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Seattle Fire Department photo

Firefighters rely on real-time communication when responding to emergencies, so having a robust wireless system could mean the difference between life and death. Working in conjunction with In Motion Technology, the City of Seattle Fire Department has rolled out a new onBoard Mobile Networking System that’s designed to improve response times to incidents. (The Seattle Fire Department responds to about 80,000 incidents each year).

The technology provides Seattle Fire with a secure, end-to-end communications system, extending the enterprise network to the vehicle fleet. It boosts bandwidth to support online audio and video, and allows firefighters to view building diagrams or hazardous material information in the field. It also permits the transmission of audio and EKG files as well as bar codes and medical triage codes, so that information can be sent to emergency rooms before patients arrive.

Here’s more on how it works from the press release:

  • The onBoard Mobile Gateway turns Seattle Fire and EMS vehicles into mobile wireless hotspots or wireless access points (WAP), connecting all wired and wireless devices in and around the vehicle over any wireless network with the ability to use multiple broadband networks.
  • The onBoard Mobility Manager is a powerful network management system that allows operations to manage and monitor the health of the Seattle Fire fleet including remote configuration, network coverage, vehicle diagnostic data, and fleet wide software updates and maintenance.
  • The onBoard Connection Manager is a mobile-optimized VPN server, providing secure IP mobility and sub-second switching in a multi-network environment designed to provide continuous connections and enable the use of real-time applications as vehicles roam between multiple wireless networks.
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