When did you first start using First Due, and what inspired you to switch?
We signed our first contract with First Due in 2021 and have utilized the platform for about a year. We started by implementing pre-plans, incident documentation, and emergency response processes. At the time, pre-plans and inspections were a big focus for us. We were searching for a solution that would provide mobile compatibility and ease of use for our responders in the field. We wanted to eliminate the need for responders to carry pen and paper to take notes during inspections and then return to the stations to input pre-plan information into the system manually. This process was time-consuming for our responders and led to duplicate data entry. We wanted to streamline the process and reduce the number of places where we input and stored inspection and pre-planning data, all while simplifying the generation of reports. Ultimately, we were looking for a solution to seamlessly enter data in the field, providing us with the necessary versatility. With First Due, we found what we were looking for.
Initially, we were looking for pre-plans and inspections, but we had two different systems that couldn't talk to each other. With First Due, my fire crews can see what inspections were completed at a property, which is a significant improvement. The additional modules, like Assets & Inventory, were unexpected, but I love the direction we're going in and how it will improve our efficiency.
How do you process and track work orders using the Assets & Inventory module?
First Due provides innovative tools that allow us to track various work orders. One of the most exciting features is the work order board, where we can easily communicate and track the status of work orders from start to finish. It has made a massive difference in our operations beyond apparatus.
We have set up First Due to track work orders for station facility maintenance, technology-related issues, and more. Whether it's computer issues, applications, or station devices, our staff can report the items that need attention in one place. It's a significant improvement from having to navigate multiple systems and websites. First Due has played a crucial role in ensuring that work orders aren't lost or duplicated across different systems. Everyone is on the same page with the work order board, and no tasks slip through the cracks. Many of our staff appreciate the convenience of having a one-stop shop instead of juggling calendars, different programs, and separate web pages. Now, they have everything they need in a centralized location– It's a big win for efficiency and productivity.
Our technology team, emergency vehicle technician, and personnel providing feedback and testing have been the key to successfully utilizing First Due's assets and inventory module and configuring it to our specific needs. They have become experts in navigating the First Due platform and have significantly impacted our agency's operations. A valuable asset is having knowledgeable individuals who can handle the configuration and ensure everything runs smoothly.
Implementing the assets and inventory module and utilizing the work order board feature in First Due has streamlined the processing and tracking of our work orders. It has brought efficiency, organization, and clarity to our operations, ultimately improving our overall performance. We're grateful for the innovative tools that First Due provides and the support we receive from our dedicated technology group. It's been a game-changer for us.
How did your team do acquainting themselves to First Due? Was it a challenge for non-tech-savvy individuals?
Fortunately, a first-year trainer came on-site to guide our tech group through different modules, setups, functionality, and examples of how others used the platform. There's a lot to configure in First Due, which is excellent, but it also means a lot to learn. This hands-on training was incredibly valuable for us. In addition to the on-site training, having access to the knowledge base has been extremely helpful. Sometimes, team members aren't available, and having resources and short videos accessible in the First Due knowledge base has been beneficial.
Even with the knowledge base resources, we haven't hesitated to request support by submitting guidance tickets. We reached out whenever we needed help and couldn't find specific information. I can't stress enough how responsive the First Due support team has been. They've guided us in finding the necessary information, assisted in troubleshooting when things weren't working as expected, and even addressed bugs or issues. Their responsiveness and assistance have been super helpful.
Are there any big goals you have with First Due?
Our next goal is to fully transition our apparatus management and annual testing into First Due. We currently handle the maintenance and testing of equipment (hoses, ladders, and SCBAs) internally, but managing these programs expands across different platforms. We plan to shift everything related to equipment maintenance into the assets area of First Due, so that all records are in one centralized location.
Additionally, getting the Activities & Events module up and running is on the horizon. We've recently tried the module to schedule daily events and received positive feedback from our staff, but we needed some fixes to go into production. Our crew likes having a one-stop shop where they can view their assignments and the daily roster on any device.