A new mobile application has been developed for firefighters who are in the field. The app, called FireStop, uses Google Maps, allowing firefighters to increase situational awareness when responding. Emergency Management reported that iPads or iPhones running FireStop are expected to provide firefighters with critical information quickly so that first responders are better able to understand the situations they find themselves in. This is just the latest in mobile technology developments that are intended to help firefighters and law enforcement promote public safety and improve crisis response time.
According to the news source, this application, which was developed by three Princeton University students, provides data like building layouts, fire hydrants locations and hazardous materials warnings to firefighters, sometimes in 3D.
"Our goal is to bring better information to firefighters," said Charlie Jacobson, developer on the project and volunteer firefighter, according to the source. "And we need to provide this information quickly and intuitively."
The app is intended to help with one of the number one issues that can crop up in an emergency – lost connectivity. Emergency Management Magazine reported that the application establishes a secure connection between agency databases and user devices and maintains that access to data even in the event of a lost connection.
With the emergence of new technologies, firefighters and other first responders will gain an edge in crisis response. The advancement of technologies has allowed municipalities to collect, manage and better analyze data to reduce response time and enhance training. Mobile technology allows first responders to access this information at the "point of need" with smart tools that increase situational awareness.
"Knowing a building layout or the location of hazardous materials before you get on scene is a game changer," said Ari Vidali, Envisage CEO. "This kind of technology has the potential for saving lives and reducing rates of injury to our first responders."
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