BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – The Altoona Fire Department utilizes a Bluetooth system to provide an extra level of safety for their firefighters. This system called The Hub monitors firefighters’ air levels when on the field.
Using a tablet, the Assistant or Chief Fire Inspector can not only monitor air levels but see where a firefighter’s positioned, what their tasks are, and evacuate the team if needed.
The Altoona Fire Department was the first team in Blair County to utilize the system back in March. Before the program, the firefighters would monitor air levels themselves and use the tag system on fires. So far, the team has no negative feedback about the system.
Assistant Fire Inspector, Justin Smithmyer, could see this system being the future of firefighting because of the potential advancements the technology can provide.
“Better accountability for the firefighters is paramount,” Smithmyer said. “If there’s an incident where a fireman goes down, we’re going to know where they’re at. And hopefully, it’s going to save more lives.”