We got new computers in the rigs

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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Our company purchased units for the rigs. They look like tiny laptops, and have a cell phone attached. Right now they only display things sent by the dispatcher (which is barely anything), and have a GPS function, though I understand it isn't quite up to par.

I'm excited that we'll have call information, and be able to push a button for on-scene, and all those others, but I wonder how well it will be accepted by the EMTs and Medics in general. Anyone else have a computer system of some type in your rigs? Are they are pain, or do you find it useful?

It'll be installed in the BLS rigs in a week or so, so I'll see then. I'll let you know what I think :)
 

SafetyPro2

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We have MCTs (Mobile Computer Terminals) in both ambulances, two of our three engines, the Battalion Chief's truck and the Chief's car, but all rigs have the docking station for them and will eventually have them. The computers are "rugged-ized" laptops with touch-screen displays.

The computers can run other software, but are currently just set with the dispatch suite and basic Windows stuff. When a call comes in, a dispatch alert pops up on top of whatever's running and when you acknowledge, it brings up the dispatch screen, which gives us the call number/time, dispatched units, address, cross-streets and patient info (basically the same info we receive on our pagers).

There's also a series of touch-buttons on the bottom of the screen that allow us to update the unit's status with dispatch (responding, on-scene, transporting, available, etc.). The transport button brings up another screen that allows us to select which hospital we're transporting too.

The biggest advantages to the system that I see are: 1) all the official call times are captured in the computer, making filling out the paperwork easier, 2) facility pre-plan info and incident history can be brought up with a call, 3) reducing radio traffic. Our biggest disadvantage is that due to our topography, we have several dead-spots in town where we have to use the radio anyway.

We can also send e-mail messages between rigs (both out department and others in our dispatch system), but we don't use that much.

We are looking into GPS for the MCTs as well, but don't currently have that functionality.
 
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MMiz

MMiz

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Very interesting.

Currently dispatch will page us with our official times once we call complete.

Hopefully these computers will be a useful tool, though as I get more and more pages from the company (they see the pager as an informal way to contact us), I see that they're having some difficulty with implementation.
 

SafetyPro2

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We get that all the time with our pagers. It's not uncommon to get 20 pages in a day...not counting the dispatch info for calls. Chiefs use the pagers to let us know about out-of-service equipment and policy issues. Captains use them to send drill and duty reminders. We use it ask each other for coverage, or to ask about missing equipment after a call. We have one Engineer who's wife's in the hospital, so we get an update or two a week on her. Basically, it's our department e-mail.

Plus, we get stuff from dispatch other than call info, like Amber Alerts, wildfire strike team polling, weather alerts and system info.
 

SafetyPro2

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Forgot to mention the "best" part...the PC plays the tones from Emergency! when we get a call. :D
 
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MMiz

MMiz

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Originally posted by SafetyPro@May 13 2004, 07:12 PM
Forgot to mention the "best" part...the PC plays the tones from Emergency! when we get a call. :D
Now that's just cool. I told my my partner that and he got all excited. Unfortunately I'm too young to have seen Emergency, but my partner talks about the actors as if they were family.
 

SafetyPro2

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Originally posted by MMiz+May 28 2004, 07:35 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (MMiz @ May 28 2004, 07:35 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-SafetyPro@May 13 2004, 07:12 PM
Forgot to mention the "best" part...the PC plays the tones from Emergency! when we get a call. :D
Now that's just cool. I told my my partner that and he got all excited. Unfortunately I'm too young to have seen Emergency, but my partner talks about the actors as if they were family. [/b][/quote]
Oh, now you're just making me feel old. :p I grew up watching the show.

My parents actually went to HS with Kevin Tighe, who played Roy. He grew up in Pasadena.

I've even driven visiting family from out-of-state past the fire station (Station 127) where they filmed the show.
 

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