In 2018, fire caused more than 25 billion dollars in damage in the United States. Worse yet, it claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people and injured another nearly 15,000. Departments know too well the harsh and unconditional havoc fire causes for unsuspecting families and property owners. They know the importance of quick and efficient responses to fire emergencies. Unfortunately, many are unaware of just how vital the right software is to identify and eradicate the inefficiencies that slow down responses.
In this article, we are talking about how technology can be used as a tool to improve incident management and fire response times.
What is the Role of Technology in Responding to Fire Emergencies?
Reducing the time it takes to respond to an emergency is crucial. If there is any lag in your efficiency or network performance, it can result in thousands of dollars in additional damage. When your technology does not do what it is designed to do, whether it is network problems, bugs in the applications and software, or hardware failure, it can put lives and property at risk.
Incident management is key to troubleshooting and correcting issues with your technology and process. It is no one’s favorite process, but it is crucial to make sure you are getting the most out of your technology and determining if there are ways to upgrade.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Incident Management
1) Just because the fire is over, doesn’t mean the work is done.
We mean this literally and figuratively. Every response to a fire is an opportunity to learn and improve, whether it is a literal structural inferno or a proverbial technology-related fire. There is always room for improvement in your approach, firefighting, and wrap up. As the team debriefs, you may discover it’s your software or hardware that is hindering your efficiency.
2) Report incidents even when property owners are not directly impacted.
You may find that your apparatus mobile software is sending your trucks down tight alleys or streets that are suited for police cruisers but not firefighting rigs. Your firefighters may be making do with what they have without being able to quantify losses that directly affect property owners, it is still important to report deficiencies in the process.
3) Emphasize transparency.
From people to equipment, everything and everyone is accountable for every moment it takes to stop a fire emergency. It is vital to have an environment that facilitates honesty. Transparency will often reveal that humans are maximizing their efficiency while technology is hindering it.
4) Utilize incident dashboards.
Fire departments across the nation are utilizing incident dashboard technology that allows all personnel to gain a view of the incident and response. First responders and agencies can see where each truck and person are on a map in real-time. This raises everyone’s situational awareness and gives opportunity for improving the response during the incident and afterward while reflecting on the data.
5) Never rest on "good enough."
In the business of responding to fire emergencies, there is no room to be satisfied with your response time and efficiency. That is not to say that firefighters and departments should not celebrate saving lives and stopping destructive fires. Of course, there are few things more heroic than rushing into the fire when others are expected to flee. However, there is often room for improvement. There may be small changes to training and the process that can save seconds and minutes, or there may be some technological changes that could vastly improve your efficiency.
You do not have to be stuck with software in your responding rigs that are designed for cops, or a smartphone app intended for on-call responders. StreetWise CADlink Tablets are built specifically for fire and EMS response, providing departments with the tools they need to send their people exactly where they need to go efficiently. The hardware is a sleek and portable replacement for your expensive, oversized laptop rigs. With cloud support, you have your preplanning and response software all with one platform. If you would like to know more about how StreetWise can improve your fire or EMS response, contact us today.