Over the course of the last 100 years, the way our first responders answer their respective communities’ calls for service (CFS) has vastly changed as technology in this landscape has progressed. Perhaps the most notable change is the way in which first responders travel to engage with the citizens in distress. Patrol vehicles, fire apparatuses, and ambulances, specifically, have undergone a series of dramatic changes that have vastly improved response times and effectiveness.
When computers first made their debut in the early 1930s, no one ever suspected that technology could be condensed into a clamshell device that could be mounted in a patrol vehicle. But that’s exactly what the majority of mobile data terminals (MDT) utilized by first responders are. Imagine what a difference these sophisticated devices could have made for first responders back then.
Now, when answering a call for aid, a law enforcement officer or fire crew has a GPS device deliver the most efficient route directly to a specific address—shaving off precious minutes that could make all the difference in a critical scenario. Perhaps even more importantly, with an MDT, dispatchers can provide updated call information while the first responders are en-route. Not only can they relay verbal information, but they can also send pictures of persons of interest and records from surrounding jurisdictions via a collective records management platform.
Law enforcement, in particular, has seen MDTs have a significant impact in the way they perform daily duties and move through the community. They can use MDTs to write up reports while they’re patrolling their assigned areas—instead of having to wait until they return to the office to hand write and submit their reports. Now they can submit incident reporting directly to the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) directly from their patrol vehicle. In cases of traffic stops, they can scan a driver’s license, import that information into a mobile citation, and issue a printed ticket to a violator all in mere minutes. These technologies keep officers available in their patrol areas, which has been proven to deter crime in areas where it was previously prevalent.
MDTs have also made a difference in how efficiently firefighters and EMS teams can respond to community calls for aid. They can easily document their efforts while administering aid, and they can also use translation services to overcome language barriers and ensure community members receive the proper care.For communities looking for new, innovative ways to better serve and protect their people, outfitting their first responders with modern MDTs, as well as a durable wireless router and antenna, is a great first step. Give your first responders the tools they need today—our experts work with all levels of state and local government to create efficient, cost effective solutions. Contact us to learn more.