PFD going high-tech on engines
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:00 AM
New technology is coming to the Philadelphia Fire Department which will allow officials to access pertinent information via the Internet from any location including accident and fire scenes.
The new system will be available to the department in the trucks once they install a Wi-Fi hotspot into the trucks.
The Internet-based program will allow battalion chiefs access to run reports, as well as access pre-plans and inspections from their vehicles, among other data. The pre-plans include drawings of buildings, hydrant locations and contact information in case of emergency.
This will be a nice change of pace for the department with their current pre-plans being stored in boxes filled with binders inside rescue units and fire trucks, officials said.
Battalion Chief Darrell Wilson said the department started using the new program the first week of June, and they are now just waiting to finalize details with the hotspot before being able to use it in the truck.
"It's a good program," he said. "The program is the big change and the hot spot will just be able to give us access to those pre-plans in the vehicle. It will also give us the closest hydrants to the buildings."
Along with the pre-plans, the program will allow them to expedite the inspection process for businesses. By using a login, the department can access the program on any device with Internet access.
"Since the inspection forms are online, we can go ahead and fill out those forms while we are there at the business," Wilson said.
It is unknown whether the department will be using laptops or tablets, such as iPads, to access the program in the trucks once the hotspot is installed. As of now, Wilson said there is a laptop that can be used in the station.