7 Apps That All Firefighters Should Have

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It's safe to say that smartphones are changing the world. Today, the way that we work, organize our calendars, and even manage our money relies upon the use of new high-tech tools and apps. Innovative individuals are designing apps today that can do more than simply keep boredom at bay or assist with word processing tasks–many companies are now designing applications with the needs of firefighters in mind. The number of potentially life-saving apps is on the rise, with applications designed for use by firefighting teams launching on a regular basis. Today, the community members most in need of instant information are finding new ways of having it delivered straight to their fingertips.

The next time you're on the job and you're asking yourself whether there'd be an easier way to access the resources you need, consider installing some of the following apps into your smartphone.

1. Bryx911

"Bryx Inc." recently released the Bryx911 app, intended to offer firefighters the real-time intelligence that they need to deal with incident response. The software works by delivering immediate real-time 911 alerts, alongside information about scene intensity, location, and navigation tools to help firefighters get to the scene in one piece. This app provides many ways for firefighters to connect with other responders in their area.

2. Wildland Fire Map

The Wildland Fire Map offers detailed information about almost all wildland fire incidents. The app takes data from the Terra MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite) which detects wildland fire hotspots to keep an eye on. The app also provides users with active fire perimeter mapping and severe weather warnings. This information helps not only wildland firefighters and responders, but also nearby residents.

3. HazRef

HazRef 2008 app provides users with a useful catalogue of information about almost 3,000 different types of hazardous materials. The app also provides a database containing 61 guides for emergency response which can be accessed on or offline. With a network connection, users can determine isolation and protective action zones by mapping incidents. Without a connection, users can browse the database according to hazard class, UN number, and name.

4. eMedic

Firefighters are often called upon to act as first responders in emergency situations. The first responder in an emergency situation may need information about health and medical assistance at the same time, and the app eMedic is great to have on hand. eMedic has everything from calculators for blood alcohol levels and blood pressure, to treatments for various emergency situations, and medical anatomy diagrams.

5. Wildfire Today

The Wildfire Today app gives you access to fun and informational fire-related articles from Wildfire Today and Wildland Fire Lessons Learned. It also offers nationwide wildfire incident information from the government hosted platform, InciWeb. The app’s easy-to-use swipe feature allows you to sift through full-length articles and summarized data reports without ever having to leave the app (though it does give you the option to visit the original site). This is a great resource to get quick fire updates and stay abreast of trending wildland fire news.

6. Firehouse Scheduler

The Firehouse Scheduler app, developed by Leaky Nozzle, won’t be of much help in an emergency situation, but is invaluable in making the chaos of a firefighting career more manageable. Install it onto your smartphone, and you can start tracking vacation days, sick days, and custom schedules. It's even possible to track paydays and overtime.

Firehouse Scheduler can sync with data saved to an SD card, or Google calendar information.

7. Flashlight Apps

One of the most useful smartphone solutions out there is the iPhone flash app. Firefighters will understand the advantages of having a flashlight always on hand. To access the flashlight all you need to do is swipe across the screen to turn the light on, and then lock it with a double tap.

Is There An App For That?

Although new technology and smartphone apps have proven themselves to be useful in a wide range of situations, their presence in the emergency services has perhaps the truest value. It’s easy to get behind the rise of smartphone apps with the knowledge that some of them could be keeping firefighters and citizens in danger, safe.

What do you think about the increased number of firefighter apps? Do you think that smartphones are becoming more useful to users?

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