The Wireless Technology that Enhances Firefighter Safety

Firefighters are some of America's bravest life-savers. Keeping these heroes safe has taken an important step forward with the advance of wireless communications technology.

How Firefighters Use Wireless Communication

Many fire departments have upgraded their equipment over the past couple of decades to now include wired headset and intercom communication systems. Wired intercom systems that employ noise attenuating headsets have moved communications into the 21st century for firefighters on their way to a blaze or on the scene of an emergency. Now, wireless headset communications have made their way into the arsenal of many fire departments.

Wireless systems free firefighters from the physical connection to equipment and apparatus as is the case with wired communication systems. Without cumbersome wires limiting their movement on an emergency scene, firefighters are safer and more able to respond to incidents and rescue victims. The can also speak without shouting over the attendant noise of an emergency incident when using wireless communication technology, which has also proven to have benefits in aerial applications where bucket crews can communicate freely while operating the bucket in midair.

Two-Way Radios for Firefighters

Two-way radios and their wireless accessories, including headsets and microphones, help firefighters confront emergencies safely and with greater mobility and efficiency. Some of the features of these wireless systems more fire departments have adopted include large, recessed Push-to-Talk (PTT) and emergency buttons that are easy to access and also made to prevent inadvertent activation by a firefighter wearing bulky equipment, outdoor GPS availability, volume control and a task light.

Fire companies considering an upgrade to wireless communications should consider whether the system uses hands-free, full-duplex intercom technology; if the system will be compatible and interface with most HF, VHF and UHF radios; whether firefighters will be comfortable wearing the headsets over a long period of time; and whether the system's components are durable enough to withstand the challenging conditions that emergency personnel will encounter on a call.