High-Tech Alerts to Save Indianapolis Firefighters Time, Stress

The $1.1 million radio system is still about four to six weeks out, but the department has already begun testing the automated calls.


INDIANAPOLIS --

A state-of-the-art automated dispatch system will soon help firefighters save precious seconds when they respond to calls, Indianapolis Fire Department officials said.

The $1.1 million radio system is still about four to six weeks out, but the department has already begun testing the automated calls, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

The calm, female voice is generated by what operators type into the computer system, which enables them to save time and dispatch multiple crews at once.

"This system, over a few seconds, could literally send 70 different fire stations out on different calls," said IFD spokesman Tim Baughman.

It will also lend consistency to the firefighters who, in the past, may have had to interpret messages from four different dispatchers during their shift. Another benefit for firefighters is the elimination of the old, blaring alert tone.

"The new tone is a heart-friendly tone. It starts at a low tone and actually ramps up to a higher tone, which is more friendly to the stress of the firefighters," Baughman said.

The high-tech system will eventually be able to turn the lights on and off at different firehouses, open the firehouse doors and even shut off the stove if firefighters need to leave for a run.

IFD dispatched 120,000 runs last year.

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