Stop Responding Blindly to Emergencies

Stop Responding Blindly to Emergencies

Saturday, 24 October 2020 23:10

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. You don’t have to be a firefighter to be familiar with that popular colloquialism. In fact, the saying does not even necessarily pertain to fire itself; rather, the idea that if there is an effect, there must indeed be a cause or source of that effect. You do not get the proverbial smoke unless something is burning. However, you do not necessarily have to have a visual on the flames to know with confidence what is happening.


For firefighters and emergency responders, they often quite literally respond to the reports of smoke, knowing that there must be a cause, even if no one has seen the flames. Even if they cannot see the fire, it is in their best interest to have all the information available. They need to know as much as they can about the location, the structure, the surrounding traffic flow, the size of the streets, the number of humans, the neighbors, the ground, the trees, and much that is not covered by the mere presence of billowing smoke. 

Where there’s smoke, there’s likely a fire that needs to be extinguished. The more firefighters can know about the situation, the better chance they have of reducing property damage, injuries, and fatalities. StreetWise® is here to help ensure that first responders are not going into situations blindly. 

Responding to Fire Emergencies Blindly

The world around us is ever-changing. In many cities and regions, rapid change is abundantly apparent. Unfortunately for fire departments and first responders, these changes can negatively impact responders’ time and readiness. Cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville, and others that are growing rapidly present numerous challenges for emergency responders. 

While you can type an address into your map application on your phone, its directions may not account for changes to traffic flow, road construction, and other extenuating factors. Your map app definitely will not inform you about the width of the street, the number of fire hydrants, fencing, trees, dogs, and other potential hazards. 

New construction techniques that seek to make structures more energy efficient may use material that is more combustible. Before you respond, you need to know what type of building material you’re going to encounter. And while you may have written information, paperwork will inevitably slow you down in a real-time emergency. 

The fact is that even if you can see your emergency location on a map and read about the location and building on paper, when the adrenaline is flowing and lives are on the line, you’re blind without a fast and efficient way to have the information you need conveyed quickly and efficiently. 

How to Not Respond Blindly

For everyone responding to any emergency, situational awareness is the key to the best possible outcome. When everyone has the best information, the chances of reducing injury and property damage is the best. For fire and EMS stations, effective incident pre-planning raises situational awareness and helps save lives. However, outdated methods of pre-planning with pen and paper leave much to be desired. StreetWise® is a suite of full-featured products that utilize state-of-the-art technology to improve every part of the emergency response process. 

  • Pre-Incident Planning: Our “Preplan Wizard” is modeled after the NFPA 1620 standard that requires preplan writers to gather information during in-person visits. The wizard walks you through the simplest and most effective way to survey sites. 
  • Command and Control: StreetWise® products provide advanced mapping functions, premise alerts, hazard waypoints, hydrant information, instant “drop and sync” tactical NIMS waypoints, and more so that the incident commander always has the latest overview of the scene organization and resources for improved coordination.
  • Station SmartBoards: SmartBoards help ensure departments have announcements, schedules, maps of recent calls, unit locations, and current weather conditions visible to all in the station.
  • Web-Based Dispatch Solution: The Web-Based Dispatch Solution puts this technology in the hands of smaller departments affordably. 

Wherever there is smoke, you can comprehensively know the situation to which you are responding. Your firefighters and paramedics do not have to respond to emergencies in the dark. If you are ready to put the power of technology to use for saving lives and reducing property damage in your region, contact StreetWise® today