The nature of responding to emergencies is such that first responders have always been a workforce on the go. And whether they are in-station or on-call when an incident occurs, first responders need accurate and timely incident information. This can mean the difference between saving lives and tragedy.
The Challenge of Alerting Mobile Fire and Rescue Personnel
Getting information to mobile firefighters and EMTs has traditionally been a matter of radio communications. Handheld radios have been the lifeline between the first responder and central dispatch. However, communicating effectively via standard voice is not always a reliable and predictable method. Some of the problems departments face include:
- Legacy dispatch/alerting systems that force the CAD operator to speak can waste time since the operator has to make time for the activity
- Legacy systems may not have the intelligence to organize personnel for inclusion or exclusion depending on the nature and type of incident. This creates dispatch inefficiencies
- Radio systems can be spotty in quality and reliability, meaning that vital information can be lost or hard to discern.
- Remote first responders must take good notes on the call, or be supported by in-vehicle, mobile data terminal systems that can receive and retain the dispatch information.