When the Rogers (AR) Fire Department wanted to improve communications inside the department and increase situational awareness among on-duty firefighters, it turned to the First Arriving dashboard/digital signage system.
Relying on traditional forms of communication like emails and word of mouth, it was evident the critical information “just wasn’t getting out there,” said Fire Chief Tom Jenkins. There were so many emails that many just got lost. A previous system was used, but it was not really designed for the fire service. As a result, firefighters did not have the situational awareness about things that could have an impact on responses.
“First Arriving has really been a gamechanger for us. They catapulted the information in a way that makes it so easy for us to be up-to-date on what is happening,” said Chief Jenkins.
Rogers Fire Department uses 11 dashboards across eight fire stations, Fire Headquarters, and the Emergency Training Center. Vector Scheduling, Active911, PulsePoint, weather, traffic cameras, NFORS, and FlightAware are a few of the integrations being used to keep Rogers firefighters constantly informed.
“There are two airports that we serve, one in town and one that is part of a mutual aid agreement, and Flight Aware is a situational awareness tool we use in the dashboards to help us keep an eye on air traffic,” said Jenkins. Rogers is a growing city known for being the center of commerce and retail businesses in Northwest Arkansas. The dashboard integrations keep Rogers firefighters aware of changes brought on by the constant growth and development happening in the city.
As an accredited agency the Rogers Fire Department constantly looks at its performance and data, to see ways it can improve how they do their job. First Arriving has positively affected how this information is gathered and distributed. “First Arriving’s system and support have been great. They are a bread in, toast out, kind of company, where we don’t have to focus on the technical stuff. We know the dashboards work well and rely on the information,” said Chief Jenkins in describing the customer support from First Arriving.
Jenkins also add that the dashboards are being noted by firefighters from other departments as well, especially when it comes to training and alarms, ‘There’s a lot of information in here about assignments and more, and it’s easy to digest.”
Chief Jenkins also said that the dashboards have helped with a new analytic during the COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of a new app to the system allows firefighters to see hospital status and diversions. Personnel can see the last five to seven reassignments and quickly learn hospital availability.
“A firefighter or officer can come in for the morning shift, get a cup of coffee and stand in front of the dashboard for the latest information – everything from how busy the last shifts were, what’s the status of apparatus across the department, what roads are closed, everything,” Jenkins added.
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