West Metro Fire Protection District Increases Bandwidth for Advanced Technologies

West Metro Fire Protection District is a special multi-jurisdictional district west of Denver, Colorado. The state’s second-largest fire and emergency medical services provider, West Metro protects property with a market value in excess of $24 billion in a service area that includes the cities of Lakewood, Morrison, Littleton; and Golden, Jefferson and Douglas Counties.

Business Challenge

In 2006, West Metro’s IT/GIS Director, Patrick Purdy, began a search for a communications solution that could keep pace with rapidly advancing communications technologies. Commercial cellular carriers were moving to 3G networks and testing WiMax. Local communities were considering municipal Wi-Fi mesh-networks, and the Federal government was planning a nationwide 700 MHz public safety communications network. West Metro – committed to using state-of-the-art technology in the most fiscally responsible manner possible – rejected this approach and began the search for a “future proof” solution.

Sierra Wireless Solution

Working with Wi-Fi hotspot technology in their fire stations and the oMG onboard their vehicles, West Metro is able to upload aerial and digital map information for their mobile computer aided dispatch (CAD) application. On the road, the oMG creates and manages 3G connectivity, so fire crews can obtain CAD and incident information on the fly. This mobility allows West Metro fire crews to respond and be routed to incidents in less time than a radio-based dispatch.

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