EMTs learn about new high-tech equipment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

EMTs learn about new high-tech equipment

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Public safety is going high-tech with a new high-speed wireless network.

It could change the way emergency crews respond to everything from natural disasters to a mass shooting.

Iowa First Responders demonstrated how the national network works during a special training session Tuesday in Des Moines.

"It's going to create a separate, public safety broadband," Statewide Interoperability Coordinator Jim Bogner said. "With their own dedicated line, public safety won't have to compete with commercial networks…. If you have a tornado, you have some tragedy that occurs, of course, you're going to have those subscribers of all those commercial networks trying to use their phone

Once the system is up and running, one call to 911 will give you a coordinated response."

At the simulated crash, an EMT first on the scene straps on a new wireless monitor to relay information out in the field.

"It does three basic vital signs and they can take this out into the field and transmit this data wirelessly to any computer, Smartphone or tablet device,"

Greg Darrah with Athena GTX said.

That means vital health information about a patient can get to the hospital before the patient.

"We enable the physician when they get there to see everything that the patient has done when they get there as opposed to us telling them or us writing down," Darrah said.

This new technology will also allow HAZMAT teams and fire crews to stream video.

Congress set aside $7 billion dollars for the national network, and Iowa could get more than $1.9 million dollars to develop the system in the next three to five years.

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