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Every day, across the globe, emergency services teams come to people’s aid no matter the situation to ensure their safety. Whether it’s during a natural disaster, or at a significant event, the emergency services are on hand to face any challenge that comes their way. When supporting this crucial workforce, it is essential that they have robust and reliable connectivity. Technology is becoming a vital aspect of public safety and security worldwide, and this trend is only likely to grow. For these new devices to work effectively, full-scale coverage must be in place, and when it comes to people’s safety, there is no room for error. The need for redundancy and high bandwidth Two of the paramount tools at emergency services disposal are video surveillance and communication devices. Constant visibility and communication are often essential to protecting people and saving lives. The benefits range from providing first responders with a clear picture and understanding of the situation they are about to encounter; to providing greater safety during public events by enabling officers to control crowds and manage traffic effectively. Enhancing visibility and sharing information is particularly crucial during fires to guide firefighters and vehicles through flames and smoke, and to allow the central command center to organize resources effectively. Technology is becoming a vital aspect of public safety and security worldwide, and this trend is only likely to grow Despite any potential challenges ensuring network connectivity may create, public safety organizations cannot compromise when it comes to optimizing security. For IP video surveillance and cellphone broadband connectivity to operate effectively, they require redundancy and high bandwidth. Without these connectivity attributes, devices become useless; for example, there are municipalities where as much as 50 percent of the camera network is offline because of poor product choices and inferior network design and installation. Equally, poor quality networking can be just as limiting as it can lead to public safety organizations being unable to receive real-time data. All areas must also have adequate bandwidth to access data, such as on-scene video, aerial imagery, maps, and images, and many existing public safety networks do not have that capacity. Supporting security and safety robotics Robots and drones have seen a considerable increase in popularity this year, with 60 million such machines being deployed according to ABI Research. They offer a wealth of potential to emergency services teams, whether on land, air, or sea. For example, water rescue robots can go where humans cannot, earthquake and fire robots can search through otherwise non-navigable areas, and drones can survey vast regions. However, for these wireless devices to work effectively, they rely on many features. They need low power consumption so as not to heavily burden the onboard power source of the robotic device and, perhaps, a high level of encryption so information cannot be stolen or hacked. There are also benefits to security and safety as robotic devices can communicate with one another peer-to-peer. Directly mounting radios to robots and drones, fosters dynamic self-learning, data sharing, and more wireless paths in the event one or more of the devices in an area do not have a link to fixed infrastructure. Water rescue robots can go where humans cannot, earthquake and fire robots can search through otherwise non-navigable areas, and drones can survey vast regions The main component that security and safety robotics require is redundant and resilient connections. If the connection is lost, the connected device will go into “safe” mode and stop. Creating a high capacity network that supports mobile devices in complex and fast-moving environments is not a simple task. In many cases, it requires a network that supports many wireless connections and allows for many paths in and out, so that if a link is lost, another path is available for data transmission and reception. This type of network is the best way to ensure that police, firefighters, and emergency units can access and send large amounts of data from wherever they are and in real-time making a massive difference to the efficiency of the emergency services. An example of this is Rajant’s private Kinetic Mesh® network, a wireless network ensuring no single point of failure. It offers reliable, intelligent, and secure wireless broadband connectivity that survives and thrives in evolving and mobility-driven environments. It forms a “living” mesh network that can move with and adapt to the evolving communication requirements of public safety organizations. Technology in action Back in October 2019, the heat from the sun, combined with winds gusting through the foothills of El Capitán Canyon in California, sparked a bush fire in the overly dry, desert hills. Despite four hundred and twenty acres being burnt, firefighters used their experience and skills combined with newfound digital technology to ensure that no structures were damaged, and there were no reported injuries. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Cal Fire, the U.S Forest Service, and other agencies were immediately dispatched to contain the fire. More than 200 firefighters were needed to combat the fire and reinforce containment lines with helicopters and drones in the air and bulldozers on the ground. To operate this equipment, mesh radio nodes, bonded cellular, and satellite technologies were used to link the communication gap in locations where signals are often dropped. Rajant BreadCrumb® nodes were mounted to the fire-breaking, 30-ton bulldozers manned by trained firefighters to uproot vegetation and eliminate the materials that would further spread the fire. Robots and drones have seen a considerable increase in popularity this year, with 60 million such machines being deployed The reliable connectivity allowed the bulldozers to not only easily communicate with each other and the base, but also to send video footage and data to the tactical truck and central command post over cellular and SAT networks. This situational awareness data transfer allowed for greater efficiency, as well as increased safety for the public and the firefighters. Reliability when you need it most Reliable connectivity solutions are being embraced across the emergency services due to the innumerable benefits they bring to ensuring the safety of the public. For police, firefighters, and emergency units, dependable connectivity allows for rapid, real-time response, and the use of technology can save lives in ways that wouldn’t have seemed possible a decade ago. Planned and unplanned events can benefit from the new technology being introduced, and emergency services need to make sure they have the network capabilities to support them. For environments that are challenging and hostile, this requires a network available on-demand, which can withstand the demands of harsh conditions and mobility while maintaining a level of redundancy and high bandwidth that allows for accessing and sending large amounts of data from any location.
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
In communities of all sizes, fire crews are always in need of finding ways to improve preparedness and reduce risk. When fire departments use software systems that meet these needs, they stay safer and more informed on the scene. They also ensure that citizens stay safer during fire emergencies. Since the first organized response to a fire emergency began, firefighters have always made it a point to prevent injuries and minimize fire-related damage. However, since that time, technology has improved virtually everything about fire response, from the way crews get to the scene, to the information they have in transit about the emergency, to what they need to do upon arrival. This knowledge means fire crews no longer need to use three-ring binders full of documents to search for information. Instead, they use mobile data terminals (MDTs) and mobile fire software apps on smartphones, laptops, or tablets in their ladder trucks, fire engines, and other vehicles, which provide them with instant access to the data they need when it’s needed. Fire crews no longer need to use three-ring binders full of documents to search for information Mission Critical Data For Emergencies MDTs work directly with a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system to show first responders information about an emergency. With this technology, mission-critical data with real-time information about an emergency is available for fire crews. Having this data on hand helps keep crews safe, protect citizens, and reduce the risk of catastrophic damage to the structure involved. For example, if fire crews respond to a structure fire and dispatchers receive information while on the call that the roof collapsed before crews arrival, fire crews are made aware of this information in real time. Any information dispatchers receive about the emergency is immediately available for fire crews using an MDT. Information included in an MDT includes location of hazardous chemicals on site, knowledge of any hazardous materials on site, owner contact information, building entrance points and floorplans, and hydrant location. Any information dispatchers receive about the emergency is immediately available for fire crews Advance Planning For Fire Rescue MDTs are vital components to fire rescue. These ruggedized laptops are often mounted in a firetruck and crews communicate with one another regarding the data dispatchers share. When fire crews do not have access to an MDT, they rely upon radio transmissions, cell phones, and pagers to share information. Without a way to share this information in transit, fire crews create attack plans on the scene. This results in more time being spent planning rather than tackling the fire emergency, which could result in more damage and injuries or loss of life. For instance, fires double in size every 30 seconds. When technology can be leveraged so fire crews can create an attack plan while in transit, they reduce risk on the scene. Advanced planning helps each member of the crew know what he or she is doing on the scene based on their roles. Mobile Communication Apps Another way fire crews improve preparedness and reduce risk in a fire response is through the use of a mobile fire software application that can be used on smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and works seamlessly with MDTs.Mobile apps help bridge the gap between the communication received from dispatch to all members of a fire crew Mobile apps help bridge the gap between the communication received from dispatch to all members of a fire crew. Plus, with a mobile app that knows who’s using the device, it can automatically populate the information the user needs based on the location of the user and the user’s role. That means personalized information is delivered as it is needed, which helps crew members to begin their attack plans before arriving on the scene. Crews that use mobile apps arrive on the scene better prepared to attack the fire immediately, thereby saving time and reducing risk. Another benefit of using mobile fire apps is that they are less costly than other software solutions, which helps fire departments purchase more for crews. Many fire departments use MDTs and mobile fire apps so that crews are well-equipped with informational tools. With this opportunity to arrive more prepared on the scene, fire crews can reduce risk to themselves and those involved in the emergency. Vital information is placed into the hands of crew members no matter where they are in the rig, ladder truck, or fire engine Accessible Information For Fire Crews Both mobile fire apps and MDTs work together to harness the power of CAD and bring it directly to fire crews. Vital information is placed into the hands of crew members no matter where they are in the rig, ladder truck, or fire engine. Plus, mobile fire apps can be used by volunteer firefighters, which helps ensure they are as connected to details about the emergency as possible.Another benefit of technology in the world of firefighting is that mobile fire apps and MDTs can work together Fire crews using both have vital routing information, data regarding the structure involved, pre-plans, history, access to their own maps, and anything else that enhances contextual awareness for crews.Another benefit of technology in the world of firefighting is that mobile fire apps and MDTs can work together. While both harness the power of CAD and bring it directly to fire crews, an app is more accessible for crews in the back of the rig or ladder truck. Considerations When Purchasing Mobile Data Terminals The most important thing for fire departments to consider before purchasing an MDT or mobile app is this: Ensure that the software allows for users to take their own CAD information, so they can extend its functionality. These fire software systems should also be intuitive so that they know who is using it and what information they need. They should also be hands-free and understand spoken commands and have the capacity to take those commands and escalate to the next level. By making use of the software systems available to fire departments, crews experience a better use of their time, access relevant information for all roles, and stay safer on the scene through better preparedness and risk reduction.
Volvo Penta has been collaborating with its longstanding customer Rosenbauer to develop an electric driveline for the platform and industrialized version of the company's Concept Fire Truck (CFT), known as "Revolutionary Technology" (RT). By walking away from conventional commercial vehicle concepts and developing an electric solution for the truck's driveline instead, Volvo Penta and Rosenbauer introduced a completely new vehicle architecture that looks set to revolutionize the fire service industry and bring benefits such as zero exhaust emissions and significantly reduced noise levels. With its electric driveline, the fire truck boasts excellent ergonomics, functionality, and safety, as well as high loading volumes, compact dimensions and one-of-a-kind agility. The RT is currently undergoing intensive testing and will soon pass its next major milestone, when it enters real-world customer testing later in 2020 with fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai. Collaboration with Rosenbauer "After many years of successful collaboration with Rosenbauer, we're proud to be pioneering electric drivelines and partnering with them on this revolutionary project," says Paul Jansson, Chief Project Manager at Volvo Penta. "Our close partnership and deep understanding of our customers' needs guided us in the development of the electric driveline for the new fire truck. Starting customer testing really brings home what the teams have managed to achieve together. This is our first industrial OEM partnership in the area of electromobility and it's a big step towards creating a new product platform of the future." Electric driveline delivers great performance The Volvo Penta-powered RT truck will help fire departments around the world reduce their fuel costs The new fire truck aims to provide an answer to global megatrends such as climate change, shifting demographics and urbanization - and their impact on fire departments' work. Firefighters responding to a call need a vehicle capable of high speed, rapid acceleration, hard braking and maneuverability. The RT's electric driveline, paired with independent suspension and a hydropneumatic chassis, delivers a high standard of safety and a great driving performance. The Volvo Penta-powered RT truck will help fire departments around the world reduce their fuel costs as well as improve safety and functionality. Each axle of the truck is powered by an electric motor and the energy storage system allows for an electricity-powered journey with ample time for operation at the rescue site. In addition, the new electrically powered truck has a backup diesel engine on board in case the journey or operation takes longer than expected. Electric fire truck "The teams at Volvo Penta and Rosenbauer have been working together closely to design a tailored solution that enables the electric fire truck to do its job in a more safe, effective and sustainable way than a conventional vehicle," says Dieter Siegel, CEO at Rosenbauer International. "Together, we have created the most revolutionary and progressive vehicle in the fire service industry. We have been collaborating with Volvo Penta for many years, they are the experts in this field and they truly understand our needs." Proven Volvo technology As part of the Volvo Group, Volvo Penta leveraged proven technology and competence from Volvo Trucks and Volvo Buses and adapted it to meet the performance requirements of a fire service application. An important job, since the electric driveline is the heart of the electric vehicle. The result is a proven Volvo Group technological solution that is tailored to meet Rosenbauer's needs. "At Volvo Penta, we see ourselves as partners, not suppliers to our OEM customers - so collaborating with Rosenbauer in this way is not unusual for us," concludes Björn Ingemanson, President of Volvo Penta. "We want to become the world leader in sustainable power solutions and help our customers to future-proof their businesses by meeting the increased demands for cleaner, quieter and more efficient power solutions. This project demonstrates an important step in this journey."
In 2020, Rosenbauer will be present at the Retter Messe in Wels, Austria's renowned trade fair for emergency services organizations, from October 29 to 31, 2020. Attendees can witness groundbreaking technologies and experience the innovations first-hand. Aerial rescue vehicles Rosenbauer will be presenting its key products and selected new products from the fields of vehicles, fire-fighting technology, equipment and digital solutions. Two Rosenbauer aerial rescue vehicles will be stationed on the open-air site at the event. In addition to the new products, there are some unique experiences that attendees should not miss! Fans of promotional items will get their money's worth at the exhibition stand and can shop in the fan shop at their whim. Attendees can immerse themselves in the world of Rosenbauer, along with experiencing and discovering the new products up close.
Rosenbauer has announced the release of a new series of RFC POLY extinguishing systems with integrated CAFS (Compressed Air Foam Systems) is presented. The extremely versatile fire extinguishing systems enable immediate and efficient extinguishing in the critical initial minutes of a fire. They are especially suited to combating spatially defined solid and liquid fires through the expansion of the extinguishing medium, as well as for the preventative protection of objects for which a fire poses a high degree of risk. RFC POLY extinguishing systems With the RFC POLY extinguishing systems, even with minimal extinguishing agent use, the maximum extinguishing effect and increased safety against back-burning are achieved and the risk of water damage is reduced. The devices are compact in design and easy to deploy. The mobile fire extinguishers, RFC POLY PORTEX SL10 and RFC POLY TROLLEY SL50, as well as the RFC POLY SKID modules, SL50-300, which are predominantly installed in vehicles, have been completely reworked, ergonomically and technically optimized and redesigned. Integrated with CAFS technology RFC POLY extinguishing systems are especially effective due to the CAFS technology RFC POLY extinguishing systems are especially effective due to the CAFS technology and they are perfectly suitable for initial assaults. They produce high-quality compressed air foam which, compared to conventional extinguishing foam, has a significantly finer and more homogeneous structure, as well as a higher energy content. Throwing distances of around 10 (RFC POLY PORTEX) or 16 meters (RFC POLY TROLLEY and RFC POLY SKID modules) are achieved, making firefighting safer due to the fact that it can be undertaken at a greater distance from the burning object. Compressed air foam is also more stable, penetrates deeper into the flammable material and adheres very well to smooth and vertical hot surfaces. Easy and reliable operation All systems in the RFC POLY series operate independently of external energy sources and are ready for use in two quick steps. By opening the compressed air valve, water and foam compound, which is contained in a separate cartridge and therefore lasts longer than that of other systems, are mixed to form a premix. By actuating the branch pipe, foaming is activated in a separate mixing chamber and extinguishing can start immediately. With the new devices, different foam agent qualities can now be produced and switching back and forth between wet and dry foam is now also possible during extinguishing. Switching is made easy by simply actuating a rotary knob, which is possible even when wearing gloves. Pressure relief for the water tank and foam agent cartridge after use is provided via a newly installed overflow line and the two tanks are filled via easily accessible quick-release couplings. Conventional Class A and Class B foaming agents with different viscosities and concentrations (0.5%, 1.0% and 3.0%) can be used in all RFC POLY extinguishing systems. The devices are therefore ideal for extinguishing both solid (fire class A) and liquid (fire class B) fires. RFC POLY PORTEX SL10 portable CAFS fire extinguisher RFC POLY PORTEX SL10 is a portable CAFS fire extinguisher with an extinguishing agent quantity of 10 liter (water) RFC POLY PORTEX SL10 is a portable CAFS fire extinguisher with an extinguishing agent quantity of 10 liter (water) and an operating time of approximately 60 seconds. The back carrier can now be removed and two newly designed ergonomic handles make handling easier. In addition, a trolley for transport to more distant locations is now available, and the extinguishing attachment to combat pyrotechnic fires has been improved. The RFC POLY TROLLEY SL 50 is a mobile fire extinguisher with an extinguishing agent quantity of 50 liter and an operating time of approx. 80 seconds (due to a higher application rate than that of the portable version). Its handling has also been made significantly easier by the addition of a new handle, and the extinguishing lance has also been revised to improve reach for extinguishing embers or hard-to-reach areas. RFC POLY SKID SL50-300 modules The new RFC POLY SKID SL50-300 modules combine mobile and stationary devices in a uniform design with standardized extinguishing agent containers. In addition, the control panel can now be removed for easy installation in vehicles. They are available with filling quantities of 50 to 300 liters of water, enabling operating times of up to 8 minutes. All of the new RFC POLY extinguishing systems are already available from Rosenbauer and their sales partners. The official launch was planned for this year's Interschutz, but will now take place for German-speaking territories from October 29th – October 31st, 2020 at Retter Messe 2020 in Wels, Austria.
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