Cambridgeshire FRS equips 50 vehicles with rugged tablets

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is transforming life for firefighters on the frontline by equipping them with Panasonic rugged Toughpad tablets to access vital information during operations.

The service has deployed 13in Panasonic Toughbook CF-D1 tablets in the front cabs of its fire appliances. These Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) are permanently mounted in the front of the vehicle and are connected to the existing Tetra Network. They are being used to provide vital information on the way to a call out, including routing, sending status updates to command and control, meeting risk assessment requirements and locating nearby hydrant locations.

Smaller and lighter 10in Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad tablets have been installed in the back of the appliances for use by firefighters inside and outside of the vehicle when at the scene of an incident. These devices are used with a Bluetooth connected barcode reader for the asset management of equipment, inventory and inspections/checks.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service Project Manager Stuart Grey explained that the solution is used for equipment health and safety checks, full inventory checks of equipment on each appliance and for recording use of equipment. In the future, he sees other big advantages for firefighters in being able to use the Panasonic FZ-G1 tablets at the scene of an emergency. For example, at a road accident to identify important information about the safety features of a vehicle, such as airbags, so that they can quickly be turned off before releasing trapped passengers from the car.

The fire and rescue service is also considering accessing chemical data through the devices to enable firefighters to check if any potentially hazardous materials are onsite during a call-out.