App Equips Fire Crew With Vital Data

September 18, 2019 by Dana Rasmussen

App Equips Fire Crew With Vital Data

Equipping first responders with information is vital. It helps improve response times with access to mission-critical data and routing information, keeps responders safer through better knowledge of onsite hazards, and ultimately makes communities safer through better responses.

However, not all agencies can provide this information.

For years, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office and its affiliated agencies were unable to put mobile data terminals (MDTs) in fire and EMS vehicles. But that changed when the sheriff’s office started using public safety mobility apps.

“Getting live call information in the vehicle during a response is so important,” Systems Administrator Dominic Davis said.

Through the use of an app designed specifically for fire crews, dispatchers in Laramie provide fire and EMS with live call information, automatic vehicle location (AVL) functionality, and powerful routing capabilities that include unit recommends and proximity dispatching.

This means the integrated computer aided dispatch (CAD) and app will automatically suggest a specific unit for a given response based on where the unit is located, how fast the unit can get to the scene, and also take special circumstances into consideration (such as whether the unit has NARCAN on board or a driver who speaks Spanish).

With this technology, fire and EMS responses are not only faster, but also more prepared as they have better access to information.

“Having this technology is huge for us,” Davis said. “We can send the closest ambulance every time and see life-saving medical information in an instant.”

Part of this medical information includes seeing if first responders have administered medication or gone through stroke protocols with patients. Dispatchers and other first responders see this information in the call for service notes on the mobile app and within the computer aided dispatch (CAD) system.

This helps reduce traffic on radios and helps dispatchers spend more time focused on the call rather than on the radio.

In addition, Laramie County uses geofencing so that as soon as an ambulance using the app begins to move, the status of the call is automatically changed. That means the system auto-arrives the ambulance as soon as it pulls up to the hospital and reduces a step for first responders.

“Using this app, our fire crews can chat with law enforcement officers and medical crews and ask questions directly related to the incident,” Davis said. “They don’t waste time searching for information. Instead, they can just chat directly in the app. It really improves the awareness of what calls are happening and who is doing what. It’s just incredible.”

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