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Using cloud technology, fire departments are gathering, analyzing, and using information to improve firefighter safety and strategy in unprecedented ways. Real-time data from mobile devices is helping incident commanders develop strategies en route to the fire and improving safety and efficiency at the scene. With cloud storage and analytics, departments are continually learning from the data gathered in the field and post-incident analysis that informs and improves readiness for future fires. 

En route: Strategic response

Fighting fires is, by nature, a reactive job, but innovative cloud solutions enable firefighters to start planning and preparing from the second a 911 call is received. 

Cloud-connected devices are the latest tools in the firefighting arsenal. Real-time traffic data on mobile devices helps to calculate the fastest route and the best approach for access to fire hydrants. Video from drones and feeds from CCTV systems inside and on nearby buildings can be overlaid onto the structure’s floor plan to better understand the fire’s location and direction, as well as help commanders calculate the volume of water or foam needed.  

At the scene: Better safety and oversight

Wearable technology, such as helmet video cameras and GPS locators, ensures commanders can see the location of each firefighter and strategically position them to most effectively fight the fire while keeping them as safe as possible. Advances in wearables can also allow real-time monitoring of firefighters’ vital signs and automatically notify crews when assistance is needed. 

In the station: Prevention and preparedness

Cloud technology not only facilitates real-time data collection during a fire, cloud storage and analytics enable fire departments to review and analyze information to help identify high-risk situations and support better planning, preparedness, and response to future fires.  

When building inspection records are stored in the cloud, fire departments can use cloud analytics to determine risk factors and identify structures that are most vulnerable to fires. This information helps fire departments educate building owners about fire risk and prevention. It also can be analyzed against data gathered at the scene during past fires to better understand fire behavior and prepare firefighting strategies should a high-risk structure catch fire. 

By storing and analyzing their data in the cloud, fire departments are securely and cost-effectively scaling to obtain and use the best possible information before, during, and after a fire. In the process, they’re making firefighting safer and ensuring that fires do the least possible damage to people, property, and the environment.  

To learn more about how fire departments and other government agencies are partnering with Microsoft and using cloud technology to better serve and protect citizens, visit Microsoft in Government