Often people have preconceptions about who firefighters are and what goes into their work. Many assume that firefighters are simply heroes that show up to put out fires, but don’t typically know much about them. There are many things that firefighters might want civilians to know about their line of work that most simply aren’t aware of. Here are a few things you might not be aware of about firefighters, which will hopefully help showcase not only the heroic efforts of these men and women, but the diligence and dedication that goes into their jobs. Continue reading Things You Might Not Know About Firefighters
Do first responders have have the ability to communicate properly and efficiently when emergencies occur?
Are first responders being given the tools necessary to communicate with other agencies in times of crisis?
A recent NPR.com article helps bring light to the discussion – and – what to do with a portion of the public airwaves that potentially could be used to create a wireless network to be used specifically by first responders and other public safety groups.
Jeff Johnson, past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, says first responders “lack the equivalent of the national interstate freeway system. What we have is a bunch of small local roads and streets, and they are built without contemplating what your neighboring community is doing.”
The opportunity? To allocate an unused portion of the public airwaves for use by police, fire and other first responders. This unused spectrum of the airwaves is referred to as the D-block.
- maintain uninterrupted service
- speed communication
- share video
- share information
- provide better safety efforts within local communities
On a basic, but vitally important level, this network would allow for easier communication between agencies which would result in better public safety services.
Sorting out the details of how this network would operate and sifting through its complexities is now a Congressional matter.
Vice President Joe Biden called it “our shot to significantly increase the safety and security of the American people. It is as important as anything we could do by a piece of legislation.”
And while most within the public forum support a national network, questions remain about how to achieve common goals. Some proponents offer a different perspective on the D-block spectrum. In a statement from John Kneuer, Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and External Affairs at Rivada Networks,
“What public safety needs most is not just ‘infrastructure’ or ‘spectrum.’ What it needs is capabilities such as priority access, survivability, and rapid recovery in a crisis, as well as specialized services to support their missions. All of these capabilities can be provided today by multiple vendors, leveraging existing infrastructure and spectrum.”
*At Galls we try to provide current and relevant information about issues that affect our customers. The question of how to better the communication abilities of public safety agencies is complex and varied. The intent of our blog post is to highlight the issue. We hope that you find the information valuable.
If you have comments or thoughts that you would like to add to the discussion, please post them below.
The increasing popularity of smart phones – and iPhones in particular – has given rise to a plethora of apps that can be used by law enforcement, military, fire and EMS personnel.
Some of these applications can be extremely useful. Others are simply just interesting. And others, well, others are just plain fun.
Here is a quick overview of some apps that you may – or may not – be aware of. Try them out and let us know how they work for you. We’ll try to share more apps as we stumble upon them.
Police Scanner 2: $4.99 Police Scanner 2 is the first interactive police scanner application for the iPhone. Alert friends to emergency broadcast streams in real time with text messages. This app also allows users to record interesting events and save them to replay later.
Phone Aid: $1.99 Need to practice or even possibly perform CPR? This app will help walk you through the steps for administering CPR as well as how to manage situations where someone is choking. Is it worth the two dollar cost? Yes, it’s even been credited with having helped in saving someone’s life in Los Angeles, CA.
911 Toolkit: $7.99 A great addition to any firefighter’s toolkit, it’s also great for EMT’s, paramedics, hazmat teams and other emergency responders. Now a universal app so you get iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch support with one purchase.
Med Spanish: $2.99 This app helps doctors and medical personnel learn common medical words and phrases in Spanish to help bridge the communication process. The app breaks common words and phrases into dozens of grammar categories including adjectives, adverbs and basic words. Medical categories also exist, including prenatal, emergency and much more.
Field Contact: $4.99 The most technologically advanced and convenient way to document, photograph, search and email all aspects of your law enforcement contacts directly to your iPhone.
FBI Most Wanted: Free Straight from the U.S. Government, this app outlines the FBI’s top 10 most wanted criminals and top 10 terrorists with photos and background information. There is another feature that allows you to search for missing children. Supposedly, you can also drop the FBI a line straight from your phone.
These last two are just plain fun…
SirenFx – Police / Emergency Sound Effects: $0.99 Sirens and emergency sounds – now that sounds like a lot of fun! Imagine the pranks you can play.
Kids Fireman: This app is great for those of you with younger children. Let them push buttons, make sounds and save kittens!