The Bowling Green (KY) Fire Department wanted to replace a poorly functioning, high maintenance web-based communication system with an easy-to-use and visually appealing one built for the fire service. A demonstration of First Arriving’s dashboard platform system proved to be the solution to the department’s communication problems.
Bowling Green’s previous communication system was a web-based site poorly managed from the start. “It did not look good. We only really used it for posting notice of burn permits. It could have been a lot more, but it had to be managed specifically for displaying information. There were a lot of steps and no integrations,” said Firefighter Ben Hurt. As a result, the Bowling Green Fire Department relied on email for its communication.
Bowling Green firefighters first learned about the First Arriving dashboard platform in a demonstration by Emergency Reporting. They reached out to First Arriving for more information. “Our personalized demonstration from First Arriving was very impressive,” said Executive Assistant Elyse Jonker. “First Arriving had pulled images from our YouTube page and made the demonstration in one day.” The difference between what the fire department was using and what First Arriving offered looked better and was more engaging.
The Bowling Green Fire Department now has eight dashboards in their seven firehouses and administration building. The firehouse dashboards are in the dayrooms with several integrations that quickly attracted the attention of firefighters. “Surprisingly, it was the live weather integration that most of them were excited to see,” said Jonker. “They noticed how different it was from what we had before.”
The dashboard integrations Bowling Green Fire Department uses are Emergency Reporting, Facebook, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and National Weather Service. The department has found that communication is more informative and engaging than before. Google Slides is the most used integration displaying fitness information from the health and wellness committee. A notice about firehouse t-shirts was easily posted with a QR code for quick ordering. Specific information from Emergency Reporting and information about turnout times is also consistently posted.
Jonker remarked that from demonstration to installation First Arriving has been beneficial to improving how the department communicates. “It has been great working with First Arriving. The help desk was very quick and very receptive to all our questions. Any issues we had were quickly resolved, and after the initial setup it has been like working with it on autopilot.”