NEWTON, NC (June 26, 2013) – The Newton Fire Department is streamlining its processes with the help of iPads. New software and additional applications on the iPads will help the fire department respond to calls more efficiently, lessen the amount of time needed for data entry and open up more lines of communication.
With the help of a $9,600 Get Alarmed grant, administered through the Catawba County Health Department, the Newton Fire Department purchased 10 iPads, covers and mounting equipment to track the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which were also purchased with the grant. The detectors are being distributed by several Catawba County fire departments.
“The Get Alarmed grant was a great opportunity to upgrade the technology for our fire personnel,” Newton Information Systems Director Jason Clay said. “I believe with this technology, the City of Newton is now one of the best equipped Fire Departments in the State.”
The iPads will go some extra miles for the Newton Fire Department, as new software will increase efficiencies within the department. The department is in the process of implementing new software, replacing the unsupported software that was in use. Additionally, applications on the iPad such as Active 911, which provides mapping capabilities for dispatched calls and the ability to see other responders and where they are located in relation to the call. The new software gives the department the ability to complete forms out in the field.
Fire Chief Kevin Yoder said, “It’s going to save us a lot of time that would have been spent on data entry. Now we can fill out forms for fire incidents or inspections in the field and have them update to a web-based system.”
The iPads are installed in all three fire engines, creating another avenue for communication between the engine and fire station. Email, instant messaging, video conferencing and the internet are available to responders using the engine. Additionally, the three Battalion Chiefs, Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Inspector and Fire Marshal are equipped with iPads.