Fire-Fighting History Made In Brentwood
By Jeff Hall | October 04, 2013
Twelve-year-old Sky Rosenzweig donated an iPad “mini” to Brentwood’s Fire Station 19 after nine months of fundraising.
Brentwood resident Sky Rosenzweig, 12, spent nine months selling lemonade and engaging in other entrepreneurial activities to raise money for an iPad “mini” he recently bought and donated to Brentwood’s Fire Station 19.
A handful of LAFD officials are already using iPads, but only to a very limited degree.
The iPad Rosenzweig presented to Station 19 will be the first time an iPad will be assigned to, and travel with, an actual fire truck.
The iPad can be used to help fire fighters locate specific addresses and assess a structure – and surrounding buildings – while on their way to the scene of a fire or emergency call.
Battalion Chief Alicia Welch said the iPad not only can replace old, unwieldy and worn-out paper maps, but the device’s backlighting makes it much easier to read digitally-delivered maps at night.
LAFD officials believe they will learn a lot from this Fire Station 19 experiment, likely leading to much greater use of similar technology throughout the entire LAFD system.
Fire officials, tech-savvy citizens, and city officials, with the strong encouragement of City Councilman Mike Bonin, are exploring multiple ways digital technology can be put to good use when it comes to fighting fires and providing other city services.
Some battalion chiefs and those of higher rank use iPads to track all fire and emergency activity in their districts; several tech-savvy fire officials are designing various apps that are used on an ad hoc basis.
But this is just the beginning.
In addition to helping find locations on a map, Rosenzweig, a 7th grader at Wildwood, believes tablets and smart phones can be used to efficiently send out distress signals to emergency service providers.
Because most of today’s devices carry GPS tracking chips, if a person can’t state his or her location – or condition – that individual can immediately be located by emergency service providers anyway, he said.
Patrick Butler, assistant chief overseeing about half the firefighting districts in Los Angeles, asked Rosenzweig to serve on a citizen’s committee that is being formed to advise the LAFD on technology. Rosenzweig accepted.
Mike Bonin, City Council District 11’s new councilman, campaigned on the use of digital technology to fuel innovations in the provision of city services.
Bonin said he is so pleased with the example Sky Rosenzweig has set that the councilman will ask Rosenzweig to make a presentation to the entire City Council to talk about his fundraising project – and the potential digital technology offers.
Motorists who drive up and down Westgate in Brentwood have very likely seen Rosenzweig at one time or another selling lemonade, books, and other items. He has been at this for nine months now. He processes payments using a credit card scanning device called “Square” that Rosenzweig attaches to an iPad he borrows from his dad. Money he made from his various sales activities was saved until he had enough to buy an iPad for the Fire Department.
While it’s hard to predict fires and other emergency calls, it’s safe to predict Brentwood – and the world – will hear a lot more from Rosenzweig in the years ahead.
Sky’s the limit!
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