Technology & Communications Magazine Articles

  • What Is LTE?


    Article • February 26th, 2011

  • The Fire Service and the BlackBerry: A Powerful Combination

      Smart phones have made their way into public safety communications in a big way. This article will focus on the BlackBerry by Research in Motion (RIM) smart phone, which has become one of the most popular choices by public safety agencies for a...

    Article • January 25th, 2011

  • New Year's Resolutions


    Article • December 27th, 2010

  • Thermal Imaging Terminology

    The Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) is one of my favorite activities of the year, as I get an opportunity to interact with firefighters from all over the world who come by the booth to talk about thermal imaging. The show allows me to ask...

    Article • May 27th, 2010

  • Mutual Aid for Dispatchers

    Many commonalities are shared by the suppression and communications functions of a fire department. Both must respond to emergencies at a moment's notice. Both rely on accurate information to do their jobs. And both require a minimum amount of staffing...

    Article • May 27th, 2010

  • Who Really Needs a Thermal Imager?

    All too often, I am confronted with the issue of whether a thermal imager is necessary. I have heard all kinds of reasons not to carry the thermal imager, including, "It's too heavy," "It will only slow me down," "I have too many other tools to carry" and...

    Article • May 5th, 2010

  • Sharing Pre-Plan Data to Improve Responses

    When an incident call comes in, what fire department doesn't want to respond as quickly as possible? Response, however, involves not just the speed with which firefighters must reach the scene, but executing tactics to handle the incident once on-scene...

    Article • May 5th, 2010

  • Accessorizing Your Thermal Imager

    When evaluating a thermal imager (TI), standardization is a common concern. It is much easier to manage training when all of the thermal imagers in a given fire department function the same way. When the imagers turn on the same way, colorize the same...

    Article • March 31st, 2010

  • Dispatch Times: Regulations Versus Reality

    Throughout history, the fire service has placed significant emphasis on speed, using propagation models as justification for shaving seconds off response times wherever and however possible. After all, the conflagration that we're rushing to is getting...

    Article • March 31st, 2010

  • Fragile-Handle with Care

    Among the list of things that firefighters expect to be reliable are our rigs, our tools, our personal protective apparel and our breathing apparatus. Undoubtedly, these all have a significant bearing on our safety. However, few give much thought to the...

    Article • March 3rd, 2010

  • 2010: The State of Fire Service Communications

    As we end the first decade of the 21st century, it is an appropriate time to take a look at the issues that have impacted fire service communications over these past 10 years. Many of the deficiencies in current systems — as well as many of the benefits...

    Article • March 3rd, 2010

  • Emergency Responder Radio Coverage

    The problem — Firefighters enter a building responding to a fire. While for this column the type of fire is not important, the fact that personnel are inside the building is important. As firefighters approach the fire area, they realize the situation...

    Article • March 3rd, 2010

  • Emergency Communications: A Parallel Path

    Over the past several years, I have written about the hope for a national public safety broadband wireless network to provide affordable broadband capabilities for all public safety organizations across the nation at the tribal, local, state and...

    Article • March 3rd, 2010

  • I Can't Hear You, Can You Hear Me?

    This month, we focus on emergency communications, for the ability to hear and be heard can literally mean the difference between life and death for firefighters. At several recent incidents, in my position as assistant chief of the Tenafly, NJ, Fire...

    Article • March 3rd, 2010

  • The Highs and the Lows of Gains

    When I am looking for column ideas, among the places that I like to turn to are the multitude of firefighter forums on various websites and read what people are posting. If a topic shows up more than once or spans multiple sites, then I assume it to be...

    Article • February 3rd, 2010