Seattle Fire Department: Improving Firefighter and EMS Responses

The City of Seattle Fire Department provides fire suppression and emergency medical services to the culturally diverse and vibrant population of Seattle. Since being organized in 1894, Seattle Fire has evolved from an organization focused only on fire fighting, to include other critical services such as building inspections, fire code enforcement, tactical rescues and public education, and has specialized units for hazardous materials response, dives, confined space rescue, heavy rescue, and marine emergency response.

Business Challenge

As part of larger Seattle’s city-wide public safety network, Seattle Fire Department needed the ability to leverage new mobile technology that could support increased bandwidth and handle other key department objectives while still sharing the network with other agencies. Key concerns with implementing any new mobile technology was the system’s security and the ability to cater to multiple networks as carrier coverage varied. Seattle Fire shares the governance of the wireless network with the city’s central IT department so any new implementation would require tight coordination and organization.

Sierra Wireless InMotion Solution

After carefully reviewing numerous technologies, Seattle Fire decided that the wireless technology to support their initiatives would be best provided by a mobile router. This preferred strategy would allow Wi-Fi/broadband coordination, integration and switching to ensure lower latency without losing important data. After a successful trial of the oMG in three vehicles, Seattle Fire implemented the full InMotion Solution as their emergency vehicle communications platform.

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