Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oldsmar has a new firefighting tool: iPads

OLDSMAR – For years, swollen binders full of papers were kept in each Oldsmar fire engine.

Firefighters, racing to emergency scenes, tore through hundreds of pages to find the information they had previously recorded about the interiors of buildings.

Around 2003, that "preplan" information was transferred to a computer.

Now, the Oldsmar Fire Department has taken another technological step forward: Firefighters on their way to fires use iPads, updated in real time.

"If there's an emergency at 2 a.m., we have instant access to the lay of the building," said Oldsmar fire Chief Dean O'Nale. "The location of doors and windows, contact information for the building owners — everything."

In November, the department got four iPad 2s, which start at $399 per device, and began paying $40 per month for each data plan.

The technology makes everyone's job easier, O'Nale said.

Long before disaster strikes, inspectors visit buildings, take pictures and upload details about the building layout. Building owners can digitally sign off on the city records.

Firefighters can access the information any time, anywhere. All records are stored as PDF files in an application.

So far, O'Nale said, the transition has been problem-free.

In future months, Oldsmar may buy more iPads, he said. The devices would be useful for damage assessment after hurricanes or tornadoes.

"We're taking advantage of the technology we have," O'Nale said. "We're evolving with it."

Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4224.

Oldsmar has a new firefighting tool: iPads 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 7:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.