Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and the Fire Service

Mobile devices and cloud computing have taken the world by storm and are revolutionizing business and industry.  The computing power of laptops of a few years ago can now be held in the palm of your hand.   Wireless internet connectivity, GPS, touch screen interfaces, and built in cameras, and a price tag of around $200 or less make these devices truly game changers.  In fact people are buying these devices faster than any other consumer electronic before.  At last count 700,000 android devices are activated everyday and nearly a total of 250 million android devices sold.  Mobile devices using Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS (and to a lesser extent MS phone) and cloud computing are truly changing the world.

How will this change the fire service and public safety sector?  A number of apps have been developed for android for use by firefighters and more are sure to come.  So far most have been fairly simple apps, however more sophisticated and complex apps are beginning to emerge making the mobile platform a valuable tool in the firefighter's toolbox.  A few of the apps currently available are: 
  • Cargo decoder - digital ERG book
  • FirefighterLog
  • CadPage
  • Hazmat evac - provides isolation zones based on ERG book
  • Radio Scanner - streaming audio from
  • WISER - hazardous materials lookup
  • Pulse Point -   alerts citizens of cardiac arrests
  • Fire Chief magazine
  • Fire Engineering magazine
  • Friction Loss calculators
  • Shift schedules
This blog will be reviewing apps as they come available.