Crescent Springs Shared Daily Roster

When Assistant Chief Charles ‘Chuck’ Dietz decided to implement a dashboard at the Crescent Springs-Villa Fire Department, he realized he could increase its communication impact if he could use it to connect with neighboring fire departments. Several agreed and implemented dashboards on the same system, joining forces to share information and improve their ability to work together in the real world.

When Assistant Chief Charles ‘Chuck’ Dietz decided to implement a dashboard at the Crescent Springs-Villa Fire Department, he realized he could increase its communication impact if he could use it to connect with neighboring fire departments. Several agreed and implemented dashboards on the same system, joining forces to share information and improve their ability to work together in the real world.

The combination department is located in a northern Kentucky suburb of Cincinnati, serving a predominantly residential community with some commercial and industrial services and a total population of about 12,000 to 15,000 people, Dietz says. Dietz had his eye on First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards for some time before he made the leap.

“I was familiar with this product because Boone County was using it years ago, which is the next county to our west,” he says. He later learned that Campbell County to their east had also implemented it for the majority of their fire departments. When COVID-19 hit and his county asked departments to communicate their staffing levels in case of any drops, “I thought – this was the perfect time to implement this First Arriving,” he says. Crescent Springs-Villa Hills chose First Arriving as their dashboard provider based on reputation. Dietz says, seeing that it was successful for their neighboring counties and for their neighboring city of Erlanger.

“I was very familiar with it and liked what I saw, so I basically went straight to First Arriving,” he says. “I knew the product they had was what would suit our needs.”

The four departments that decided to join forces with First Arriving communication each have their own individualized dashboard display, with a section that is shared across all those participating.

“We share a couple of screens, and one is our staffing levels,” Dietz says. “We can say, ‘Oh, they’re at full staffing tonight,’ or ‘Oh, no they’re not.’” The shared page also shows streets closed, hydrants out of service and training, he adds.

For Crescent Springs-Villa Hills, the arrangement has especially supported their relationship with Erlanger, the geographically closest department of their collaboration group. “We find the information that we share to be very beneficial because we do train with them, and we also do automatic mutual aid with them,” Dietz says.

The dashboard has also improved communication in-house, Dietz notes. “That was a big issue here before,” he says, because if members weren’t around for a couple of days, or only came in at night, they would often miss important notices and critical developments.

“I felt that this was the best way to get all the information out to everybody,” Dietz says, because it doesn’t rely on everyone seeing and remembering their email. “It’s there. It’s on the screen. It’s rotating up there every day.” First Arriving Digital Dashboards deliver relevant, timely information when the members need it.

The department, which operates out of one station, currently has one dashboard display screen in their day room. However, they have plans to build a new station, and hope to then to put screens in their day room, bay area and possibly their training room, Dietz says.

The department utilizes several integrations. “Active911 is tied into it so when we get a call, that pops up on there,” he says. Their other top integrations include Aladtec, as their staffing module, and their traffic cameras showing 1-75, which cuts through their response area. “We use those frequently,” Dietz says.

They also display daily duties, their public Facebook page, and use the slide presentation to highlight equipment and share facts about it in a “Did you know?” format. Dietz hopes to ultimately engage the county to coordinate all of its fire departments on one centralized platform.

Their experience during the dashboard implementation was very smooth, Dietz adds. “Everybody has been exceptional to work with. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

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