Automation for Modern Fire Stations
It takes very little time from the moment an emergency call comes in to the moment fire engines set off for a rescue operation. However, it is always necessary to get the fire-fighting apparatus and crew ready, the exit route accessible, and do many other tasks. Very often, human lives are in danger at the same time. It was the primary responsibility of fire department staff members in the past, but now many of such tasks are automated thanks to advanced IT systems and intelligent technologies. Let us look in detail at how cutting-edge technology and automation in the twenty-first century improve firefighters’ work.
Every second counts. That is why automation starts as early as with an incoming emergency call to a fire station. In 2015, radio-based alerting made up about 85 per cent of fire and medical emergency services, while only 15 per cent used a network-based alerting system. The number of computer systems is growing significantly today, bringing along considerable benefits: response times improved to milliseconds, nearly simultaneous alerting of all stations, automation of technology at fire stations, and its interconnection with the RMS software for the management of human resources, assets, and deployment reports.
Fire station automation
Modern fire stations are designed with a high degree of automation and adjustability. Automatic mechanical controls to open apparatus bay doors are just the beginning. Triggering alarms or traffic lights, turning on streetlights or controlling air conditioning in the apparatus bay is also possible. All these things happen automatically and remarkably reduce response times and mental pressure on firefighters. The system can also distinguish between different alerting levels, dispatching information for a particular call only to the unit handling the call. In some emergencies, it is necessary to deploy the entire duty crew and lots of equipment. In contrast, in others, the situation is not so alarming.
Effective management of emergency operations
In addition to fire suppression, many everyday ̎background” tasks during fire-fighting operations can be automated, eliminating unnecessary office work and cumbersome bureaucracy. A modern and innovative software solution, based on the Vektra® Emergency and Rescue Management software application offered by Telegrafia, can immediately help handle many tasks, such as:
- making deployment records automatically as soon as a 112-line EMS call comes in
- allowing a fire officer/incident commander to assign available fire engines for deployment
- automatic deducting from the warehouse of the amount of fuel, masks, sorbents, foaming agents, and other supplies consumed during the fire-fighting operation
- real-time data processing (e.g. assigning a free fire engine for another fire-fighting operation once it becomes available)
The effective management of all emergency and rescue operations leads to a radical simplification of work procedures, improved situational awareness, and significantly increased efficiency and process seamlessness. As a result, the fire services and emergency and rescue units can better concentrate on their job performance.
Modern technologies combine technological devices into one information network that firefighters can use both on the fireground and at the station. The collected data is centralised and stored in a single software system and can be automatically disseminated anywhere personnel have internet access. This is a great advantage because many fire departments have increased their use of modern devices such as smartphones, laptop computers, or tablets in the field. The fire officer/incident commander in the control centre can then receive all the necessary details about the crew and course of action, understand, monitor, evaluate the situation, and quickly make fully informed critical decisions.
Telegrafia offers the Vektra® Emergency and Rescue Management software application for fire stations. Together with the Vektra® SCADA application, they create a perfect always-on-stand-by control unit.
The article was written by
Miroslava is the marketing manager. She has been working for Telegrafia for more than twelve years. She began as a business department assistant and later worked as an educational centre coordinator. Since her return from maternity leave, she has been working for the marketing department. The experience and knowledge she has gained give her a solid base for the challenging and creative work she is now doing for the marketing department. She loves running, and keeps fit by regular training and preparing for half-marathon competitions.