The North Randall (OH) Fire Department first became aware of the First Arriving digital dashboard platform through one of its firefighters working part-time for a neighboring fire department. Captain Anthony Lombardo immediately knew the dashboard platform could solve communication problems for his fire department. Captain Lombardo brought the idea to this department and developed it into a community support project.
“When I saw it, I loved it. I thought it was great,” said Captain Lombardo. “So, then we brought the information to the officers and the chief, and we discussed it.” Captain Lombardo had also figured out how to fund the dashboard platform project through the local community. “I said what I would like to do is make this a community outreach program. When we do a community outreach program, we approach local businesses and ask if they would donate?” The fire department received so much support that donations funded 95% of the cost.
The North Randall Fire Department relied on email, a dry-erase board, and a logbook to handle their communications before using the dashboards. The department was also using Active911, but their 911 dispatchers were not using it as well as they could have. Lombardo says that the Active911 integration on the dashboard has improved their response times, “We are halfway geared up and heading for the apparatus before we are toned out.”
Other dashboard integrations used by the fire department include Google Sheets and Google Slides for posting run volume numbers for each shift with a year-to-year comparison. They use integrations to post call statistics, fleet status, and notices of training and meetings. “We also use them to post about road closures, station news, weather advisories, and work anniversaries for full-time and part-time firefighters,” said Lombardo.
Captain Lombardo said it has been easy to update the dashboard information and keep it fresh. “Some of the firefighters were not too sure about it and wondered why we got it, but after seeing how it was used, it has made our job easier.” The department also uses Google Street View, giving a 360-degree view of the address of each call. Traffic cameras are another integration that is used. Lombardo says this integration is valuable, especially when looking at traffic for a mutual aid call.
The fire department has its dashboards located in key spots. A large 60” monitor is in the kitchen, a 43” monitor is in the apparatus bay, and another 43” monitor is located near the dormitory. Each of these locations makes the information on the dashboards hard to miss and they have also caught the attention of other fire departments and the North Randall police department. “Other departments have seen it and thought they are awesome and cool,” said Lombardo. “We are very happy with it, and I love it. We are looking at expanding our quarters and if that happens, we will need another monitor. It is a great system and I have recommended it to other departments.”