David Ridings, Assistant Chief, Tucson Fire Department, reports that the Phase I system testing for Tucson’s ER-Link has now been completed and states that he is “pleased to report that the EMS Telemedicine system performed flawlessly. The video and audio were of excellent quality and the transmission of data was effortless. We truly believe the advent of modern fire-based EMS service is upon us, and that technologies such as wireless live streaming video and data will be at the forefront of our advancement.” ER-Link uses General Devices new e-Bridge EMS Telemedicine System.
Statement by Assistant Chief Dave Ridings:
“Acceptance testing for the initial phase of E.R. Link for the City of Tucson was conducted on October 5, 2006. A fully operational Tucson Fire paramedic truck was used to transmit live audio and video to University Hospital Telemedicine office, while driving along both a primary east-west and north-south surface street. Officers from Tucson Fire and the City’s Transportation Department rotated from the medic truck to the office at various times throughout the test.
The experience was eye-opening. The video imaging from the medic truck was strikingly clear and nearly seamless, with the transmission time delay being almost unnoticeable. Pan, zoom, and tilt camera functions operated flawlessly, and the resolution on patient close-ups was remarkable. Instructions for patient care were transmitted and received from both sites with ease.
The only significant transmission breaks along the routes were noted when traveling through underpasses. This resulted in up to 3-5 second delays, after which the video component automatically resumed full function. Audio was not affected by this action. All-in-all, I would rate the test as a 9.5 success on a scale of 10.
Tucson Fire looks forward with great anticipation to the completion of the project. We are eager to begin utilizing the technology and have begun strategic planning discussions as to how live video can reshape and enhance our operational capability. Our list of considerations for additional patient care, scene, and even fireground applications seems to grow by the day. We truly believe the advent of modern fire-based EMS service is upon us, and that technologies such as wireless live video streaming will be at the forefront of our advancement.”
For more information please contact:
City of Tucson Fire/EMS