Paper maps, two-way radios: how firefighting tech is stuck in the past

One Silicon Valley startup is working on a new tool to help first responders battle California’s increasingly intense fires

When wildfires burned near Palo Alto last month, emergency workers in this city legendary for its resident high-tech companies relied on relatively low-tech tools to coordinate a response.

Emergency response units talked by two-way radio and sent each other text messages with photos of paper maps, said Kenneth Dueker, the director of Palo Alto’s office of emergency services.

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