Apparatus and Equipment Accessories - Expert Commentary

Keeping Emergency Services Teams Secure And Connected
Keeping Emergency Services Teams Secure And Connected

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.

How To Maintain Fire Safety Equipment Properly By Following Simple Steps
How To Maintain Fire Safety Equipment Properly By Following Simple Steps

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.

Software Systems Improve Firefighter Emergency Preparedness
Software Systems Improve Firefighter Emergency Preparedness

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.

Latest Champion Rescue Tools news

Champion Rescue Tools To Launch Free Extrication Training DVD At FRI
Champion Rescue Tools To Launch Free Extrication Training DVD At FRI

Champion Rescue Tools' new free extrication training DVD will be launched at FRI 2009 Video teaches new technology vehicle extrication featuring latest Volvos & SUVs Champion Rescue Tools, the leader in next-generation, hydraulic rescue tools able to quickly cut apart the safest, 5-star crash-rated vehicles, and Volvo Cars of North America continue to demonstrate their mission to keep vehicle passengers safe and help firefighters save lives. Their jointly-sponsored Five Star Extrication Training Academy proudly announces the upcoming national release of its latest free new vehicle technology (NVT) extrication training tool for firefighters: the Five Star Crash Course training DVD. This NVT extrication training DVD features the latest new vehicle construction, unusual materials, updated extrication techniques, the most advanced hydraulic rescue tools and safety. To date, the Five Star Extrication Training Academy has trained thousands of firefighter training officers and their departments in the latest techniques and tools to speed extrication of victims of serious accidents involving the safest, 5-star crash-rated vehicles. This unique training tool will be introduced, and handed out free, to qualified fire fighters at Fire Rescue International 2009 in Dallas, Texas, August 25 - 29 at Champion's exhibit booth # 2343. Attendees of FRI will not only be able to receive this free training DVD at Champion Rescue Tools' exhibit booth, but also to meet and talk with the Five Star Extrication Training Academy's nationally recognized fire service instructors. "Champion's no-cost Five Star Extrication Training Academy has received great acclaim and attention from fire departments around the country," said Alan Discount, Champion Rescue Tools' CEO. "Our mission is to save lives; and the huge interest in our free training academy made us realize the best way to train more firefighters in the best techniques and tools to get victims out of 5-star crash-rated automobiles was to make our training academy classes available at no cost on DVD." "Every day victims of serious accidents in 5-star crash-rated vehicles wait while many fire departments use obsolete tools to cut through the tougher metals used in new vehicle technology construction," said Carl Haddon, Champion's National Training Director. "This waiting time is crucial in the ‘golden hour' fire fighters have to extricate injured accident victims and get them to needed medical treatment. Our hope is that the new information provided in our Academy classes and this DVD will help firefighters work more effectively and safely when dealing with accidents involving newer, 5-star crash-rated cars." "Volvo has been thrilled to provide in excess of $700,000 of new cars this year alone to help firefighters learn more about new car construction and how to be successful in quickly performing passenger extrications," said James Hope, Senior Manager Product Communications for Volvo Cars of North America. "By partnering with Champion Rescue Tools and a variety of additional sponsors that make up the Five Star Training Academy, we have been able to help train firefighters, and indirectly save more lives - which is one of Volvo's core values. In fact, in an effortto further expand the distribution of this much-needed training information, Volvo will be posting the Five Star Crash Course training DVD on its website and its blog, after its debut at FRI."

Champion Rescue Tools To Display Volvo Extrication Training Vehicle At FDIC
Champion Rescue Tools To Display Volvo Extrication Training Vehicle At FDIC

Champion Rescue Tools will showcase a new Volvo SUV extrication training vehicle at FDIC Specialist in rescue tools will show new training vehicle at FDIC Champion Rescue Tools, the leader in next-generation, hydraulic rescue tools able to access the passenger compartments of the safest, 5-star crash rated vehicles, will showcase a Volvo XC90 cut-away SUV in the company's exhibit booth (#422) at the FDIC conference in Indianapolis from April 20-25, 2009. The Volvo XC90 extrication training SUV displays new vehicle technology (NVT) construction in one of the safest cars on the road today. The XC90's cut-away skin is peeled back in strategic places to show the interior details of door and roof post construction, as well as other safety features of the SUV. This interior view of the passenger compartment provides firefighters with crucial information to improve vehicle extrication techniques in five-star crash rated vehicles. "The Champion and Volvo partnership to train firefighters in the best NVT extrication techniques will come to FDIC this year," said Alan Discount, Champion Rescue Tools' CEO. "The fire service is facing serious difficulties extricating victims of auto accidents when using obsolete extrication tools on NVT. Champion and Volvo are continuing to work together to provide firefighters with the information, tools and training to save lives." "Volvo's increasing participation in Champion Rescue Tools' training efforts has already resulted in hundreds of fire fighters in California learning how to cut apart Five-Star crash rated automobiles with the latest technology rescue tools," added Carl Haddon, Champion's National Training Director. "Firefighters who participated in our free Five-Star Extrication Training Academy classes were amazed how quickly Champion's rescue tools cut through the toughest parts of new Volvo cars." To see Volvo's XC90 cut away SUV and Champion Rescue Tools' next-generation vehicle extrication tools, visit Champion's booth at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis April 20-25, booth #422.  

Champion Rescue Tools Moves To New Corporate Headquarters
Champion Rescue Tools Moves To New Corporate Headquarters

Champion Rescue Tools has moved to new, expanded corporate headquarters Expanded facility includes 5-star extrication training academy Champion Rescue Tools, the leader in next-generation, hydraulic rescue tools able to access the passenger compartments of the safest, 5-star crash rated vehicles, announced it has completed its move to a new, expanded corporate headquarters. The new facility includes executive and administrative offices, product assembly and warehousing, and both classroom and hands-on training facilities for the new company-sponsored 5-star Extrication Training Academy. The 10,000 square foot headquarters is located at 814 Berry Court, Upland, CA 91786. "Champion's sales continue to grow rapidly requiring us to move to a significantly larger corporate headquarters," said Alan Discount, Champion Rescue Tools' CEO. "We were extremely pleased to find a location that both met our expanding administrative and production needs and provided a west coast base for our new national training academy which will commence in January 2009." Champion Rescue Tools (www.championrescuetools.com) is the technology leader in next generation, hydraulic rescue tools for the first responder. The company's patented line of vehicle extrication tools is proving to be the most effective and efficient tools to remove victims of serious vehicle accidents, particularly in the safest cars being manufactured today. Founded as Patton Hydraulics in 1978, the company has built specialty hydraulic tools for a variety of industrial applications for customers including GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, and Chrysler.  

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