4 Mobility Tools that Help First Responders Save Lives
Operating in extremely urgent, high-pressure environments, the nation’s first responders rely on mobility tools to help them make quick decisions in both emergency and non-emergency situations. Here are four mobility tools that are keeping these professionals safe while helping them preserve human life on a daily basis.
The emergency medical services (EMS) team at Advent Health Central Pasco emergency room in Lutz, Florida, must stay connected and informed during all calls—both critical and noncritical. From sending important patient information to physicians to monitoring vital signs to submitting incident reports, these first responders have to be able to deliver critical care anywhere, without fail.
This ambulance team’s go-to device is the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK, used for real-time communication, to review medical records, and to get patient releases signed, both on and off the vehicle. By blending advanced technology with rugged reliability, Panasonic is helping these first responders do their jobs in a more seamless, efficient manner.
“This is all we use,” says one Advent EMT when asked about his device’s reliability and connectivity. “I dropped mine off the back of the ambulance just last week and nothing even happened to it.”
3 Ways Mobile Technology is Saving Lives
Here are three more mobility tools that are helping first responders across the nation do their jobs:
Wearables that alert to emergency situations
Wearables can do more than track your heartbeart. A collection of sensors worn on the human body, these devices constantly deliver data about their surroundings, information that could help first responders make better decisions in emergency situations. With 80% of emergency medical workers experiencing violence during their careers, Healthcare Business & Technology says hospitals are improving their emergency communication systems to help protect patients, visitors, and staff members. One New York hospital implemented a hands-free, wearable communication badge that employees can use to summon police and public safety officers during violent encounters or other emergencies. The approach has reduced average security response times from 3.2 minutes to just 1.02 minutes during the system’s first six months in use. “That time savings can make all the difference in preventing violence,” Healthcare Business & Technology wrote.
Real-time updates to increase situational awareness
Once relegated to using land mobile radios (LMRs) to send and receive information to their dispatchers, police officers are using mobile technology to get real-time data. This data now provides complete situational awareness for on-scene patrol officers and their command centers. Responsible for continual reassessment of the area, equipment, and people under their control, officers can now get the right information at the right time. For example, a field commander with a mobile tablet can see the real-time location of individual officers within the operational environment; information like unit ID, special skills or assets (e.g., K9, sniper, bilingual) can be displayed on demand. “Situational awareness, whether at the individual level or in a multi-officer tactical response, is a key component of officer safety,” says 32-year law enforcement veteran Dale Stockton. “Quickly-advancing mobile technology makes it possible for properly equipped officers to maintain a common operating picture within the team environment and allows a unit commander to effectively direct team members.”
Apps that activate citizen response
Each year, approximately 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting in the U.S. Nearly 90 percent of these patients die. With each passing minute without CPR, the chance of survival decreases by seven to 10 percent. Participation by the general public prior to the arrival of fire and emergency services is essential to increasing the patient’s chance of survival. First responders are using mobile apps to help improve patients’ chances of surviving a heart attack by enlisting the public. Last year, for example, the International Association of Fire Chiefs announced its support of apps like PulsePoint (which matches victims in cardiac arrest with nearby CPR-trained individuals), for “bridging the gap between a cardiac arrest event and arrival of medical assistance.” Such applications offer a unique way to involve the citizens in a local jurisdiction to not only become aware of when others need life or death assistance, the IAFC points out, “but also provide them with an avenue to render aid. This not only reflects well on the fire department but provides the community with a sense of ownership in the program.”
With more first responder organizations incorporating mobility into their own toolkits, taking the time to audit existing approaches, evaluate the opportunities, and deploying for long-term usage (versus just short-term gains) are all critical success steps. Not sure where to start? Select a technology partner that can augment your organization through the process of choosing, implementing, training on, and using the technology. For all first responder organizations, this means finding a provider that understands your unique environment and challenges and can effectively integrate the best possible technology tools for your needs.