Frontline Defense: Firefighters Rely on OtterBox to Stay Connected

Firefighters at Windsor Severance Fire Rescue (WSFR) are dedicated to swift, safe responses to protect their community from the unexpected. More than ever before, technology is facilitating rapid response. Whether performing daily chores in the firehouse or removing hazardous materials from a scene, firefighters stay connected and on call with OtterBox-protected mobile devices.


Smartphones and tablets are becoming commonplace at the firehouse and not just to allow first responders to stay connected with family while they are away for extended periods of time. Today, smartphones and tablets are replacing expensive, specialized equipment and reams of paper. From receiving emergency notification texts and hydrant maps to training programs and ever-changing paramedic protocols.  Firefighters at WSFR, a joint career and volunteer department, rely on OtterBox protective cases to stay connected in the field.


First Responder Apps

Technology is improving response times, efficiencies and communication for emergency responders. Some of the apps used by Windsor Severance Fire Rescue on a regular basis include:

  • WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) – a mobile app designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents
  • Paramedic Protocol Provider - provides quick, up-to-date offline access to over 350 field treatment protocols
  • Evernote and Notability – apps designed for note taking, used to create documents, record incidents and numbers while out in the field

“It’s our personal devices and that is where we are getting all of the information sent to,” said Lieutenant Joe Seaman. “It becomes more of an appendage for us, the world at your fingertips type thing where we can actually do our job.”


Smartphone technology replaces more cumbersome and less efficient tools of the trade for WSFR. All but gone are paper maps, manuals and protocols. A variety of first responder applications allow the crew to quickly search for specialized information on their smartphones while in the field. All of the information is updated in real time versus the manual updates that required constant attention.


“We are able to access that stuff quickly, to put together information efficiently,” Seaman said. “So, that way we can do our jobs on the fly, when we are out on the streets, taking care of whatever situation we are called to.”


Windsor Severance Fire Rescue has gone beyond smartphones and adopted tablets as well. Each officer is outfitted with an iPad to accomplish a variety of administrative, inspection and training duties.


“As an organization, we have absolutely adopted technology, we issue iPads to our officers,” said Battalion Chief Darren Jaques. “We use those everyday, whether it be for simple tasks, such as just regular interoffice communication through email to helping us inspect hydrants and upload photos.”


Whether at the firehouse or in the field, OtterBox is there to protect their devices.


OtterBox offers a variety of products to suit every lifestyle. True to their profession, firefighters tend to opt for the rugged Defender Series. Defender Series provides three layers of tough protection that guard against drops, scratches, dust and dings. A tough polycarbonate shell is paired with a soft silicone slipcover to absorb shock and a built-in screen guard to block out display scratches. This case helps guard smartphones against the dangers of a firehouse, the field and off-duty activities.


Each device at Windsor Severance Fire Rescue is encased in OtterBox protection to guard against the rough wear and tear that comes with firefighting.


“Firefighters are inherently rough on equipment, thus the reason why we use OtterBox cases on our personal devices,” Seaman said.

Windsor-Severance Fire Department Case Study

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 (5:51pm)