How IoT is changing the way Emergency Services respond to incidents.

Posted by Joe Perrott

May 20, 2019

Just hype?

Is the Internet of Things (IoT) just a few buzz words? In recent years there has been major hype about the possibilities of the IoT, but many applications to date have raised eyebrows about their real value. Questions have certainly been asked about the need to connect everything, as many applications to date look more like solutions looking for problems, rather than a real life problem looking for a solution.

Solutions that make an impact.

The introduction of the IoT to cities has the potential to change how traffic flows, how waste is managed, provide details on parking available and provide valuable environmental data to city authorities with air quality monitories. All these are, and will make a huge impact to how a city is managed in the future.

Another major aspect of a city, is the emergency services and how they operate. Providing real time data to them in times of need can be the difference between minor and major damage, or to life and death in the worst case scenario.

Solutions that add value to making a city truly smart, make a big impact.

River level monitoring helps emergency responders.

In early 2018, Remote Signals worked with the Fire service in a major Irish city. The need was to provide accurate, real time river levels to the emergency responders.

An emergency on a river often means someone had fallen into the water or jumped in. The standard practice is to send some of the response team to the last know point of entry to the water of the victim, and other members of the response team to a jetty in the city center to launch a rescue boat.

However, at times, the water levels are lower than an upstream weir and it is not known until the rescue boat reaches the weir if they can get over it or not. Only about 9 inches of water over the weir are required to get the boat further upstream. Not knowing the water levels before the jetty launches means some of the team may not be able to reach the emergency spot at all on the boat.

How the IoT helps

Remote Signals built a custom sensor to detect water levels over the weir. The sensor activates when the water passes pre-determined levels and sends the data to the Remote Signals IoT platform. The emergency responders, have access to the data on their phones and a green and red traffic light system is used in the App to notify them if the water levels are at a level suitable to pass with the rescue boat. If the levels are above the weir, their standard practice of sending some of the team to the city center jetty to launch the rescue boat is acted on, but if the water levels are too low the decision can be made to send the response team to the last known point of entry. This ensures that time is efficiently used and that all response team members can be utilized during the emergency.

Real Impact, Real value.

The IoT will make cities smarter in the future, and multiple services will be able to utilize them to become more efficient, safer and help reduce pollution. These applications have a real value, and potentially a bigger impact.

About Remote Signals

Remote Signals designs and builds sensor systems that combine wireless sensors with LPWAN (Low Powered Wide Area Networks) and cloud-based analytics - all in an easy- to-use, software-centric solution. Remote Signals believes that by making sensors simple to deploy and their data easy to consume, customers will be able to deploy them in places they've never been used before.