What was your last ISO audit like before First Due?
Our last ISO audit was done in 2016 and when I brought out the map books, they saw that they were so outdated. I essentially got to a score of point something, 0.2 or 0.3, for the pre-plans. It was very painfully obvious that one person was doing pre-plans and either the books were heavily marred or nobody had ever brought them out whatsoever.
How did your ISO audit change after implementing First Due?
We got full credit for the pre-planning section this time around on our ISO audit. The evaluator came out and started looking through First Due. I was instantly able to show him not only the 800-plus commercial properties in the community, but the over 12,000 properties in our town. I was able to show them with that hard data that we've got over 12,000 data points and pre-plans already populated. I could also show the critical infrastructure and the last dates that we've been on the property.
It seems like First Due made a significant impact on the ISO side. What are you seeing in the field?
Why collect all this data if you're not actually going to use it? Having a solution that's functional and being able to provide that data in real time is really helpful and very important to us. We've since added incident response calls, so people are getting the alerts to the calls. That data is then merged over with the pre-planned data. We can now see all of this critical information and it's actually being used. The ISO evaluator was really impressed. For example, we have a couple of properties such as the hospital. The hospital from the outside looks like one giant building, when in fact it's seven or eight individual buildings that are all connected together. Being able to use the different layers in First Due shows where the different zones are. That really showed him that we were paying attention to those data layers and knew our properties.
I know you credit a lot of the success you have found through your work that you're doing with our team. Can you tell me a bit more about what that has been like?
It has been awesome working with our Client Success Manager, Mitch Clark at First Due. He gets a lot of the nuances of the system to get down to that granular data level. With him being a firefighter and being in the field, he understands when I use the terminology that firefighters use, he's not thrown off by it. He understands the importance of how to deal with those things and make it functional for the crews that are responding. You know, it's one thing for me to be a chief and sit at the desk and have this great program that works. But if it doesn't work for the people in the field, it just doesn't work. That's way more important than me improving some ISO score that's on a piece of paper. It's way more important that the guys get the information that they need.
What are your plans for First Due looking forward?
We currently don't conduct fire prevention activities like fire inspections since we are a private volunteer organization, but I would like to integrate our system with the Derry Township. It would be great if we were both on the same system. Wouldn't it be awesome if we share the same system? They wouldn't have to pay for a system that our department is already paying for, or maybe we could share the cost. It’s the culture of working together instead of working against each other.