Councilmember Bonin and Fire Chief Terrazas Detail Department’s Technology Advances at Pre-Independence Day Press Conference

LOS ANGELES – With the city in the middle of brush fire season and a high fire danger holiday fast approaching, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin and Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas today demonstrated some of the new technology first responders are using to save lives and property in LA neighborhoods — including iPads for firefighters.

web_1.jpegBonin, who has championed a program to equip first responders with tablet technology like iPads since first being sworn-in as a Councilmember, announced that the City Council had recently accepted the donation of 50 iPad devices and that a series of tablet apps were already being used in the field to help firefighters do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. 

“The men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our neighborhoods deserve to be equipped with the technology they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” Bonin said. “Firefighters are already using tablets to prevent fires and to quickly put out fires and I’m very excited that this technology is already making a difference.” 

“Technology helps the Los Angeles Fire Department provide more efficient, effective services to all Angelenos,” said Chief Terrazas. 

The apps already in use include:

Aerial Mapping, Situational Awareness and Reconnaissance Apps

Using a tablet, LAFD personnel in a helicopter are able to not only take a photograph of a fire or large scale incident, but also draw on the photo (or static map similar to Google) to indicate where the fire has spread and where personnel and resources are located.  They are then able to transmit this photograph or map down to another tablet device or computer at the command post in real time.  This greatly improves the ability of an incident commander to safely manage and mitigate an emergency by more precisely identifying the location of a fire, guiding first responders to the optimal positions and identifying homes threatened well in advance of a fire. 

These apps have already been proven effective on several recent fires, including a 10-acre brush fire along PCH on January 14, 2014 in Pacific Palisades on a Red Flag Day. The airborne Chief assigned to coordinate the movement of LAFD helicopters was able to use an iPad to map the fire from the air and send aerial photos down to the command post.

Tablet Command App

Currently in active testing, the Tablet Command App is a “drag and drop” resource that allows incident commanders to track the status of a fire and the location personnel and resources at the scene of an emergency incident.  

Brush Inspection App

The Brush Inspection App for Fire Inspectors assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau will greatly enhance and streamline the annual brush clearance inspection process for both residents and LAFD personnel. It will also directly enhance public safety, along with improving inspector workflow and customer service.

web_2.jpegIn addition to discussing technology and Bonin’s iPads for Firefighters initiative, the Councilmember and Fire Chief discussed fire safety during the upcoming Independence Day celebrations.  

“Ensuring the safety of Angelenos is all of our responsibilities,” said Chief Terrazas. “This Fourth of July, please remember fireworks are illegal in the city of Los Angeles and are responsible for sending thousands of people nationwide to the emergency room each year. This Independence Day, remind your family about the dangers of fireworks and urge everyone to have a fire safe Fourth.”

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