Waterford Fire Department is the largest staffed fire department in Oakland County and one of the largest in the state of Michigan. Resources include:
- Nine fire stations staffed 24 hours a day
- 10 fully equipped fire engines
- Eight state-of-the-art Advanced Life Support EMS rescue vehicles
- Two 100-foot aerial ladder trucks
- One 75-foot quint
- Two mobile command vehicles with on-board computer and communications system
- 107 full-time highly trained firefighters, 105 of which are licensed paramedics
Response area demographics include 60 square miles stretching across three municipalities of suburban residential, lakefront, heavy and light industrial, retail property, and a downtown district. This area encompasses many recreation areas such as two state parks with public beaches, seven public boat launches, 11 miles of mountain bike trails, and a 145-acre county park with a wave pool, children's water park, BMX track, sledding hills, and tennis courts.
Just imagine the different types of weather that affect our daily operations, whether we’re handling heat exhaustion cases during extreme heat events in the summer or treating frostbite and hypothermia during blizzard conditions in the winter. From seasonal weather events to daily operations, we need updated weather data from all parts of our district to keep our staff and community as safe as possible. This regional diversity is why we partnered with AcuRite for its vast array of weather monitoring equipment.
We already used AcuRite wireless weather stations for monitoring environmental conditions inside our remote facilities and mechanical areas. It was essential to set up alerts to be notified of abnormal conditions so we could correct any issues before they were able to impact operations. Expanding upon the same platform was a natural progression as we were already comfortable with and reliant on the real-time data coming in from My AcuRite.
We’re working with AcuRite to establish a network of local weather stations located at each of our nine fire stations. This weather network will be helpful to the fire department in many ways. These stations can be used to aid in emergency response to our community. Some examples include determining wind direction during hazmat situations, gas leaks, and smoke investigations.
Temperature data can be useful to determine if precautions need to be taken to prevent our water pumps and tanks from freezing. Beyond emergency response, heat index could even be used for mundane things, such as determining the day's uniform. Even this might seem like an unnecessary use-case, but realistically, it is essential when considering our staff's safety. See the map below for where we plan to install these professional weather stations at our nine fire station locations.
Additionally, after the weather stations have been online reporting and archiving data, the historical weather data will be used by inspectors for fire investigations.
Not only do we have local displays for viewing inside the stations, but the data is published to the internet for remote viewing on scenes via mobile devices. The entire crew has access to the real-time weather data for our local weather network through the My AcuRite app.
In addition to these operational uses, hosting these devices provides community service as the public can view the data on Weather Underground. All of our fire stations are equipped with backup generators that would provide continuous functionality in a power outage event.
We’ve included pictures of our first successful AcuRite Atlas™ wireless weather station installation below and are excited to get moving on the rest of the weather station installations!
Stay updated on our progress of building out this weather network by visiting our website, Facebook page, or local union’s Facebook page.