iPads, Apps Helping with Cville Fire Department's Efficiency

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Cville Fire Department utilizing iPads on the job Cville Fire Department utilizing iPads on the job

Firefighters in Charlottesville say they have been putting some technology they got last August to good use.

The Fire Department replaced the Apple MacBooks they were using with cheaper iPads - and with the help of a new app, they do their job more efficiently and at a lower cost.

Firefighters say most departments around the state rely on mobile data terminals to get information about calls, and they can cost up to $6,000. The iPads cost under $1,000 a piece, and with the Active911 app, they offer a wide range of services.

The app allows them to see the location of other engines in the area without having to radio them. It also presents them with an overlay of all fire hydrants, which means no more searching.

The iPads also store all of their data on the iCloud, so any new devices they bring in can immediately be synchronized with the rest.

Firefighter James Mehring says it helps on the scene as well.

"On-site we have premises information where we have an icon locate, say, for instance at one of the major buildings in town that we respond to, we can click on that icon and then we get information about the pre-plan information that we have done in the past on that particular location,” said Mehring.

The system is now used on every call, including on a duplex fire they responded to this week on Prospect Avenue.

The Fire Department says the iPads have been so successful in helping them reduce response times and work better on-site, they're interested in getting the Police Department using the technology as well.

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