Fire truck

The Brockway Fire Department drives an engine at the 2018 open house.

BROCKWAY — As Apple becomes the first trillion-dollar-value company, some of its iPads will be assisting firefighters protect their communities.

Brockway Volunteer Fire Department attended the National Night Out event at Taylor Memorial Park on Tuesday, bringing its new iPad system with them. The department uses an app on the iPad to coordinate calls and map fire hydrants.

“They’ve been used in the field already and work really well,” Deputy Chief Michael Hoskavich said about the iPads.

Hoskavich said that the department uses an app called iamresponding. The app allows firefighters to see who will be heading to a fire and when they are likely to get there. It also runs on Google Maps, so it can give directions to the address.

Hoskavich added that every fire hydrant in the borough has been mapped.

“Sometimes, at three in the morning, you’re in the dark trying to remember where the nearest hydrants are,” Hoskavich said. “With this, you don’t have to wonder. It can direct you to it.”

Any other department that uses the app is tied in with Brockway. If they assist Brockway on a fire, they can find hydrants nearby without having to search in an unfamiliar area.

“The other benefit of the iPads is we can begin our reports on site,” Hoskavich said. “We can take pictures and upload them right there. We can also use it for planning.”

Hoskavich said that the department makes plans for businesses and larger buildings in the community in case something happens. If they use the iPads in the formation of the plans, should an event happen, the department could bring up the plan and know where to stage everyone.

“We can figure out ahead of time where we need ladder trucks and tankers,” Hoskavich said. “As everyone arrives, we can tell them exactly where they need to be. It takes out the guesswork.”

At National Night Out, Hoskavich plans to demonstrate the iPad system to residents who want to check out the fire department’s equipment.

“We’ll have trucks there, turnout gear, things for the little kids,” he said. “We want to show the community what their donations and tax dollars are doing. They’re helping protect the community.”

Some of the equipment on display could include the new fire engine and a refurbished a ladder truck that the department added last year.

The community will be at Taylor Memorial Park on Tuesday for National Night Out. More about the national event can be found at its website www.natw.org.

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