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Case Study - Field Services

42Gears Helps The Portage Volunteer Fire Company Optimize Its Response Time

Business Overview

The Portage Volunteer Fire Company is an all-volunteer firefighting service serving the small town of Portage, Pennsylvania, USA, as well as some surrounding towns. 

Portage Fire’s volunteers operate three fire stations 24/7.

In addition to firefighting, Portage Fire provides emergency medical aid and other essential services.

Background and Challenges

To optimize the process of coordinating emergency responses, Portage Fire installed Samsung tablets in its fire trucks. 

Portage Fire found a few issues that made the tablets less useful than expected:

  1. Drivers and emergency staff would sometimes get distracted by non-essential content on the tablets. Given the urgent nature of Portage Fire’s work, this was unacceptable. 
  2. When staff used the tablets for off-topic content, this would result in huge data charges for Portage Fire. 
  3. Portage Fire had experienced some difficulty keeping GPS functionality active on every tablet at all times. Responders could not afford to spend time reactivating GPS when rushing to the site of an emergency.

Industry : Field Services

Location : Portage, Pennsylvania, USA

Products : SureLock

Operating System : Android

Devices : Samsung Tablets

Challenges : The Portage Volunteer Company provided tablets for its emergency responders and needed a way to keep the tablets working on-the-road without being distracting. 

Solution: SureLock by 42Gears locked the tablets down to just the functionality responders needed, improving response times and lowering data consumption.

The Solution

SureLock by 42Gears 

Portage Fire chose 42Gears to help them because SureLock, the 42Gears Lockdown Solution, provided an affordable and easy way to control data consumption and keep responders on-task. 

The company especially appreciated that SureLock had an easy-to-use interface, and could be set up quickly across devices using cloud functionality. 

Implementing SureLock allowed Portage Fire to resolve the tablet-related issues:

  1. SureLock restricted tablets to only the apps that were necessary for responding to emergencies, making all other apps inaccessible. 
  2.  SureLock blocked responders from accessing device settings, preventing the GPS from being mistakenly turned off or altered in any way.


  1. Portage Fire was able to improve response times by keeping responders on-task at all times while en route to emergencies. 
  2. By curtailing non-essential data usage, Portage Fire reduced consumption by 2-3 GB per month. 
  3. By doing a better job of controlling device settings, Portage Fire reduced the frequency of device malfunctions.


“42Gears has helped the Portage Volunteer Fire Company by allowing for a focused use of technology to increase response times and streamline preplans in emergency situations.  The product is incredibly easy to setup and maintain.  The settings are sensibly grouped and clearly labeled, allowing for easy access to discover the wide array of features.”

- Captain Andrew Myers, Portage Volunteer Fire Company