Chief: iPads To Help Muskogee Firefighters Respond Faster, Smarter

Friday, August 21st 2015, 6:32 pm
By: News On 6

It’s out with the old and in with the new at the Muskogee Fire Department. Firefighters are getting new tools to make their response times faster.

They said iPads are going to help cut down on searching through years of paper logs and records to know what's being stored inside a burning building.

Thy iPads are being installed in all of fire trucks. They say not only will it cut down on time, it will get them to the scenes faster and they'll know what's inside the buildings.

After being mounted in the dash of the captain’s seat of a Muskogee fire truck, Fire Chief Derek Tatum loaded the iPads with critical information about hazardous materials in a building, floor plans, fire hydrant locations and even gate access codes.

“Say we pull up to an apartment, this is the app or form, we'll have the name of the complex, we'll have the address, we'll have the gate code, we can also install a couple of pictures of the gate entrance itself," Tatum explained.

The iPads can also give firefighters an idea where to find people when a tornado touches down.

5/15/2015 Related Story: New Training Facility Helps Muskogee Firefighters Prepare

"Let's say a major disaster, a tornado come through and, you know, your landscape then looks totally different. We will have locations of storm cellars. We can go check these storm cellars to make sure there's nobody inside," Tatum said.

For years, incident commanders relied on mounds of paperwork to figure out what's inside a building or where to find important cut-off switches, but the iPads will make that process quicker.

"It's just so hard to update this paperwork when you have to send multiple copies, multiple books where, when all these iPads are hooked together we can basically send it out to everybody in just a couple pushes of a button," Tatum said. “We're just going from the paper age to the digital age."

He said the iPads are cheaper than other computer dispatch systems and save taxpayers money.

The fire chief said he hopes to have them installed in all the trucks in a couple of weeks.