Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service deploys Panasonic rugged tablets

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is transforming life for firefighters on the frontline by equipping them with more than 200 Panasonic rugged Toughbook tablets to access vital information during an emergency.

The service is deploying the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 tablets in the front cabs of its fire appliances as Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs). The devices are also being deployed in the rear of the vehicles as mobile, demountable devices to accompany firefighters when they leave the vehicles. The devices will be rolled out to the whole service from July 2018.

The Panasonic tablets will be used for providing vital information on the way to an incident, such as sending status updates to command and control centres, risk assessment requirements, details on the occupancy of the premises and nearby hydrant locations. The demountable devices, in the back of appliances, can be used to assist fire crews with detailed schematics of vehicles to help them rescue trapped people, safety data on any chemicals stored on site and other risk-based data. The Panasonic devices could also be used with a range of new technology, including being body worn, viewing images from drones, thermal imaging and 360° cameras.

Daniel Grew, Mobile Data Technology Manager, at DWFRS, said, “The enhanced functionality and future capability of the devices will allow for DWFRS to expand its mobile technology capabilities. Digital form completion, image capturing and video streaming, inventory checks, training tools, incident command, RFID tag capture and mobile office applications are just a sample of the expected future benefits delivered with these new devices.”

“With a five-year warranty included with the new Panasonic devices, we can be assured that the devices will serve their purpose until such a time that change is required through hardware end-of-life, technological advancement or an operational change in requirement.”

Will Holmes, Emergency Services Corporate Sales Manager for Panasonic Toughbook, added, “Today several thousand Panasonic Toughbook notebooks and Toughpad tablets are being used by fire services across the UK and Ireland. It’s the portability of the devices, their optimised connectivity, clear daylight readable displays, rugged design and Panasonic’s ability to design total solutions around the device that are proving to be the winning factors.”

The Panasonic project management team is working closely with the fire and rescue service and their nominated installation contractors to support the build and imaging of the devices alongside installing the units in the appliances. The deployment will be completed by October 2018.

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 notebook is a two-in-one detachable rugged device with a 12in screen designed for use in all extreme weather conditions. With hot swappable twin batteries, detachable keyboard, and highly configurable capabilities, the device brings unrivalled flexibility and performance for emergency services mobile computing.