Business Strategy

Why this fire department tossed its FEMA forms

February 12, 2015

  • Jessica Smith

Fire department app shows real-time intelligence,
frees personnel to focus more on saving lives

Client

This suburban fire department in the western United States provides fire protection services for a city of nearly 80,000 people. They operate four fire houses covering over 25 square miles of their county, one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. The fire department is known for innovation, having already successfully integrated web-based reporting and Reverse 9-1-1 communications.

Problem

This fire department serves a growing population in a fire-prone region. Sometimes a mutual aid emergency response occurs, such as a very large fire or hazardous materials spill where additional fire companies or agencies are required. The department is required to prepare several levels of paper-based tracking and reporting, including Incident Command forms, a federally mandated report for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Oftentimes, several groups of emergency management agencies, such as specialized team or weather experts, must contribute to these reports. The process could become more complicated when emergencies spanned across shifts, requiring further tracking and reporting. The potential for inaccuracy was great because of the complication of additional agency input, shift changes, and clerical error during transcription.

Solution

Lextech developed an app with forms that are directly logged into a database for internal use and interagency reporting. It has a functionality that creates command flow charts for personnel tracking. The app creates a central reporting structure that eliminates form redundancy and creates a much needed understanding of command flow and reporting personnel. The solution also allows for an accurate personnel and equipment reference during yearly budget reviews. Most distinctively, the app shows real-time intelligence. This allows responders to react quickly. The app allows responders to coordinate an incident more effectively and potentially save lives in the process. The intuitive app required little to no training.

ROA (Return on App)

The fire department is very happy with their app. Previously a process that could involve numerous personnel and several agencies was cumbersome to complete and took a long time to submit to the state. Currently up to 30 users can use the app at a time adding critical real-time information, and report completion is now able to be quick and accurate.

Contact us to discuss how real-time intelligence in mobile can work for you!