BCSFD Rolls Out MDT Pilot Program
The Belgium-Cold Springs Fire District recently launched a pilot program to test new tablet PCs into 4 District vehicles. The MDT (Mobile Data Terminal) Committee researched hardware, software and communications options over a 5-month period. The group decided on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Tablets, Windows 10 Professional, Sierra Wireless modems with an LTE connection (cellular data) back to Onondaga County 911 via FirstNet.
The committee, under the direction of Chief Matt Speach, was tasked with replacing the ~15 year old laptops that were installed in the district apparatus. The MDTs provide our members with access to Onondaga County 911 CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) call information, police notes, hydrant locations, GPS and other critical information.
The new BCSFD MDTs will utilize FirstNet for communication (https://www.firstnet.gov/about). The FirstNet network allows fire, police and EMS devices priority and preemption over all other cellular traffic during time of network congestion. That feature ensures our devices will always be able to communicate even during times of heavy cellular network traffic.
At the conclusion of a successful pilot program the District plans on equipping the remaining vehicles in the fleet. BCSFD would like to thank the Onondaga County 911 Center, Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corp (GBAC), Past Cicero Fire Chief Jon Barrett and United Radio for their assistance during the planning and implementation phase of this project.