Florida Fire District Improves Communications with First Arriving Dashboards

Digital dashboards solve the problem of inconsistent, forgotten, and lost communication across three firehouses.

Before the Immokalee (FL) Fire Control District began using the First Arriving digital dashboard platform, internal communications were inconsistent and sometimes forgotten. Information written on boards across the three firehouses became lost in translation. The fire department also lacked a way to share digital content.

“We were using email, dry-erase boards and logbooks and all of it was failing miserably,” said Battalion Chief Joshua Bauer. “The biggest problem was that it was not consistent. With the First Arriving dashboards, we can put out information that goes out consistently the same way to everybody. The old way was telling the battalion chief, then someone wrote something on a board, and it would get written down three or four different ways and the message was never the same.”

The communication problem was across all subjects, too, Bauer added. Information about training, apparatus being out of service, or a new tool placed in service was lost, deleted or forgotten.

The department has now had the dashboards for two years and has increased communication without losing critical information. After the initial meetings and training with First Arriving, the dashboard installation was quick and easy, Bauer said. They placed 10 monitors across their firehouses—in each operations office, where reports are done, and in key areas where members will see the information as they go to their fire apparatus.

Bauer said the Active911 integration was a big deal. “The monitors are mounted throughout the stations. When we get a call, the crew goes past one of them and sees all the call information before they get to the truck,” he said. “It is great that the drivers can see the maps.”

The department is also particularly satisfied with the ease of distributing its digital content through the dashboards. “We have been able to get out pictures and videos tremendously easier,” Bauer said.

“Working with First Arriving has been great. Ross and Katie and everyone have been open and good to work with,” Bauer said. “They sent us the chrome boxes and we just plugged them in and turned them on. It was quick and easy.”

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