California Fire Department Selects RadioMobile App
Tuesday, September 08, 2020 | Comments

The Butte County (California) Fire Department chose RadioMobile’s IQ Mobile App for its mobile data communications, digital dispatching and automatic vehicle location (AVL) solution.

“We chose RadioMobile for our AVL solution because of the success of their project with CAL FIRE,” said Shem Hawkins, battalion chief. “The new AVL system allows us to see where our personnel and apparatus are located in real-time and across cooperating agencies, which is extremely important in rural areas where we operate. Plus, we were able to leverage the CAL FIRE system to create a more modern and efficient system at a lower cost than would have otherwise been possible.”

Butte County is located in California’s Central Valley, north of Sacramento, and was the location of the devastating wildland Camp Fire in 2018. The Butte County Fire Department operates 23 career-staffed fire stations and 16 volunteer fire stations that serve the 1,609 square miles of unincorporated communities in Butte County and the cities of Biggs and Gridley and the town of Paradise. The Butte County Fire Department is part of an integrated, cooperative, regional fire protection system that includes four other agencies: CAL FIRE Butte Unit, Butte County, and Biggs, Gridley and Paradise. The five agencies are administered and operated together as one department.

With the addition of the IQ Mobile Server (IQMS) connected to the CAL FIRE AVL Gateway, this regional cooperative is now extended across the state of California. The Butte County Fire Department’s IQ Mobile solution includes IQ Mobile Software and the IQ Mobile Server that connects responders to the CAD system as well as a statewide CAL FIRE data communication and AVL system. This end-to-end solution enables various resources to collaborate effectively and efficiently during wildfires and other large-scale incidents.

The deployment of IQ Mobile on iPad tablets makes the solution cost effective by leveraging the department’s investment in a general-purpose mobile device that can be used to run other applications. Further, the IQ Mobile software that runs on the department’s iPads is the same software that operates on RadioMobile’s Patriot mobile data computers (MDCs) used by CAL FIRE, giving both agencies access to comparable features regardless of their chosen device. And, the end-to-end solution allows future expansion to add powerful LTE routers built into firefighting vehicles with local Wi-Fi capabilities, as well as adding two-way satellite communication capability so essential in remote areas.

“We are happy to have Butte County Fire Department join our family of fire and EMS clients,” said RadioMobile CEO Jim Moore. “By utilizing RadioMobile, they are able to leverage the AVL system we built for CAL FIRE enabling faster response, data and resource sharing, and maximizing their equipment and human personnel investments.”

RadioMobile’s IQ Mobile Software provides mapping, status and messaging via the tablet’s touchscreen. Each tablet receives and sends data to and from the dispatch via IQ Mobile Server, which is capable of processing thousands of transactions per second. By using the IQ Mobile along with technology that provides connectivity over LTE/4G, each vehicle is integrated into CAL FIRE’s AVL system. The system is flexible and expandable, allowing them to start with LTE connectivity and expand to use satellite or LMR-based mobile data in the future while maintaining the investment in the equipment they have already made.

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