Garmon said that Scott Safety typically has to work with radio manufacturers to optimize integration, because the various vendors “seem to have a little bit different Bluetooth” approach.

“In the case of the Harris radio, they’ve added a lot of really nice, value-added features that you don’t see some other radio manufacturers adding, like being able to control the volume of the RDI amp—front speaker or rear speaker—using the radio-control knob,” Garmon said. “That’s how firefighters use it when they’re not on the fireground, so they’ve told us, ‘We want to be able to use it the same way when we’re on the fireground.’”

For many years, the firefighting community expressed frustration that some innovative technologies being developed did not always work well with other gear used on the fireground, with the most notable example being problems that early digital radios had coping with certain high-noise environments common to fire events.

Garmon said the Harris-Scott Safety initiative is an example of the kind of integration that the firefighting community has sought—and the kind of coordination that will become even more important in the future, as sensor data from firefighters provides important situational awareness to those in the field and in control rooms.

Of course, any such solutions need to be “rock-solid reliable” and cannot appreciably add to the time it take firefighters to don their gear, Garmon said. Despite these demands, Garmon said that he believes the vendor community can address these needs in the near future.

“I think it will be very different in 2-3 years,” Garmon said.

Makovsky echoed this sentiment.

“I want to keep moving that forward with the fire market,” Makovsky said. “This was just our initial offering and a good, sound package, but I want to keep going. This isn’t the last piece of this. This is probably going to be the instantiation of future development on this effort.

“We’ve started what I hope is a long-term relationship with [Scott Safety]. Anything they develop in the future, we want to continually stay in sync with on our product portfolio.”