How Technology Helps You Respond to Calls with the Right Information

How Technology Helps You Respond to Calls with the Right Information

Sunday, 21 February 2021 19:28

When a dispatcher takes a call, they know that they are communicating with someone in what is likely their darkest hour. Except for a few rare cases, the person on the other end wouldn't have dialed 911 if they did not need help. There is a good chance that person is in a dire situation with nowhere else to turn. They may be frightened. They may be injured. They may be in shock. Yet, there are precious seconds to comfort them, provide potentially life-saving instructions, and somehow coax enough information for you to respond swiftly and safely. 


Once the call response is in your department's hands, what kind of information will everyone have? Is it the vital information everyone needs to have the highest situational awareness possible? Of course, you certainly hope so. Emergency responders cannot be flying into a call blindly. The more of the right information you can gather, the better everyone's situational awareness will be. The more situational awareness your department has, the safer your firefighters and paramedics will be. 

Has your department considered implementing the most technologically advanced solutions to ensure everyone has the information that will save lives?  Here is what you need to know about how the right technology can help you respond to calls with essential live-saving situational awareness:

Technology That Improves Incident Preplanning

NFPA 1620 standards have helped ensure that incident preplanning is done consistently across departments throughout the country. It has vastly improved the information we have regarding structures before we respond to fires and emergencies. However, in an effort to be more efficient, some department software options try to make it possible to limit your in-person, on-site inspections. They grab information available on the Internet and in public records to develop your database, regardless of how inaccurate that information might be. 

Our software includes an incident preplan wizard that makes in-person preplan visits more efficient. With our devices, the preplan management system is built-in, making it much easier and more efficient to collect vital information, store images, and collect the information you need for every call. Field surveys with embedded photos are synced to the StreeWise cloud servers once completed. They are available on every device as soon as the very next call. Individual preplans can be cached to a device's memory for off-line use when broadband isn't readily available.

For your crew's safety and those whose lives you may be attempting to save, you need all the information you can get. The right technology does not skip preplanning; it enhances it and makes it more accessible the moment you need it.

Response Software and Mapping Specifically Designed for Fire and EMS

There are some response and mapping software available for emergency responders, but they are often designed primarily with police departments in mind. While they can be helpful, firefighters and paramedics need to know information unique to their call response. StreetWise's CADlink Tablet is remarkable in that it allows you to share AVL seamlessly, hydrant locations, preplans, and more with your mutual and auto-aid partners. Armed with this crucial information, units are not as likely to be caught on a street that is too narrow, slowed by predictable traffic or construction, or caught in an area without adequate access to hydrants. Our system raises situational awareness for all responding units and helps put everyone on the same team. 

Station Smartboards

The right technology in responding units makes necessary information available for responders. SmartBoards provide an overview of the entire department's activity. They display critical information, such as announcements, schedules, a map showing recent calls, live unit locations, and current weather conditions. When a call comes in, the smartboard enters alert mode, displaying the location of the emergency, navigation from the station, hydrant locations, and other vital information. Combined with other Streetwise products, station smartboards provide unmatched situational awareness. 

What is the value of situational awareness? Having the right information when responding to a call is a matter of life and death for victims and emergency responders. There is no substitute for having all the right information. However, that information does little good if it is not easily accessible to those who need to know it. When choosing technology to improve your department's overall situational awareness, make sure it is fully integrated across devices to put what dispatchers and responders need to know at their fingertips. If your department would benefit from a technology upgrade, we would love to hear from you. Contact the team at Streetwise. We have been right where you are and designed our systems based on the information we needed when responding to calls.