Fire Department completes mobile tablet initiative

| October 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

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Fire iPadThe Anne Arundel County Fire Department is in the final phases of outfitting all of its engines and staff vehicles with mobile technology. Following two trials in which Apple iPads proved superior in functionality, usability in the field and cost over Panasonic Toughbooks, 64 iPads are projected to be installed by the end of the month.

“This technology is obviously the way of the future, and the reduced costs of the iPad ultimately create savings for the Department,” Fire Chief Michael Cox stated.

An iPad with a ruggedized case can be purchased and mounted in an apparatus for approximately 25 percent of the cost of a Toughbook, allowing the Department to complete this modernization project immediately instead of over a three-year phase-in period.

County Executive Laura Neuman added, “I applaud the Fire Department for this forward-thinking initiative and for embracing new technology that increases efficiency and saves taxpayer dollars.”

When tested alongside Toughbooks, the iPads received more positive feedback from field users based on their size and ease of use. One of the key applications of the iPad is Active911, which supplements verbal dispatches for emergency incidents with a notification directly to the vehicle that includes mapping and turn-by-turn directions to the incident scene. The AirWatch® mobile management system installed on the iPads allows them to easily connect to the County network and access Computer Aided Dispatch as well.

The iPads also received favorable response for their ability to work with Operative IQ, the Department’s new asset management system. The portability of the device will be critical as crews perform preventive maintenance checks and the other functions Operative IQ manages.

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