How the Internet of Things is Changing the Landscape for First Responders and Industry
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2013 there were 369,500 home fires causing some $6.8 billion in damages1 — plus an additional 98,000 apartment structure fires contributing an additional $1.6 billion in losses2. A frightening picture, isn’t it? The numbers are staggering — and yet innovation for emergency responders at both a local and national has not been a priority. The Internet of Things (IoT) aims to change that.
Companies are now exploring how IoT technology can disrupt the way emergency responders do their jobs, saving countless lives and millions of dollars in the process. The IoT also holds immense promise for industrial applications, which often take place in remote locations where connectivity and communication platforms are rarely available.
The IoT is a vast world, enabling the physical world to communicate with the digital world in new and amazing ways. But thanks to innovations fueled by companies focused on industrial, military, and government applications, we can traverse beyond a network of connected thermostats and smart TVs into an environment where first responders, industrial crews, and our military can communicate and receive critical information in real time.
An example of technology that is changing the world of emergency responders as well as industries like Oil and Gas, the Military, and Utilities are ruggedized, industrial shorthaul and Wi-Fi platforms that offer secure collection, control and transport of Voice, Video, Data and Sensor information at incredible speeds.
So what does this mean for the industries mentioned above? Imagine first responders being enabled to pull up building plans and architectural details as they arrive on scene. Structural notes are delivered at incredible speeds, giving the emergency responders valuable insight into stairway and fire escape placements and potential danger zones. Communication between police, fire crews and ambulance drivers is streamlined — delivered at blazing fast speeds. In other situations, police can access vehicle databases or hospital services, preserving precious minutes than can mean the difference between life and death.
For industrial applications, the IoT holds promise for new levels of connectivity — enabling crews to access and consume information at a moment’s notice. This means workers can collect and transmit important data quickly and securely — even in harsh conditions.
Beyond connectivity, the Internet of Things also holds massive promise for the monitoring of emergency responders and industrial crews in the field. Critical sensor data — such as oxygen levels, body and ambient temperature, heart rate and more — can be viewed in real time, giving the ability to monitor the vitals of emergency responders and workers in an instant and watch for danger signs and track bio data in the field. This data can be logged and analyzed, fueling innovation that will help keep these employees safe.
The IoT is a vast and ever-growing field — and it holds incredible promise for making our cities a better and safer place to live and work. For emergency responders, where seconds saved can be lives saved, and industries where time is money, the IoT holds remarkable promise for changing the way we communicate, gather data, and work in the field.
1 – http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-by-property-type/residential/home-fires
2 – http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-by-property-type/residential/apartment-structure-fires