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Why Fire Departments are quickly adopting mobile applications

by | Blog

Fire departments are deep in tradition, and data (information) is nothing new. Fire codes date back to 1881 and standards such as NFPA-1620, 1730, 931 have been in play for decades. In fact, NFPA dates to the pre-digital age, born in 1896. ISO and Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) has also been around for more than 100 years.

So why are fire departments only now adopting new ways to capture and access information during response? Simply put, it’s long overdue and the technology in our pockets, is why.

1- Traditional pen, paper, and carbon copy data collection methods for inspections, investigations, permitting and more have never been sustainable in a fire department environment, here is why…

Firefighting is a very specialized job and managing office-like clerical tasks has proven to be impossible due to the number of buildings, data points and record that are in the 1,000’s. NFPA, FUS and ISO require that all commercial buildings records are updated annually.

2- Other solutions implemented by fire departments in the 1990’s were a great first step to address data management but have proven to be simply another layer of complexity, here is why…

Firefighters, inspectors must collect data in the field and then re-enter the information system at the station. Those applications were designed for desktop computing, not mobile field use. This double, or triple entry is costing taxpayers tens of $1,000’s in manual labor costs.

3- Accessing critical information such as hydrants, building, occupancy, floorplan, history data in seconds during emergencies is currently impossible. This is due to the lack of data captured nowhere to be found exposing departments to risk & best effort, here is how this is changing…

Fire departments are now collecting data with a tablet or smartphone in a way that makes accessing it in seconds during emergencies simple. Today’s solutions have cut the middle steps of data collection are now done once, digitally, instantly available throughout the department.

4- Not all technologies are the same. Fire departments cannot afford to have intermittent capabilities, they need a mission critical design, it must be fireproof. Working on/offline, accessing integrated data in seconds, visual/textual information and getting what you need instantly, accurately, is critical during emergencies. Here is why…

Information is required to make split second decisions to save property and lives. Incident commanders must make the best decisions and stand by them. Today, fire departments are easily capturing, updating, and accessing data on tablets, allowing commanders to planning as the fire truck rolls out of the station.

5- Cost of modernizing a department has a clear return on investment. Fire department resources are expensive to the taxpayer and using them to repeat steps, capture/manage clerical information, in a poorly designed environment is very costly. Here is the alternative…

Doing it once with an application that captures and easily manages information in the field is being done. Firefighters can now complete inspections, preplans, investigations with a mobile app that is cloud based, secure and instant.

If your fire department is looking to leverage efficiency and modernization, let’s talk. APX has 1,000’s of fire department users that are now benefiting from smart mobile technology, achieving 100% of the data collection in an annual cycle, saving taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in costs while better responding when saving lives and property.

 

Want to know more about how this can transform your department, contact us and we would be happy to share more.

CONTACT US

 

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About the author

Paul Martin, President & CEO, APX Data

Paul Martin has devoted his career to public safety. He has helped departments across Canada and the United States through his work with Airbus and Motorola Public Safety Divisions. He is currently the founder and CEO of APX Data, a company devoted exclusively to helping fire departments modernize their fire prevention, response and fire investigations through the use of mobile technology. APX Data was first to market, introducing smart mobile applications to the fire service in 2013. APX has validated information on over 140 million structures in its database for all of the U.S., and is growing at a rate of more than 50% year over year. To talk to Paul, please connect with him on LinkedIn, visit apxdata.com or call 1-888-240-0591.

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