How Could 5G Better Help Emergency Responders?

  • Faster Data Means Faster Response
  • Maintaining a Strong Connection
  • The Internet of Things Provides Leverage

For emergency responders, speed is everything. For many of us, seconds are nothing, but for them, it could mean life or death. That is why it is essential to provide law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire and rescue teams with the most cutting-edge tools and technology that is available, including the 5G mobile network.

5G in Australia has not been fully launched yet. In fact, it is still quite hard to get a stable 5G connection in the country, much like most places in the world.

The wireless tech is still growing, with telecom companies continuing their progress in rolling out the mobile network, 5G is still in its early stage. Nevertheless, many are already excited about it, especially as it promises better services than 4G, something that emergency responders would definitely need.

5G is not just for phones. The Internet of Things (IoT) that encompasses everything connected to the internet could be used by emergency responders to help save more lives.

Faster Data Means Faster Response

Besides the fact that emergency responders have to react as soon as their assistance is required, data gathering is also an essential aspect of their work. 

For example, it is critical for firefighters to know exactly where they would need to go, and they would often use GPS-based navigational tools to find the best and fastest route to their destination. Medical responders would also have to access medical records of their patients, especially if they have special needs--and this should be done as soon as possible to provide the right treatment that could save their lives. Law enforcement would find it easier to resolve traffic accidents if dashcam videos are sent to them en route to the scene.

Basically, if they know what they are working with before they get there, strategies will be more effective. There will be no working in the dark or miscommunication as responders would have visuals of the scene from the first ones to get there.

All of these scenarios require one thing: fast and reliable internet service.

Almost everything these days is connected to the internet, so if emergency responders have access to a 5G mobile device, data gathering will be more efficient in any scenario.

Transferring data in real-time will be faster, thanks to 5G’s promise of faster internet connection with lower latency.

Maintaining a Strong Connection

Besides the ability to move fast, emergency responders would often require constant communication, whether with their colleagues or with victims. However, this is not always how it pans out.

Unfortunately, networks could be negatively impacted by disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other intense natural calamities that will require emergency responders. Most of the time, they would have to move blindly to rescue those in need since communication is hard--sometimes even impossible. Movement is slowed down to avoid mistakes that could otherwise cause missions to fail, and all of that is simply because it is impossible to maintain a connection.

Nevertheless, 5G brings another promise: network resiliency, or its ability to keep the connection, even in such situations like the ones mentioned earlier.

Augmented Reality and AI

Augmented Reality or AR is something that is highly enjoyed by gamers, with games such as Pokemon GO using the technology best to bring adorable monsters to life--kind of.

However, it turns out that AR can also make life safer for emergency responders, especially firefighters who are always taught to stay close to walls. With the technology, partnered with the 5G network’s speed, AR helmets would have thermal imaging that allows them to see beyond the smoke and the darkness to locate victims trapped in burning buildings.

Truth be told, AR firefighter helmets already exist, but 5G could make them better.

Moreover, this technology can also be partnered with a powerful artificial intelligence assistant that can be taught to filter the smoke, the fire, and the noise to provide firefighters with the data they only require at the moment.

AI can be taught many different things, such as predicting how long firefighters have before the building becomes too dangerous to survive in, or whether there is a backdraft coming in that could make fires bigger.

The Internet of Things Provides Leverage

Imagine: someone is missing or kidnapped. In these situations, responders typically have to go through witnesses one by one or check cameras for any possible sign of the missing person or the suspect. Nevertheless, with how the Internet of Things work with faster speed, law enforcement could connect to all the cameras in the city and use sophisticated tools to help track down the culprit or find whoever has been missing.

It is more efficient, and it is faster--something that is essential when every second counts.

In the past, we could only see these scenarios in the movies, but it is happening in real life, and with the emergency of a new generation of mobile network technology, communicating to applicable devices such as cameras and sensors is possible.

Furthermore, responders may also use the network to create more effective devices that can help them in case of these emergencies.

Seeing the World From Drones

When we said earlier that 5G is not just for phones, we mean it. But perhaps the next most probable object that should be 5G-capable are drones.

These tiny objects have changed the game for emergency responders as they are being used for a variety of missions, but mostly for conducting searches, assessing damages, surveillance, and even delivering essential equipment to remote places.

Some members of the law enforcement have been using drones for bomb disposal, while members of the coast guard would typically use drones to check the open seas for possible emergencies and prevent what could have been body recoveries.

So how could 5G improve drones?

For one, the technology could enable drones to fly higher and farther. They could also download drone data faster that will help them with making decisions quicker. The mobile network may also allow responders to control multiple drones at a time, making surveillance and search and rescue missions easier.

Conclusion

5G has a lot more to offer for emergency responders, so by the time it has been fully launched, we can expect more lives can be saved.