Some Insights Into The Emergency Services Communication Systems
August 14, 2014
One of my best friends from school, Jason, recently advanced from EMT to paramedic after quite a few years of intensive training. I had met him on several occasions during his EMT and paramedic training as he had some questions about wireless communication equipment, and he know what kind of a geek I am in that department. I was more than happy to look through his training materials on the emergency services’ radio communications and help him out to understand some of the technicalities.
One important part of EMT training was the wireless communication between the ambulances, emergency responders, ambulance base and the hospitals. While the communications devices in ambulances are designed to be relatively easy to use, EMTs have to be aware of how they work and to an extent know how to troubleshoot any problems.
Jason has been in the emergency services for about 9 years now and he started out his EMT training in NJ somewhere (I’ll double check with him the next time I talk to him). I like talking to him about some the technological advances he has encountered. One area that doesn’t seem to have changed that much though is the radio communication in the ambulances. This is kind of strange to me because there have been so many advances that could be used, but I guess there is a lot of security to take into account as well.
The basic principle of the EMS comm system is very similar to ham radio in that it is a two way system, but it does have some extras built in. First of all it uses a frequency that is only allowed to be used by emergency and police services. It also a backup/redundant capability system for each vehicle, so that if one system fails another can take over
The system is set up so that EMTs and paramedics can easily communicate with hospitals, ambulance bases and very importantly with other emergency services like the police and fire departments. One thing that has evolved a bit is quality of the mobile on person radio devices that emergency responders carry. Jason had in the past complained about how difficult it could be to get a clear message across and there were often misunderstandings even with a code and terminology set that was supposed to avoid misunderstandings.
I know this very well from my own radio equipment, that the smaller a device the more difficult it is to get a good reception. But I am glad to hear that medical professionals like Jason have received better equipment as it can mean a big difference between a patient living or dying.
One of the most important lines of communication is between the 999 operators and emergency department dispatching services to the ambulance. In some circumstances information is relayed, but it can also happen that a 999 operator is directly patched through to an ambulance crew to pass on vital information about a scene of accident for example.
Because the radio system being used today has become so reliable it is still the favored system and emergency crews quickly adapt to an audio quality that can often be of fluctuating quality. I guess it is sometimes better the devil you know.
Wireless Technology Is Everywhere
August 1, 2014
My aim for this blog has always been wireless communication and technology, but obviously there is only that much you can write about Ham radio and the really nerdy stuff. So, I have started branching out a bit and my inquisitive nature has led me to look for wireless communication in all sorts of hidden places. Bluetooth is one of the latest technologies that has really started appearing almost everywhere. Everything from cell phones to speakers and notebooks have all sorts of features that utilize Bluetooth. In this post I want to highlight some of the more interesting items and gadgets I have encountered.
Heart Rate Monitors
First note, I’m not big into running but my brother is a triathlete and like myself he loves technology and gadgets. When I met him last he just returned from a run and I saw him take off a weird strap from around his chest. At first I was worried as it looked like some sort of medical device, but in fact it was a heart rate monitor that he uses for training.
The way it works is that the chest strap measures his heart rate and sends it via Bluetooth to his iPhone. The heart monitor app on the iPhone then displays the heart rate and indicates whether he needs to train harder or ease off a bit. He told me that a similar set up 3 years ago would have cost him over $400, but for $65 he now has a fantastic Bluetooth based heart rate monitor hooked up to a free app on the phone.
I’ve seen some commercials for keyless car entry, and usually they have been on luxury cars. But Bluetooth has now also created a market for keyless home entry. At first I thought that this was just stupid, who could possibly be that lazy to not use a key. But there are some advantages, like for example it is a lot more difficult to “pick” a digital lock, so it is safer. Also, it is a very handy system for people with disabilities who may struggle with a standard key.
I am very opposed to drink driving and think people should be a lot more aware of the dangers. I often see people that are probably on a verge of having had a few too many sips. I think if more people had a relatively inexpensive device then they would be more aware. BACtrack has a Bluetooth device that does just that and also sends that info to your phone. Now imagine having a car that only unlocks if you have passed your breathalyser, would that be a great feature?
Let me know what kind of Bluetooth gadgets you have encountered. I just love where all this wireless tech is appearing these days.
Setting Up A VOIP System Using A Standard Cordless Phone
May 7, 2014
One question I have often got from friends and family is about setting up VOIP and what kind of phone is needed. Many people have the misconception that they will have to buy a new IP phone and hook it up to expensive and difficult to configure systems before they can get going with VOIP. But this is far from my experiences with some of the latest technologies available. So there really is no need for you to be spending more money than necessary on your phone bills.
The first thing to note is that you can set up an inexpensive VOIP system and this will not require you to replace your existing phone, as long as it is a touch tone or digital phone. As long as you don’t have an old dial phone (apparently they still exist) you should be good to go.
Before you go off and buy some random equipment I would suggest first checking some deals for broadband internet connection. Most people have their internet set up over the phone line, but this will most likely still mean that you have to pay for line rental. This is something you can avoid and it will save you a lot of money.
Two alternatives would be to check out any cable or wireless internet deals available in your area. Connection charges are usually very reasonable and you will not have to pay for line rental. Once you are all set up with your Internet connection you will be ready to go for the VOIP system.
First things first. Contact your internet provider and tell them that you want to set up a VOIP phone system, which will mean that they have to make some adjustments at their end to ensure that it works. Essentially you will be assigned a designated IP address so that all calls get routed to the right place.
The next thing you need is VOIP converter, which is a small box that is hooked up to your broadband router. Obi have a very reasonably priced system and for less than $40 you can be up and running. The settings are also quite easy to modify, so you will not need an IT degree to get going.
Next, you will need to sign up with a VOIP provider and there are literally dozens to choose from. Some offer better rates for cell phone calls, others are better for international calls, so it may take a little research to get the one that suits you. Once you have your account details you are ready to set up you VOIP box, which is a quick and simple process.
Finally the good part. You will only need to connect your cordless phone to the Obi device and you are ready to go. Of course it may make sense to upgrade your phone if you haven’t done so in a while and you will find some great advice about the best cordless phones currently available over at bestcordlessphoneguide.net. They have full reviews of some of the best cordless phone systems giving you a great deal of choice to suite your budget.
Once your cordless or corded phone is connected the Obi converter will essentially take over and your incoming calls will be forwarded to your home phone. Your VOIP provider will also supply you with a phone number that other people can dial in order to contact you, so to everyone including yourself, the whole system will work just like it did before.
This is the beauty of the modern and cheap setup available now. It is not some convoluted configuration that resembles a phone system, but rather is a simple device that mimics a system that has been around for decades.
I hope this article was helpful and I invite any comments below with your own experiences.
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How The Information Age Has Changed The Way We Do Life
October 7, 2015
With the onset of the information age, the way how we do life has completely changed in so many different ways. It has changed the way we accomplish work and the way we communicate with each other on a whole. A few of the changes we’ve seen through out the information age are below.
In the information age, the mobile phone has evolved. It once to be a huge bulky thing that would be quite heavy. However, we now have smart-phones that are as powerful as computers, and fit right inside of our pockets. The mobile phone alone has pushed the limits of productivity and has forced us to do more with our time. With smart-phones, we can answer client emails, create presentations and essays on the go.
The information age has also had a major impact on the ways we communicate with others. Time magazine actually found that we don’t talk anymore. Time is much more precious and talking on the phone is now seen as a way to waste someones time. Texting has made communication much more convenient. You can respond and answer to messages in the time you allot yourself to do so.
Many years ago, it wasn’t un-common for people to setup mutliple social gatherings with their friends to go out and enjoy the outdoors. Today, kids spend much more time indoors than they did 10-15 years ago. This is because the rise of technology has given us the ability to enjoy our time much more indoors. There are video games, TV shows, Netflix, and many other ways we can enjoy our time indoors these days and kids are actually taking full advantage of this. This is also contributing to the rise in health issues across America because of the decline in physical activity among children and teenagers.
Marketing succeeds when it’s done in areas where people’s attention are grabbed. Today, everyone spends much more time on their mobile phones and social media. As a result, online and digital marketing has been on the steep incline. Jeremy, who works for Thunder Rank, an SEO Company in Toronto, predicts that “the same thing that happened with classified ads in newspapers will happen with TV ads. There will be a steep decline because that’s not where people’s attention are anymore.”
Work & Family Life
The information age has pushed the limits for everyone. Our life is so much faster and we’re expected to accomplish a lot more than we were 10-15 years ago. As a result, many people end up working long hours and miss out on their personal family life. However, on the other hand, technology has allowed many people to work remotely from home thus allowing them to spend much more time with their families. It’s actually very interesting because we find that in today’s era, there is very little middle ground between work and family life; it’s either your one of the two extremes.
This is one of the greatest benefits of technology. With the rise if it, we can easily do business with and work with someone half way across the world. This allows many businesses to lower costs by taking advantage of the various exchange rates in other countries. Labor can be bought for less and it also opens the doors for many tech startups to do more with a smaller budget.
With the rise of the information age, there’s no doubt that our overall privacy is compromised. A lot of our personal data is shared through the web with our smartphones and social media profiles. Information such as our location, friends, work life, and much more is all shared with major companies. In fact, Time magazine even states that Facebook may know more about you than your family does. With that being said, we should take precautions on the information we go about sharing online.
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December 29, 2014