Innovative “FIRST-IN” Master Plan Would Assist First Responders and Improve Life-Saving Services in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Moving on his commitment to jumpstart a technological revolution in city government, Councilmember Mike Bonin today proposed equipping firefighters with iPads and innovative smart phone apps.

Bonin introduced a motion this morning calling for a Fire Strategic Technology Integration (“FIRST-IN”) Master Plan for Los Angeles.  The proposal would allow firefighters using antiquated maps and clunky computers to upgrade to tablet devices.  The plan also calls for synchronizing the more than a dozen databases currently operated by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), helping firefighters to work smarter, safer and more productively.

“Lives are on the line and the brave men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, as well as the people whose lives they protect, deserve access to the best technology available,” said Bonin.  “Los Angeles is home to some of the most creative and innovative minds in the world and we have a responsibility to use this home-grown technology to improve the way firefighters and paramedics save lives.”

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Currently, many firefighters use frayed, antiquated maps to respond to fires, and are equipped with weighty, slow “tough book” computers.  Rank and file members of the LAFD have not only expressed interest in adopting new technologies, some have even begun developing their own apps, which have already proven to be extremely useful. 

Tablet technology, such as iPads, could allow firefighters en route to a fire to see actual photographs of the structure and the surrounding terrain, better preparing them to combat the fire and save lives. 

The use of tablets would also facilitate departmental efforts to integrate and aggregate many of their existing databases with mapping software and GPS vehicle location technology to provide critical information prior to first responder’s arrival on-scene.  These are necessary steps to make emergency response easier and to help firefighters save lives and remain safe.

“Los Angeles and my district are home to some of the smartest, most innovative minds in the tech sector,” Bonin said.  “Some of the world’s best technology firms are located within walking distance of our local fire stations.  We should be inspired by their work, solicit their help, and embrace their work to spark efficiency and better delivery of city services.”

Bonin’s motion formally instructs the LAFD and the Information Technology Agency (ITA) to consult with locally-based technology companies in order to present a master plan that includes a platform integration strategy, options for new tablet-based devices, input from LAFD personnel, a beta-testing plan and a roadmap for full implementation. The motion additionally calls for LAFD and ITA to present their plan to the City Council prior to awarding any contracts for new technology platforms or tablet devices.

First-In Motion (07.03.13) by CouncilDistrict11