The Sedalia City Council approved the purchase of four Panasonic Toughbook Hybrid tablets for the Sedalia Fire Department Tuesday night at a cost of $15,780.

The tablets are being purchased through Turn-Key Mobile, Inc., of Jefferson City, and are used by the fire department to make reports and have found the tablet format to be very functional and flexible, according to the City's IT Manager Monte Richardson.

The Panasonic Toughbooks have a useful life of about five years, he noted. The laptops currently being used in the City's fire trucks are around 6 - 7 years old. Assistant Fire Chief Matt Irwin suggested replacing the laptops with the Toughbooks.

The tablets, which are water and shock resistant, have the capability to be mounted to a keyboard and dock within the truck, but can also be removed for fire scene photos, it was noted.

The final quote from Turn-Key uses a cooperative procurement contract with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

The cost of the four tablets is a budgeted expense for the current fiscal year.

The vote was six yes, two absent, with Council members Dawson and Boggess not present for Tuesday night's 107-minute meeting.