Smokey the Bear approves this message.
Firefighters have arguably the toughest job on this planet. They risk their lives to save the lives of others in environments that might be described best as “Hell on Earth,” they are first on scene to any number of grisly and or disturbing accidents and they will even open your car if you locked your keys in it in most areas. Keeping that in mind, why wouldn’t we want their lives to be as easy and painless outside of the fire as possible? Thats where our friend the iPhone comes in again. (Note that I also recommend the stock apps "Calendar", "Contacts" and "Google Maps" to any of my brother firefighters for obvious reasons. No need to download or buy new versions. KISS)
This is the priciest app I will recommend today, but I do it for good reason. Not only is this app an “all-in-one” solution, it will even take place of a few stand alone apps I mention below. You will get everything from pump operator fill ins, incident response checklists, a Hazmat ERG guide, EMS guides, Training and Study guides and even a knot guide. Look, if you wanted the pocket knife for the fire service, this is it. Try this app before you buy anything else I mention and pick and choose as needed.
Knot Guide (100+ knots)
With 91 knots and continuous additions this is my pick for Firefighters everywhere. Although there are many knots not used in the fire service, this covers all the essential ones nicely with easy to follow diagrams and the ability to save your favorite knots for quicker viewing later. Think of the rest as a bonus, plus the fact that the developer likes to push out updates when he gets new knots.
The pocket version of the ERG, or at least as close as it gets on the iPhone. With over 3,000 materials listed, placards and emergency contacts by region, this is the most comprehensive and easy to use app out there for Firefighters to look up Hazardous Materials information on the go. There is a lite version available if you’d like a bare bones (and I mean, bare) look into what you’d get for your hefty price.
Scanner911 Police Radio Pro
What Emergency Responder would be complete if he had all the power of a new 3g enabled mobile phone and no Scanner? The answer: None. Never be without crucial information again with Scanner 911. With features like the ability to listen to your station in the background, rewind/record stations and follow along with police codes you will never be left behind again. Need to remember what address you were dispatched to on the run? Hit the rewind button and record! Need to check in on a scanner across the country for whatever reason? You can do that just as easy as you could check your email. Note: Not all locations have working internet streams of their broadcasts, this is not an appside problem.
Considering the fire service is moving to more medical calls then actual fire scenes (my personal district is almost 80% medical calls), the first responder needs much more than just the fire training to get by nowadays. That's where eMedic comes in. I can't even begin to describe the amount of pure medical content this app has. Everything from calculators for blood pressure to blood alcohol, algorithms, treatments for every emergency you can think of and anatomy diagrams... This app is robust enough to help any first responder save lives but it is easy enough to use as a study guide just pass your EMT Basic certification.
This might be a Head-scratcher at the moment, but I’ll explain. If you’re a fire fighter the need to call up information both on and off the fire ground is paramount. What better way to do that then to store information in the cloud? The guys at Dropbox nailed this with their iPhone app. With the creation of a free account, you can now access a library of SOPs, pictures, guidelines, notes, contacts, videos, etc. Take pictures on the fire scene you need to be backed up and viewable right NOW? With Dropbox not only can you back the files up, but anyone, anywhere with access to the account can log on remotely and view them. In a world where information is critical and a scene where time is not on our side, this can be the difference between getting it done and getting it done right.
"What, no Evernote?!" Thats right. I love this app. I am a neat-freak, and I like simple things. This appeases both of those. This is a free Task Management app that will allow you to prioritize and badge enable things you have to do. It doesn’t sync, it doesn’t email, it does do anything shiny or fancy. Simple Task management with Badge indicators on the App Icon. Its been on my home screen since I got my iPhone and its going to stay there. I use it from everything from note taking, quickly taking down an email address or actually using it so I don’t forget milk on the way home. Any fireman who’s life is already filled with enough gadgets can appreciate this bare bones solution.