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Hartford Fire Department

Hartford Fire Department Increases Efficiency and Lowers Total Cost of Ownership with Rugged Toughbook Laptops

The Hartford Fire Department provides Fire and Emergency services to the City of Hartford, Connecticut, with a population of approximately 124,000 within 18.4 square miles. If a citizen calls 9-1-1 and the incident does not involve someone actively committing a crime, the department responds to mitigate the hazard. This includes everything from fire suppression, vehicle and machinery extraction, technical rescue to emergency medical services until an ambulance arrives.

"From the time we first get the call, to the time we arrive on scene, to identifying the number of resources we need, the situation can change incredibly. We needed a laptop that was ruggedized that would put up with the daily abuse," said Leandro Cieri, Technician, Chiefs Office, Hartford Fire Department.

For 10 years, the department has relied on Panasonic rugged Toughbook laptops for emergency response. From blizzards to hurricanes to extreme heat, the deparment needs a fully rugged computer that can perform reliably in any environment its firefighters might encounter.

Challenges

The Hartford, CT Fire Department needed a rugged, reliable laptop for emergency response that could withstand the daily abuse of the job in any environment they may encounter.

Solutions

For 10 years, the department has relied on Panasonic rugged Toughbook laptops for reliable emergency response. 

Results

Rugged Panasonic laptops have provided responders with a full mobile computing solution on the road and at the scene, increasing efficiency in emergency response and lowering their total cost of ownership.

Increasing Efficiency

Prior to using Toughbook laptops, a lot of what responders did was by memory. The department became familiar with their areas but if they were out on the road or on a call, they needed to look at a map if they had one available or navigate their way based on their general knowledge of the area. Equipped with GPS and satellite overlay, the department's rugged laptops increased efficiency on the job by providing valuable data with the touch of a finger.

"With the Toughbook laptops we have a satellite overlay with every address in the city. We can see parking lots, side driveways, we've got street names, street number and hydrant locations. So whether we're responding from orders or we're out on position on the road, we've got all that at the touch of a finger and it saves a lot of time and actually increases efficiency because we know that whether we're in quarters or out on the road we're going to be using the most efficient route possible," Ian Tenney, Captain, Engine 14, Hartford Fire Department.

 

durable computers for fire departments

Rugged Durability

The Hartford Fire Department also requires rugged mobile computing technology that has the durability to withstand the daily abuse of the job. When responding in extreme weather or natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, for example, it is critical that their laptops can function reliably to provide important information. Panasonic Toughbook laptops offer the functionality of a full desktop while out on a call. With features like extra ports and a DVD slot, firefighters have access to the same capabilities they would from their desk and the versatility to complete any task they need on the scene.

"In the event that one of our incident command units isn't available, as a company officer if you're running the incident, with this unit you can make your own command post on board any fire vehicle that we've got in our inventory. That's huge," said Ian Tenney, Captain, Engine 14, Hartford Fire Department.

To ensure the laptops would hold up to the extreme environments they encounter, the department conducted several tests, including running over the laptop with a fire truck and throwing it off the training tower.

"With the Toughbook laptops we have a satellite overlay with every address in the city. We can see parking lots, side driveways, we've got street names, street number and hydrant locations. So whether we're responding from orders or we're out on position on the road, we've got all that at the touch of a finger and it saves a lot of time and actually increases efficiency because we know that whether we're in quarters or out on the road we're going to be using the most efficient route possible," Ian Tenney, Captain, Engine 14, Hartford Fire Department.

toughbook rugged laptops for fire departments

There was one case when a Toughbook laptop even stopped a bullet.

"Engine 2 was responding to a call and on the way to the call, they came under small arms fire. The bullet penetrated the window and was stopped by the Toughbook, preventing one of our officer's from being hit by the bullet," said Cieri. "The police department was actually able to then recover the bullet for evidence. There was a minor dent but none of the laptop's functionality was impacted at all."

 

Lowering Total Cost of Ownership

"We found the investment we made into the Panasonic Toughbook pays for itself," said. Reginald Freeman, Chief, Hartford Fire Department. "We've had several models for 10 years and they function just as good today as they did when the first bought them."

Hartford's Technician Leandro Cieri, said the department has had no issue connecting to any type of hardware, whether it be legacy or new technology, a convenience that saves costly IT time and support. The initial cost of the devices have served the department reliably for over a decade.

Watch Engine Company 14, Ladder 4 in action to see why Hartford counts on Panasonic in Toughbook Territory.