Why First Responders Rely on Rugged Computers

Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians benefit from the durability and functionalities of rugged laptops and tablets in the face of critical situations.

First responders are trained to stay calm and take charge in moments when others are reacting from a state of shock and confusion. The ways in which first responders, like police officers, EMTs, and firefighters, communicate with one another and with dispatchers requires consistent protocol and reliability, often with the understanding that their actions make the difference between life and death. Just as civilians rely on first responders to handle complicated and dangerous situations, those who respond to emergencies rely on effective and durable gear and devices.

Transportability is key, wherein lies the complications of relying on technology not capable of withstanding emergent environments. Rugged computers offer quality solutions to the most common of issues public safety professionals face when utilizing technology in the field. The longevity of rugged computers ensures dependability, and has the potential to save first response teams money in the long run.

Here are the top reasons emergency personnel depend on rugged laptops and tablets:


Seemingly the most obvious benefit of rugged computers is that they are, in fact, rugged. First response teams are working in fast-paced environments where the possibility of dropping a computer is higher than usual. The reality of exposing a laptop or tablet to typically damaging substances for technology is also likely. Rugged tablets, like the Xplore XSLATE B10, are engineered to withstand five feet drops on the hardest of surfaces, vehicle vibrations, and exposure to heavy rain and blowing sand. Backlit keyboards and bright screens make it easier for users to see clearly, despite weather or debris.

Whether public safety professionals choose to mount computers in emergency vehicles, or carry them on-site, they can work without worry of damaging the technology they turn to.

Data Storage and Management

Rugged computers allow firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and police officers to easily access records for pertinent information in the face of an emergency. It also enables these responders to document occurrences in real time or right after the fact in a space that can be instantly accessed by other relevant individuals. Rugged tablets and laptops are capable of large storage, and are built to protect important data in demanding conditions.

Reliable Communication and Connectivity

Whereas most people have come to take groundbreaking technology, like GPS, for granted, first responders utilize these tools for uninterrupted communication and reliable connectivity to get where they need to go as quickly as possible, and to ensure they have the critical information necessary to operate in accordance with other public safety professionals in any given situation.

Rugged computers typically have an integrated GPS receiver to determine the most efficient route to an incident, Bluetooth® for hands free functionality, and reliable WiFi for ongoing connectivity. Another impressive feature is lengthy battery life, often staying powered for eight hours at a time.

Useful Tools for Various Applications

Many rugged computers have a variety of options for integrated tools and applications. Different public safety factions can benefit from specific capabilities, like fingerprint scanners, Bluetooth, and real-time data transfer, to help them best perform their duties in the face of dangerous events. The Xplore XSLATE B10, for instance, comes with the standard USB 3.0 and micro SIM card reader, but has upgrade options like a 1D/2D scanner.

If you’re looking for rugged computers and solutions to outfit your team of first responders, contact us for guidance on determining laptop versus tablet, the most suitable applications, and useful accessories.




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