The Phoenix G2 Fire Station Alerting app shown on an iPhone
What to Look for in a Fire Station Alerting Mobile App
November 16, 2022
Radios and computerized/IP fire station alerting are still a critical way to notify responders of an incident, but many departments have not made use of mobile alerting technology to help improve their situational awareness. Combined with modern-day dispatch and alert systems like the Phoenix G2 Fire Station Alerting System, mobile alerting apps can provide instant verbal, written and location alerts to users across their smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, regardless of whether they are in the firehouse or on the road.
Benefits of Fire Station Mobile Technology Applications
There are many benefits an FSA Mobile application can have in the industry — not only to first responders, but also to affect the response rate for the department as a whole. The top three are:
- Ability to receive dispatch alerts anywhere in the fire station and on the go. Alerts can be customized so that first responders will either receive an audio tone, a vibration on the phone, a visual text message or all three.
- Accurate directions to an incident. Using GPS technology and the device’s native mapping application, first responders can be provided with the quickest route and—since seconds can determine whether someone lives or dies—getting there as quickly as possible is imperative.
- Search and analyze functionality. This should include an easy-to-use search window within the app to find specific incident or alert types, unit assignments and other critical data for review.
What to look for in a Fire Station Alerting Mobile App
At US Digital Designs, we’ve stayed ahead of the curve in monitoring technology advancements and the impact they have on our industry.
We’ve spent lots of time researching to determine which features should be included in our FSA Mobile App and developing the back-end infrastructure so that it’s just as dependable as our in-quarters Phoenix G2 Fire Station Alerting System. Thoughtful analysis and client input have helped us determine the primary functionalities of any mobile alerting offering:
- The ability to receive simultaneous mobile alerts. Life is unpredictable and, more often than not, a first responder might have multiple incidents in which they are involved. An application that provides for concurrent alerts is critical.
- Hearing the same tones as the station. In addition to visual alerts, the mobile application should also allow users to hear information, including tones, so they are privy to the same information available at the station house.
- Hearing the same consistent automated voice (VoiceAlert) as the station. A predictable and easily comprehended vocalized delivery of the alert, no matter where you are, dramatically increases the accuracy and comprehension of the incident details.
- Accurate online mapping. Interactive maps that can provide valuable information to first responders, such current or historical alert/incident data, and integration with native device mapping applications for location and turn-by-turn navigation.
- Alert format on mobile device is identical to that in-quarters. Parsed from the same CAD data and delivered with the same look and feel that the agency has previously defined provides greater consistency.
- Ability to save and review specific alerts. This feature can “pin” specific alerts to review and assess at a later time.
- Ability to go on or off duty. Nobody deserves rest more than off-duty emergency responders, so the G2 FSA App has a simple on and off switch to disable or enable push-notifications.
- Filtering notifications for a specific need or desire. Tailoring notifications (push and otherwise) to specifically match what individual users need to see and hear reduces the volume of necessary information.
- Acting as (yet another) redundant means of alerting. A fire agency administrator or fire fighter can be out-of-quarters, out-of-apparatus and stuck with a malfunctioning radio, yet still have another redundant means to ensure that the appropriate personnel are alerted as quickly as possible.
As mobile technology continues to evolve at a lightning-fast pace, the reliance on smartphones and tablets will be crucial to dispatchers and first responders. Fire agencies must place themselves ahead of the curve and ensure that their first responders have the mobile tools they need to make them more effective in their roles.