Todd Ungar - Fire Chief Willoughby, OH

Todd Ungar - Fire Chief Willoughby, OH

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 17:22

Willoughby, Ohio, can trace its history all the way back to the Eighteenth Century. People began exploring the area in the late 1700s, and the first permanent settlement was founded in 1798. In 1835, the village was named after Westel Willoughby Jr., the founder of a local medical college. 

Although the medical college is no longer operational, downtown Willoughby grew rapidly, and many of the buildings are still in use and operational to this day. 

While the town has deep historical roots, its proximity to Cleveland and the beautiful shores of Lake Erie have made it a popular destination for people relocating to the area. The combination of old structures and new people presents an interesting and unique challenge for firefighters in the area. 

When Willoughby Fire Chief Todd Ungar was searching for solutions to help streamline the communication and efficiency of the town’s fire stations, StreetWise’s system proved to be the perfect answer. 

How Using StreetWise® Helped the Willoughby Fire Department

“Since its humble beginnings in 1894, the Willoughby Fire Department has grown from two companies of volunteers utilizing hose carts to a combination full-time and part-time department of 60 members utilizing state-of-the-art firefighting and emergency medical equipment.” - Willoughby, Ohio’s website.

Although Willoughby has just two fire stations within town limits, they cooperate and coordinate with the surrounding departments. They are often able to respond to calls in the adjacent towns as quickly as any other station; therefore, it is vital everyone has access to the same data and is able to communicate efficiently. 

Fighting Fire Before StreetWise®

Before StreetWise®, firefighters carried around extensive binders. The binders housed all their pre-incident survey information, such as:

  • Hydrant locations
  • Street maps and routes
  • Images of buildings
  • Etc.

Every time a new street was built, the binders had to be updated. Sometimes, the only way to accomplish this was to draw the maps by hand. When it was time for a change, they wanted to make sure they had the most efficient, most effective tool. 

How StreetWise® Improved Communication and Efficiency

“The more we use it, the more we realize what else we can do with it.” - Todd Ungar, Fire Chief Willoughby, OH.

StreetWise® was the solution for Willoughby. They quickly found that the tablets were easy-to-use and vastly improved communication between stations in Willoughby and the surrounding towns. Willoughby and surrounding communities all utilize StreetWise®.

Todd Ungar’s station responded to a call in nearby Wickliffe when an alert went out that not only was there already a confirmed fire, but there was cyanide housed within the burning metal factory. Because every station had access to StreetWise, they were all able to immediately see the specific location of the cyanide within the building and plan accordingly.

With StreetWise’s pre-incident planning software, it is straightforward and simple to gather the information needed to raise situational awareness on every call. 

Modeled after the NFPA 1620 standard, which requires preplan authors to collect information during an in-person site visit, our exclusive “Preplan Wizard” field surveys are the simplest way ever for your personnel to build pre-incident plans with the same tablet used during responses.”

StreetWise Customer Service Is Second-to-None

While the tablets and software work great and are simple to use, according to Todd Ungar, in the event they do need support or are adding a new product that requires a measure of training and assistance, StreetWise’s customer service is exceptionally easy to work with and very responsive. 

Overall, StreetWise has helped Willoughby streamline communication between stations and departments in other towns, improve efficiency, and raise situational awareness. They have a rich history but are prepared for today and the future. 

Is Your Department Ready for StreetWise?

StreetWise is a suite of full-featured software products specifically designed for Fire & EMS. With every incident, Streetwise takes you from the firehouse to the scene and back with instant call alerting, customizable Google-based maps, live traffic, hydrant locations, tactical waypoints, live unit tracking with directional apparatus icons, and full preplan management.

If you are ready to explore StreetWise for your department, we would love to talk to you more and provide a free demonstration. Contact us for more information about how StreetWise can improve your department’s situational awareness.