a system down. It might be an act of God or intentional actions.
Regardless of the situation, MainStreet IT Solutions knows you need help quickly. If that’s the case, contact us or call our team at (717) 354-8385.