How to buy mobile data products
By Jarret Winkelman
The addition of computers as standard equipment in police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances has introduced a new realm to public safety — mobile data. It provides increased situational awareness and safety that is often taken for granted. Just think back a few years to when dispatch could not look at their screen and watch your vehicle move in real time. How much safer are you when you call for help today? If you have not yet taken the leap into the mobile data realm, or you are preparing to update your equipment, take a moment to think about the following tips.
In order to use most mobile data applications, you will need to have access to the internet or an internal network (such as a VPN). The specifics here are much too complicated and lengthy to discuss in this article, but the take away point is to know what will be required to run the software. Perhaps no connection is needed at all, or perhaps you will be spending even more money on building and maintaining large internal networks.
Be sure to investigate what, if any, accessories you should include at the time you purchase the computers. Check with the software vendor to see if integrated broadband cards, GPS, cameras, smartcard readers, or other accessories would be of use.
With the proper planning and preparation, mobile data can greatly increase safety for everyone at your agency. Just be sure to do your homework and ensure that the solution you are getting is what you need and expect.
Any other suggestions? Anything we missed in the list above? Leave a comment below or e-mail email@example.com with your feedback.
Jarret Winkelman is an owner and regional sales director at Incident Response Technologies, LLC. IRT provides affordable administrative, scheduling, training, and incident management solutions to public safety agencies. Mr. Winkelman currently serves as the assistant chief of a volunteer EMS agency and has diverse experience in the search and rescue, fire and EMS fields.
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