Since the tragedy of 9/11, interoperability has been the Holy Grail of first responder communications. To ensure maximum safety for police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) and the public they serve, all agencies need to be able to talk with each other on a common operating platform that allows for instant communications. But not just talk: In today’s multimedia age, first responder agencies have to be able to share mapping data, real-time GPS personnel tracking, photo and videos that enable effective collaboration across disparate groups.
This is where Intrepid Networks comes in. Based in Orlando, Florida, Intrepid provides mobile situational awareness to first responders through its subscription-based Intrepid Response mobile platform. Combining the cloud’s ability to deliver and share data with the power of smartphones and mobile apps, Intrepid Response puts all the real-time information first responders need in the palms of their hands. This includes mission-critical functions such as mapping, information sharing, team mobilization, emergency notification and push-to-talk voice communications — all tailored for smartphone screens.
“Intrepid Response is a quick-to-deploy, easy-to-use mobile solution that puts everyone on the same page,” said Tony Martwick, Intrepid Networks’ VP of strategic relations and public safety strategies. “All EMS, fire and police have to do is join the Intrepid Response platform to achieve real-time multimedia connections and interoperability with each other.”
“Intrepid Response is very affordable for agencies,” he added. “As well, Intrepid Response is ready to work right now with a department’s smartphones, with no need to buy additional equipment or hire technical personnel.”
Locate, Activate and Connect
The functionality of the Intrepid Response platform/mobile app is built upon three pillars: Locate, a mapping visualizer; Activate, a team notification and mobilization tool; and Connect, a secure communications and media exchange solution. The app integrates with push-to-talk platforms to fuse voice and data into one application.
The Locate module allows Intrepid Response users to track each other’s positions in real time and annotate landmarks and operational geographic information (like roadblocks and barricaded suspects) on a Google Maps-based interface. Directions can be added to these maps to aid first responders as operations develop.
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With Intrepid Response’s Channels communication feature — akin to establishing separate talk groups over land mobile radio (LMR) — multiple concurrent operations can be staged and shared in the same location. Channels also supports classic push-to-talk functionality between group members.
The Activate module is Intrepid Response’s fast, intuitive tool for issuing emergency alerts to team members. Through this app, off-duty first responders can accept or decline assignments in seconds, providing commanders with accurate information about available personnel without expending precious time on manual emails, phone calls and texts. Intrepid Activate also provides officers responding to the alert with data about the incident, and automatic navigation to the scene from their current locations.
The Connect module refers to the secure communications and digital content sharing that is provided by the Intrepid Response platform. Using their smartphone’s web interface and 4G/LTE network connections, users can share text, documents, photos and video across the platform. Connect also supports instant messaging to individuals and entire groups, and can be harnessed to create collaborative documents and whiteboards.
Adding In-Vehicle Computing to the Mix
On a smartphone screen, Intrepid Response is an extremely powerful tool for first responders. But the company is taking this app to the next level by optimizing it for Samsung’s DeX in-vehicle computing system. DeX makes it possible to extend mobile apps into a full desktop experience with a large monitor, keyboard and touchpad or mouse.
In the car or at the station, the officer simply docks their DeX-enabled Galaxy smartphone to the dash-mounted display and keyboard to get a desktop experience. When it is time to go mobile, the officer undocks the phone and carries it to communicate, collect photos and take notes. The smartphone can even link to a Galaxy smartwatch, to display incoming Intrepid Response Activation requests right on the officer’s wrist.
“We’re seeing a lot of agencies looking at Samsung DeX because they want to have one device do everything while eliminating the need for routers in the trunk and expensive laptops in the cabin,” said Martwick. “We’ve been working closely with Samsung to provide this kind of capability to our Intrepid Response users, because it significantly enhances what we can offer to first responders.”
The Future Is Mobile
Intrepid Response has thousands of users around the world and has performed on tens of thousands of operations.
Given the platform’s ability to put police, fire and EMS on a common operational network, Intrepid Response’s popularity is understandable. First responders now have the power to communicate, collaborate and coordinate, all from one mobile application.
With tools like the Intrepid Response platform and Samsung DeX, the future of mobile policing is here today.