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Applications in Fire Fighting

Applications of the Sentry MDU System
Firefighting is a Team Activity. Whether it is a house fire, a grass fire, a flood rescue or an auto accident extraction, a fire fighter generally works as part of a Team. It is important for the incident commander to know where every team member is at all times.

By converting an everyday cell phone into a versatile communication, video recording and GPS tracking device, the Sentry MDU System can become a valuable tool for fire teams. It can become a “dash camera” for the fire truck, or a high performance “body cam” for documenting accident scenes and rescue attempts.

Although Fire Fighters may not have as much need to use the Sentry MDU device as a “real-time” body camera, it is available to give the Command Center a visual assessment of the situation in the event additional resources need to be provided.

Rural Fire Departments (and Volunteer Fire Departments) need the ability to know where all of the available responding personnel are located so they can be directed to the site of the fire by the most effective route. For a rural fire department, the fact that most people already have cell phones, means that rural departments can be set up for very low cost.

Situations where the Sentry MDU System can make a difference for Fire Departments:
  • Tracking the location of all fireman
    With a GPS enabled device, the on-scene Commander will know where all fireman are located. Whether they are stringing hose, searching around the back of a structure, or doing search & rescue activities, their location is identified.

  • Location of personnel during grassland controlled burns
    During a “controlled burn” situation it is important for the Incident Commander to know where all Members are located. In the event of a wind shift or a breakout, knowing everyones location will improve the safety of the operation. In addition, each member will know where ALL OTHER members are located (via the GPS map locations).

  • Participating in Disaster Relief Activities
    Fire departments are often one of the first groups to be called out to assist with disaster relief ... whether Fire, Tornado, Floods or Hurricanes. Department personnel often use their private vehicles to get to the meeting locations. Since the Sentry MDU App is installed on a cell phone, the location of most personnel can be easily determined from those at the Emergency Operations Center.

  • Fire Scene Investigations (Arson)
    There can be cases when the Fire Department responds to a 911 call (ie house fire) and it ends up being a suspicious fire. Using the Sentry MDU System, if responding firefighters have their devices “recording” video as they arrive it may prove helpful later in an investigation. The video of a fireman entering a house, or interviewing a resident may turn up valuable information.

  • Using the Sentry MDU System as a Firetruck Dash Camera
    By using the Sentry MDU System as a “dash camera” on the Firetruck, live video can be transmitted to Command Central or other participants that may be responding to the incident.

  • Auto Accident Scenes
    Fire departments are often one of the first groups to be called out to assist with an auto accident. As they arrive, if they are video streaming the pictures back to the Dispatcher (Command Center) this may provide valuable information for other First Responders. If ambulance crews are also responding (and are on the same network) they can be sent live video of the victims condition in “real time” as they are responding to the scene. This advance information can often be helpful to the Emergency Medical Technicians.
The following picture illustrates how “live” video gets transmitted from fire fighters out in the field back to the Central Command (or Dispatcher). In addition, it shows that OTHER first responders on the network also have the ability to view the video if necessary.


Mounting and/or wearing the cell phone
Since the Sentry MDU System starts with a cell phone it is simply a matter of deciding how a User wants to mount or wear the device. Cell phones come in all sizes. Some will fit easily in a pocket and some will not. Below we offer several suggestions. The one that works best for you will generally come down to personal choice.

For “close in” fire fighting support it is best to wear the device inside the bunker gear. Water is generally NOT a problem if one of the many water resistant cases is used. For disaster recovery, Search & Rescue and Accident Scene support the devices can be clipped to the outside of the bunker gear (or uniform).

Possible ways to mount and wear the cell phone
  • Easiest - Simply slip the phone into the front pocket of your uniform
  • Use one of the many “clip” type phone cases
  • Alter the front pocket of your uniform to accommodate the phone (more hidden solution). Have a tailor cut a hole in the front of the pocket (for camera lense), use a button hole stitch to make it look “finished” and you are ready to go.
  • Design a cloth phone pouch that will attach to the uniform by safety pins. Then you can put it anywhere on the uniform you want. Make sure the phone pouch has a hole in the front for the camera lense to show through.
  • Come up with other options on your own. It is not rocket science. Come up with a good idea, patent it, and make a million bucks.

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