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3 ways to boost firefighter safety with integrated tech tools

Find out how the Motorola Solutions Unified Fire Technology Suite can help your crews respond faster, smarter and safer


Sponsored by Motorola Solutions

By FireRescue1 BrandFocus Staff

By its very nature, firefighting is dangerous. This is why deploying the most reliable, flexible and sophisticated communications technology is vital to ensuring the safety of firefighters, other first responders, and the public that they all protect.

Motorola Solutions’ United Fire Suite provides end-to-end service, security and safety for firefighters on the scene and the commanders who manage them. (Motorola Solutions)
Motorola Solutions’ United Fire Suite provides end-to-end service, security and safety for firefighters on the scene and the commanders who manage them. (Motorola Solutions) (Motorola)

Motorola Solutions’ Unified Fire Suite is purpose-built to provide this level of communications performance. Here are three ways that the Unified Fire Suite boosts firefighter safety through its integrated tech tools:

1. ALERTING THAT INFORMS STAFF, RATHER THAN ALARMING THEM

Forget what you’ve seen on TV: In real life, suddenly assaulting firefighters with horns, bells and instructions blasted over loudspeakers is not the best way to prepare them for a call. This is why the Motorola Solutions MACH Alert Fire Station Alerting and Automation system is designed to notify first responders without stressing them out.

The call alert process begins with a heart-saver tone that alerts firefighters to an incoming voice message. At the same time, LED colored lights that correspond with different alert types turn on in the appropriate zones. When the voice call comes in, the listeners are emotionally ready to hear it. The result: Crew stress levels are optimized for fast yet calm response – the kind of attitude that maximizes firefighter awareness, effectiveness and safety.

MACH Alert offers several other smart features. For instance, its text-to-speech technology reads CAD text information over the station PA system or the radio channel automatically. This eliminates the need for human dispatchers to voice-alert fire stations, saving time and resource use while enhancing announcement accuracy.

Another helpful feature: Under the MACH Alert system, the station’s bay doors are opened automatically to allow vehicles to exit, while all appliances are automatically shut off as well. The system can also be configured to control and monitor lighting, security and other functions at the station on an automatic basis.

The MACH Alert mobile app also relays emergency calls directly to firefighters via their wireless smartphones and tablets and provides them with incident information, mapped routes to the incident scene, a turnout timer to gauge their response time and a 24-hour alert history. This ensures that firefighters are fully briefed to deal with the incident they’re responding to, in addition to giving them an alert channel that backs up the station’s alerting system.

2. RADIOS YOU CAN RELY ON

Now more than ever, firefighters need radios they can rely on. Motorola Solutions built the APX NEXT XN P25 Smart Radio to the latest fire standards, with LTE connectivity to expand your radio network and keep firefighters connected to talk groups at all times.

Built to be rugged with improved audio clarity and apps functionality, the APX NEXT XN is designed for regular use in extreme environments. Onboard apps such as SmartMessaging, SmartMapping and SmartLocate quickly give firefighters and first responders all kinds of vital information from shared situational awareness and updates to the fastest, safest routes to incidents and pinpoint location details.

At the same time, Motorola Solutions knows that firefighters are using this equipment using bulky gloves while enduring harsh, noisy conditions. This is why radios such as the APX NEXT XN come with enlarged knobs and controls for gloved use, plus a T-shape form factor for enhanced grip. Add in safety features such as “Man Down” that alerts dispatch which firefighters need help now and where they are located, and the APX NEXT XN is one of many Motorola Solutions radios that you can rely on.

3. NO FIREFIGHTER LEFT BEHIND

The Man Down safety feature found on Motorola Solutions’ radios is part of these units’ APX Personnel Accountability app, which is integrated into this equipment to help commanders keep track of their personnel on the fireground.

Keeping track of personnel on an ongoing basis using the app is fast, easy and reliable for commanders. Simply open the Tactical Alert window from the incident commander’s laptop or tablet to initiate a Personnel Accountability Report, or PAR check. Each responder acknowledges the incident commander's request for a PAR check by simply pressing the PTT button on their APX radios. Incident command receives confirmation of who has acknowledged the PAR check and a count of those yet to respond.

The result: Commanders are able to keep better track of deployed firefighters and quicker to spot and assist those who don’t respond to regular PAR checks. No firefighter in distress gets left behind.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Motorola Solutions’ Unified Fire Suite provides end-to-end service, security and safety for firefighters on the scene and the commanders who manage them. These integrated technologies effectively addresses the varied communications needs of modern firefighting.

Visit Motorola Solutions for more information on the Unified Fire Suite.

Read Next: 4 ways this rugged, reliable radio helps firefighters be ready for the unexpected

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