Why do first responders have communication problems using wifi, 3G and 4G during an emergency? Why can’t they call in to their station commanders, their incident commanders, or the necessary personnel to communicate what’s happening on the ground via video, photos, and voice?
It all comes down to bandwidth, especially shared bandwidth. The same is true of anyone at a music or arts festival who has struggled to slowly upload images to their Facebook page or Flickr account. Theres no dedicated signal service for people, or the bandwidth is being flooded by users, rendering it almost useless.
This is the too-often life-threatening problem Interapt has committed to resolving for first responders. We recognize that first responders dont have time to look for a signal or try to connect to public wifi and then type in a key word to gain connectivity. Similarly, if an emergency is big enough, all the people in the area using their cell phones will clog up a 3G or 4G system, no matter how fast the commercials say it is.
First responders currently burdened with inefficient radios and cell phones need the ability to send real-time information from the front line to headquarters and to others in the area. At Interapt, we have also developed a drone plane that takes aerial photos and videos, helping first responders assess situations such as a fire or a chemical spill.
In a future post, we will discuss how Interapt can help first responders overcome these problems, and use a communication system only for them, which will alleviate traffic clogs and lost information.