Hastings (NE) Fire Rescue Uses Dashboards to Deliver Critical Information

“We had found through employee engagement surveys that we needed to find better ways to communicate,”

Keeping critical information in front of its firefighters is a vital task that Hastings (NE) Fire Rescue sought to improve. Feedback from firefighters led Fire Chief Brad Starling to look at how digital dashboards could help.

The Problem

Hastings firefighters were getting inundated with emails, which tend to get buried in in-boxes and forgotten. “We had found through employee engagement surveys that we needed to find better ways to communicate,” Fire Chief Brad Starling said. Putting together and presenting critical data promptly was also important, he added.

“We needed to present our response statistics faster than having lost time putting together a monthly report, which would be a month old once it is released,” Starling said. The department wanted the ability to see live data all the time and to communicate that information in a way that was more effective than using email.

The Solution

The department knew there were dashboard products out there, Starling said. Officials researched the options and saw a few demonstrations of the digital dashboard platform from First Arriving. “The variety of things we can do with the dashboard and the different integrations, and being a data board were what led us to the decision to use First Arriving,” Starling said. “Having the staffing showing and the ability to display a call, as a call comes in, with a map was very beneficial.” 

Hastings Fire Rescue uses several integrations such as Emergency Reporting and ESRI to help show critical information faster than before. Dashboard monitors are mounted in the apparatus bay, the dayroom of each firehouse, the office, and at the front desk, to make viewing easy. The integrations, CAD information with the incident alert and map, and service from First Arriving have helped make the digital dashboards a success for the department.

The Results

Having a variety of information that is easily and quickly displayed has helped resolve their past communication problems, Starling said. “We can quickly see our current turnout times,” he said. “The firefighters enjoy having that information right there. The turnout time data is the best integration liked by the firefighters.”

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