Smart Cities: How the lack of technology is failing fire departments and how it can be fixed instantly
In today’s fast paced world, it seems that every second of every day we are continuously connected—being force fed information at speeds and frequencies never seen before. From our work lives, to our personal lives, and the grey area in between, almost every aspect of what we do appears to be linked to an overarching technological device.
It seems as though every day we hear the term Smart City, and in many ways, we all live it. For instance, in any major metropolitan center anyone can pay for parking simply by using a Smart City application that connects drivers to the city’s parking infrastructure. Gone are the days of rooting through one’s pockets and under car seats to find enough money to toss into a meter—that first-world problem has gone the way of the Dodo bird.
Then, of course, let’s not forget other Smart City programs. Literally, a solution exists for everything. Did you know that cities are now using smart technology to measure air quality, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and more? There are also bicycle rentals, smart cars, waste management, street lighting, and so on. And all this to make our lives better, easier, safer, and more enjoyable.
So, in this modern age of technological wonder, where all aspects of one’s life is connected to a plethora of devices and systems, why is it that fire departments and emergency services are so far behind the curve? If the purpose of a city is to be “smart” and “safe,” why are so many cities lacking the technological resources needed to better protect its first responders and citizens?
Simply put, it’s about a lack of focus from the world of innovation as it relates to first responders and associated Smart City implications. The processes related to such things as emergency pre-plans, information sharing, and more, have been mostly ignored by the world of technology, concentrating instead on such things as parking—after all, that’s a money maker, not a money taker.
But, our firefighters deserve more. They deserve mobile-first technology that enables them not only to do their jobs, but also to do them better, safer, and, ultimately, faster—creating a Smart City environment where building and onsite data is collected and disseminated with ease and accuracy.
Imagine if all firefighters could map a building with comprehensive details including notations, images, building specifications, locations, and more. And, if they could create that building record in just 30 minutes, instead of a week.
It’s this type of technology that would make firefighters’ jobs easier, adding relevant and mission-critical information to their arsenal, and saving them millions of dollars in hours spent creating pre-plans for archaic desktop-based record management practices. Instead, that money could be invested in training, better equipment, and, ultimately, increased public safety.
If only that technology existed. Oh, wait … isn’t that what we do?