Bushfire brigade rolls out effective tech

Bushfire brigade rolls out effective tech

05 June 2013

published by www.theleader.com.au

Australia — LOFTUS Volunteer Bushfire Brigade is one of the most technologically advanced emergency services in Australia, after sausage sizzles and Santa fun runs.

Firefighters have given the brigade an electronic makeover using interactive websites and tablet devices to keep volunteers and the community informed.

All that stems from community donations and the work of volunteers.


The website allows members to log in from any computer and lodge event reports and to register their availability and interest in social events.

Online inventory lists allow members to report any fault or error with a vehicle to an officer who has the ability to process maintenance report.

This replaces a system that involved a lot of paper.

Residents can also visit the website for up-to-date information and see what the brigade is doing by clicking on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.

Volunteers often spent a lot of time working in unfamiliar territory so three Samsung tablets and a Wi-Fi pod mounted into three trucks have allowed the brigade to become a mobile command.

Senior Deputy Captain Michael Harvey said each appliance had the ability to join video conferences and send email from any location, provide live feed of an incident, receive weather information and send photos and information to senior officers.

He said the station had created a “wonderwall” of screens and computers that gave crews the capability and information to respond and manage any incident.

“Loftus station and its facilities enable the brigade to assist as a marshalling point for other appliances and crews during large-scale events and exercises,” Mr Harvey said.

He said the brigade was more than happy to share its templates with any other volunteer organisation.

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