Case Study - How We Mounted Panasonic Toughpads in 125 DFES Emergency Vehicles


Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DEFS)


In July 2018, Roaming Tech partnered with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to implement the in vehicle hardware for the Incident Response and Information System (IRIS) in 125 of their vehicles across Western Australia.

This was a digital transformation for DFES to completely overhaul and update their Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) dispatch system. The new system will allow DFES to streamline all their communications through one central system, bringing all of their in-vehicle computing and communications up to date with the latest technology.

Roaming Technologies provided hardware and solutions for the design, installation and certification of new equipment to support the new in-vehicle hardware. Each vehicle was fitted out with new Panasonic Toughpads, complete with their new management system. Our solution included docking stations, mounting brackets, roof mounted LTE and GPS antennas, internal speakers, keyboards and holsters, an incoming call alert system and a USB hub in each vehicle.


The Problem

DFES came to us because they had chosen the Panasonic Toughpad as the in vehicle computer to work with their new IRIS system. Every vehicle is unique and space is at a premium in these emergency response vehicles so we were engaged to design and manufacture bespoke mounts and brackets to install all of the new hardware safely.

The new components had to work seamlessly with pre-existing brackets and modifications while also accommodating the heavy protective equipment that DFES drivers would be wearing. The new equipment needed to be easy to access while wearing thick gloves and could not restrict driver and passenger movements in any way. Of course safety is paramount so each bracket needed to be carefully designed and installed in line with the relevant rules and regulations

Time Frame

We were given a strict timeline to work with as all DFES vehicles needed to be equipped and ready to go by the start of the fire season - November 2018. This allowed for only a 3-month window to complete all aspects of the project - design, fabrication and installation of the equipment in 125 vehicles. All installations would then need to be inspected and approved by a compliance engineer.

Specific Requirements

Modifications that are permanently mounted to vehicles require approval from a compliance engineer before the vehicles are deemed roadworthy. All modifications must be aligned with the Road Traffic Act and design rules. This required our team to use our extensive experience and knowledge to develop mounting brackets that would meet these specific requirements. We meticulously approached the design process to accommodate the requirements of the Department of Transport and also the requirements of DFES and their driver’s needs. This project required custom mounts and brackets for a range of different vehicles including light tankers, heavy rescue vehicles and pump and ladder trucks.

The Results

Vehicle installations were carried out at DFES sites across the Perth metro area by a carefully-selected team of professionals. We successfully completed the project in the short timeframe provided by DFES. Our team quickly responded to DFES’ requirements and design to build custom mounts and brackets that complied with the Road Traffic Act.

We provided DFES with one point of contact throughout the entire process to ensure a strong line of communication for any questions or issues that arose.

DFES vehicles are now fully fitted out with brand-new Incident Response and Information Systems. This system provides a modern computerised dispatch system with greater functionality and increased efficiency. DFES drivers now benefit from a system with improved ergonomics thanks to our expert design. All of DFES’ communications and navigations now go through one system which has eradicated the need for multiple devices. The new system allows for the single rugged laptop to be taken out of the vehicle if the situation calls for it during emergency services

We provided DFES with a custom design and installation that has increased emergency response time, increased safety through added fail-safe alarms, while also delivering a real-time dispatch system in a small time frame - ready to go for the busy fire season.

If you need advice about laptop and tablet vehicle installations for your organisation, let’s talk! Let us know about your project on 1300 131 933, or contact us online.

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