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Product and Tech News
by Drew Johnson

NaviGate offers instant online access to critical information

By giving firefighters en route access to documents like floor plans escape routes, system can save precious seconds

By Drew Johnson

When fighting a fire, seconds count. NaviGate, a Web-based "Critical Information System" sold by Lauren Innovations, provides potentially time-saving information by showing firefighters floor plans, escape routes, and the location of hazardous materials before they arrive on scene.

Originally designed as an emergency portal for responders, NaviGate is a suite of tools for corporations to manage their online training, documents and other file-sharing tools.

The system is like a melding of features you'd find in separate software applications like Blackboard, Microsoft Basecamp, and Google Documents. Typical users include large corporations, shopping malls, hospitals, public schools and college campuses.

Organizations that purchase NaviGate upload all their important documents to a secure Web portal that is accessed online with a secure password. Information including floor plans, sheltering and evacuation plans, hazmat locations and incident plans are centrally located at the NaviGate portal.

A central repository of emergency response documents has profound implications for fire departments, firefighters on their way to a call can access NaviGate from any Internet-accessible device (the system works on cell phones, smart phones and laptop computers), allowing them to see inside the building before they arrive on scene.

And users don't just get access to documents. Facilities with closed-circuit television systems can grant access to their video feeds through the NaviGate system. That means firefighters can see what's happening inside a burning structure just by logging in through their smart phone or laptop computer.

"It's a tremendous set of tools," Lauren Innovations president Bennett Fierman, Ph.D., said. "NaviGate provides emergency responders access to an enormous amount of information that they wouldn't normally have access to."

Dr. Fierman said that every time a system is installed in a new facility, his team encourages the end user to contact the local fire department to alert them to its availability and teaches them how to use it, though he says it is very intuitive and requires very little training.

With the ability to easily log on and access a wealth of mission-critical information before they arrive on scene, firefighters can get the precious minutes they need to save lives.

Lauren Innovations is a member of the Lauren International family of businesses, dedicated to the development and enhancement of technologies and services that aim to enhance safety and security. You can find them on the Web at Laureninnovations.com.

About the author

Drew Johnson's contributions to the FireRescue1 editorial lineup focuses on new fire products, services, and technologies. A native of Oklahoma, Drew has previously written for both print and online media outlets on a wide range of topics, including finance, education, real estate, and politics. Contact Drew at drew.johnson@praetoriangroup.com.


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