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The Intelligent Fire Station

by Rob Lodesky | Mar 17, 2017

 Intelligent Fire Station


Creating an intelligent fire station

Today fire stations in large suburban markets are trying to reduce maintenance costs, increase reliability, and reduce downtime. Simultaneously, manufacturers & equipment producers are proposing remote management, & converter solutions to add value to their systems and save costs.


Fleet management solutions have been used in the commercial trucking industry since the 1950’s. Competitiveness and technological advances have decreased the cost of CAN based communication interfaces, GPS and mobile communication.

Adoption by the Utility emergency vehicle industry has slowly increased with the arrival of these cost effective and robust products, such as the eWON Netbiter Remote Solutions. This solution provides remote diagnostic access as well as up to the minute dashboards and SMS and emailed alarms, which allow a station chief and maintenance supervisor to quickly fix any maintenance issue before a breakdown occurs. Troubleshooting remotely can save valuable time in responding to an emergency. 


Knowing your assets

Fire Fighters have a list of peripherals to check before a fire response can be done. Some peripherals, take a bit more time to check than others.  One important piece of equipment, the mobile foam apparatus, which injects a foam concentrate into the pressurized water apparatus, needs to be calibrated properly before action in order to extinguish wildfires and flammable liquids .

Monitoring the volume of foam or making sure pressure is exact is vital to getting ready for fire response. A solution where these diagnostics can be monitored in real time could save hours' worth of manual checks. In this case, products, such as the Anybus Wireless Bolt, provides a Wi-Fi client, which connects automatically to a local diagnostic Wi-Fi enabled computer or mobile device. 


Compatability issues 

In some cases, devices on a fire truck are not always compatible. Fire engines, for example, such as Cummins and International, can use protocols such as J1939 or J1587.  Some pumping equipment, such as Waterous and Darley, use a J1939, but use a different baud rate, and therefore, cannot communicate with the engine system. The IXXAT CANbridge along with the Anybus Communicator can convert unlike protocols to communicate with the rest of the fire trucks electrical systems.   

In today's Emergency vehicle operations, maintenance and upkeep add more value than ever before.  Advances in mobile networks and computer horsepower allow maintenance to be cost effective and easy to install.  HMS Industrial Networks Edge gateways, wireless controllers, and CAN converters are examples of an evolution of emergency vehicle operation and maintenance.

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