PHILLY FIRE DEPT GETS S.C.M.O.D.S.

Our new terminals look a lot like these except they don't work very well.

This week has been filled with some bitter ironies and lessons for me. The death of Apples Steve Jobs and the protests that have been orchestrated to demonstrate against “greedy corporations” have been especially interesting. I have been thinking about both sides of the issues and realize that while our system is indeed sick, even broken to some extent, the answer isn’t anarchy and revolution as these “Take Back Wall Street” hippies advocate. That would lead to unimaginable disaster and suffering. The answer is to return to what has made America great and the rejection of the failed ideas of the left.

Here is a frontline example of what I mean. I work for the government. My department spends taxpayer money on a mandated service (fire suppression and emergency medical services). By and large the fire department is one of the leanest and most fiscally disciplined agencies in all of city government, hands down. Yet we still hit foul balls.

Take information management for example. Last week the department started installing mobile data computers in all of our fire trucks. They are just like those the police have had in their cars for years. The problem? The model terminal they are installing is obsolete and barely functions. When they do work they are too slow to be of any real use since the network apparently doesn’t have the capacity it needs. Since the average response time for fire trucks is under four minutes, (at least it used to be) we need them to be fast. What’s worse is they aren’t internet capable. That means that the information I need IMMEDIATELY at the scene of a disaster / emergency or the vast information resources of the internet, isn’t available despite wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars on these new (obsolete) computers.

Ironically these are the same computers installed in our chiefs cars a couple of years back. How much has technology improved in a couple of years? Tremendously. No one liked them then as now and no attempt to update their capabilities has been made. To my knowledge no attempt to survey the field forces (end users) has been made to see exactly what we need or how to better the system. Such is life in a government bureaucracy. Frustrating? You bet.

So what do we do? Well if we need information such as the location of an incident in a distant part of town or while covering another station, or other critical information one of my guys (usually a young gun) will simply pull out their I-PHONE and pull up an “APP” for it and get the information we need. Simply put a private American corporation is once again serving the needs of Americans, improving life, and contributing to the betterment of society while government fails in its fundamental mission. The average American has better computing technology in their shirt pocket than the government bureau entrusted to provide emergency services should there be a disaster.

This is the real story. America was made great by the efforts of private everyday citizens, pursuing their dreams in the only system of government and economy ever created for the freedom of the INDIVIDUAL. We are not a Borg collective or some government reservation. We are free, individual Americans and I for one aim to stay that way.

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4 Responses to PHILLY FIRE DEPT GETS S.C.M.O.D.S.

  1. mikemadden59 says:

    YUP!

  2. Bob G. says:

    Cap:
    I read (and hear) similar stories all opver the place.

    All this tech tossed about, and no one bothered to “field test” any of it first?
    Or checked to see how fast it might become obsolete?
    What about “tech support”?

    To me, it looks like the “bosses” love to bet the farm, especially when they’e holding a crap hand.
    Guess they don’t figure the human lives factor into their “:bottom line”…?

    Stay safe.

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