Monday, May 7, 2012

Apparatus Tablet Mounts

Where are you going to put a tablet on a fire truck?  Firefighters are great at breaking things, so mounting the tablet is a good idea.  There are not a lot of choices at the time of this post, but here are a couple.  We will likely be testing one of these at my department soon.  If you have used one of these, or know of others, please comment below.

Ram Universal Tab lock holder for 10 tablets

This mount offers an adjustable mount to fit most android based 10" tablets including the Samsung Galaxy 10.1".  Also fits iPad 1,2, and the newest iPad.  The holder has a locking mechanism with key to keep the tablet secure.  I know most fire departments leave vehicles unlocked and unmanned, this is a big plus.  I could foresee tablets growing legs if they are not secured.  The holder can be mounted to the console, floor, or just about anywhere.  Unfortunately does More info is available at Ram Mount's site.

Update 04/17/13:  We went with this mount and have been using it for several months with a Galaxy Tab 10.1.  Overall the mount has done its job and held the tablet in place and protected it.  Installation is easy and can be adjusted to different angles.  This mount DOES NOT work well with the Galaxy tab 10.1 as is.  The mount is slightly larger than the tablet and the tablet will slide down and the power button will be pressed by the mount.  We worked around this by using a rubberized case on the tablet itself.  This works quite well together. If your using this without a case on the tablet you will need to do some rigging...

Ram X-GRIP Universal Clamping Cradle

This is another cradle from Ram Mount.  It is adjustable to fit most 10" tablets.  This does not offer locking.  The upside is the tablet can be quickly removed.  Also tablets with protective cases can fit inside this cradle, where as they may not in other cradles.  More info is available at Ram Mount's site.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mobile Apps, the Cloud, and the Fire Service

Mobile devices and cloud computing have taken the world by storm and are revolutionizing business and industry.  The computing power of laptops of a few years ago can now be held in the palm of your hand.   Wireless internet connectivity, GPS, touch screen interfaces, and built in cameras, and a price tag of around $200 or less make these devices truly game changers.  In fact people are buying these devices faster than any other consumer electronic before.  At last count 700,000 android devices are activated everyday and nearly a total of 250 million android devices sold.  Mobile devices using Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS (and to a lesser extent MS phone) and cloud computing are truly changing the world.

How will this change the fire service and public safety sector?  A number of apps have been developed for android for use by firefighters and more are sure to come.  So far most have been fairly simple apps, however more sophisticated and complex apps are beginning to emerge making the mobile platform a valuable tool in the firefighter's toolbox.  A few of the apps currently available are: 
  • Cargo decoder - digital ERG book
  • FirefighterLog
  • CadPage
  • Hazmat evac - provides isolation zones based on ERG book
  • Radio Scanner - streaming audio from
  • WISER - hazardous materials lookup
  • Pulse Point -   alerts citizens of cardiac arrests
  • Fire Chief magazine
  • Fire Engineering magazine
  • Friction Loss calculators
  • Shift schedules
This blog will be reviewing apps as they come available.