Recently, fire departments have come under scrutiny for long response times. The Chicago Fire Department and the Harrisburg Fire Department in Illinois have been struggling with response times longer than the national standard and have prioritized improving their current response processes. Modern technology such as PublicEye allows public safety officials to fully leverage today's devices. Intelligent use of phones, tablets, and ruggedized PCs leads to faster response times and directly aids in saving lives and property.

An audit of the Chicago Fire Department found that neighborhoods across Chicago’s South Side were receiving emergency medical response times that failed to meet national guidelines on more than half of all emergencies. Neighborhoods in the South Side did not receive emergency personnel in five minutes (the national standard) in even half of the 911 calls received. Pullman and Rivendale, two southern Chicago neighborhoods, only met the national standard 11-18% of the time. In an official statement, the CPD plans to find “ways to improve service to the residents of Chicago”.

In 2013, The Harrisburg City Council decided to limit the Harrisburg fire department to only calls within city limits. This decision has caused uproar in neighboring towns. Mike Dudley, a homeowner who lived just 600 yards from the Harrisburg city border, had to wait several additional minutes for the Carrier Mills firefighters to arrive. The Carrier Mills fire station is twice as far away as the Harrisburg station. “If the time could have been cut in half, perhaps there would have only been damage to one room,” commented Dudley.


PublicEye is a public safety mobile app available for iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones, tablets, and ruggedized PCs. The app improves public safety response times in multiple ways. When a call for service comes in, first responders are notified with an audible push notification. From their mobile device, they can then indicate they are responding to the call. The incident commander can see who is responding and the team’s real-time locations. From within PublicEye, officials receive turn-by-turn navigation – no more paper maps or programming an external GPS. Harrisburg, Carrier Mills, and other neighboring jurisdictions can collaborate, communicate, and track emergency response vehicles on the map.

At the scene, PublicEye continues to deliver value through immediate access to building pre-plans and building photos right from the smartphone or tablet. When seconds count, knowing the exact location of fire sprinklers, stairs, and specific rooms makes a huge difference. Photos, video, and even a live video stream can be securely sent to headquarters to keep everyone updated on the incident.


PublicEye is an excellent tool for all first responders. Fire professionals can quickly identify the exact location of the closest fire hydrants to a building fire. Police can map the residences of sex offenders or individuals with open arrest warrants. Emergency medical personnel can see real-time traffic data to reach people in need as quickly as possible. In some circumstances, PublicEye has even allowed responders to react to an incident even before it was radioed out.

If you want to revitalize your fire, police, or emergency medical department and learn about how PublicEye can improve response times and quality of service, give us a call at 603-881-9191.

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