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Motorola Continues APX Upgrade with Accountability Software
[August 02, 2012]

Motorola Continues APX Upgrade with Accountability Software

(Fire Chief Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Motorola unveiled today at Fire-Rescue International 2012 accountability software for its APX series of handheld radios designed for firefighters. The software suite dubbed the Motorola Tactical Incident Command Solution will be available as an option on Project 25 Phase I– and Phase II–compliant multiband APX 7000 and single-band APX 6000 radios, which are offered in ruggedized versions specifically developed for extreme environments, said Mike Petersen, director of the ASTRO subscriber product management division.

The Tactical Incident Command Solution lets incident commanders review location data on a graphical user interface. If there is a man-down alarm, the software will alert an incident commander both through sound and a color-code change in the GUI.

“Incident commander then through the software very quickly can identify that firefighter that has an alarm situation occurring,” Petersen said.

RELATED: Firefighters Test Radios for Digital Quality In addition, the software supports and electronic accountability request check. When an incident commander currently conducts a personal accountability report, or PAR, he or she use a verbal series of commands asking different teams or battalions to check in. Depending on the scale, that can last a few to several minutes. Peterson said with the accountability system, firefighters now can respond by simply using the push-to-talk button on their radios.

“There’s no more verbal announcement; on the screen, it will start automatically checking off who as acknowledged,” he said. “The role call is done quickly so commanders have a fast indication of who has not responded and go directly after that individual. It clears up a lot of traffic on the fireground.” Deploying the new version is easy, Petersen said. Once the users’ names manually are entered into the software system, it can be deployed on scene immediately.

Motorola also is working on integrating biometrics as part of its future firefighter accountability program. The concept still is in the research-and-design phase as a joint project between the company’s Plantation, Fla., and Schaumburg, Ill., facilities.

“Biomonitoring is a way we can monitor heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature under the uniform to determine how hot their core may get,” Petersen said.

Firefighter APX radios come in public-safety yellow and impact green, as well as the standard black housing. Versions with the accountability software are expected to be released later this year, Petersen said.  © 2012 Penton Media

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