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Firefighter Technology Gets an Upgrade

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Firefighters work hard every day to protect our communities, but often they do so without the technical support they need to get the job done easily and safely. Given the complex, extreme nature of the work, these men and women require powerful hardware that can withstand high temps– but that’s not all. What happens if they need to create custom images for a new set of laptops? Or, what if they aren’t sure how to choose the right vehicle mount to safely dock a tablet in their trucks? This is why support from a trusted technology partner is crucial. 

At Panasonic, we are proud to support these workers in their jobs, each and every day. Here’s how we do it.

Panasonic Services

The first step to making sure Panasonic’s devices are easy to use and simple to implement are deployment services, ensuring that the technologies are installed correctly, effectively and work as they should. Panasonic ProServices has teams of consultants and experts working tirelessly to make sure operations run as smoothly as possible, so firefighters can focus on what matters most – saving lives and protecting communities.

Our deployment experts ensure everything is in working order and working well together, from software to third-party accessories and batteries. With our help, departments can use new computers right away, limiting downtime and reducing IT headaches. Panasonic also provides unique, customized mounting services to ensure that each user has the device safely, ergonomically and productively installed for use in vehicles. 

Access to Real-Time Data

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,318,500 fires in 2018. When entering a burning building, the more information firefighters have about its structure and occupants, the better. Having this information on site allows first responders to enter situations with a better understanding of the risks, challenges and scenarios they may encounter and plan accordingly. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, casualties and property damages could be reduced if emergency response decisions were routinely made based on systematic and scientifically collected data on site.

“You might have a half-million-dollar fire truck and well-trained staff, but with access to critical data via your TOUGHBOOK, you can answer the call faster and with better information,” says Panasonic National Director of Sales, Alex Nollmann.

Connectivity

Without a strong, reliable signal, access to data in the field would not be possible. With this in mind, Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices are structured around the wireless modem to maximize signal strength and minimize interference. High-level certifications with major wireless carriers allow Panasonic to deliver extraordinary services to customers, keeping them connected in the most extreme environments when they need connectivity the most.  

For example, the Houston Fire Department’s telehealth program connecting patients with physicians would not be possible without wireless connectivity. The program, Emergency TeleHealth and Navigation (ETHAN), gives on-scene first responders the ability to video conference directly with emergency physicians via tablet, connecting the patient and provider and gathering necessary medical guidance to resolve a situation safely and effectively. This can also help direct ambulances to where they are truly needed without sacrificing patient care and attention. 

“ETHAN really allows us to disposition patients appropriately, when possible, to clinics,” said Dr. Michael Gonzalez, Medical Director for Houston Fire Department. “We can help reduce overcrowding in our busy, already overburdened emergency departments. ETHAN was really the first of its kind in the world. Panasonic deployed a team of experts as well as other industries and partners that we were able to use to design a truly elegant solution, and something that was revolutionary.”

Project ETHAN could not succeed without reliable connectivity. Video conferencing and access to real-time patient records is crucial in first responder situations and with options for broadband, Wi-Fi and GPS, TOUGHBOOK devices are specifically designed to offer reliable connectivity. Connectivity is everything.

To read more about mobile essentials for fire departments, read this whitepaper from Firehouse.