Cleveland using iPads to monitor fire hydrants

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - City officials in Cleveland are taking a new approach on checking fire hydrants.

"We'll flush everyone of those hydrants to make sure that we have enough water to make sure that it's flowing properly," said Cleveland Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo.

Up until now, the Cleveland Fire Department has been keeping tabs on over 18,000 fire hydrants the old fashioned way.

"Before it was pencil and paper where it was a very meticulous task where they had to process all this information and there would naturally be some lags in getting information back to us," said Cleveland Water System Commissioner Alex Margevicus.

But now, thanks to technology the Cleveland Fire Department and Cleveland Water System will be able to monitor what's going on with the hydrants in real time,all from a tablet.

"The iPad will actually capture that hydrant in real time after the inspection of the hydrant to see if they're any issues and deficiencies," said Chief Calvillo.

"That information gets communicated back to everybody in fire and in water in real time," added Margevicus.

For fire fighters who have been checking these hydrants for years, it's a total game changer.

"With the modern technology, and now having it at the tip of our fingertips capturing this information is critical. It'll make us more productive and more efficient in being transparent in what we do," said Chief Calvillo.

Which is what Margevicius says will ultimately be best for residents at the end of the day.

"We may get phone calls from residents asking why they have dirty water. Now they can see in real time where these hydrants have been flushed and we can tell them Cleveland fire was just out there and hour ago. Be patient and it'll clear up," said Margevicius.

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