Can you please explain the need for a standardized special inspections process in Arizona?
Right now, in the state of Arizona, the food truck industry is taking off. There has been an increased number of vendors around the state, so the state Fire Marshal’s Office has asked for our assistance in trying to streamline the inspection process for the food trucks. Right now, the process we are using is not standardized, so we have been working on a simple process in First Due that all the major metropolitan areas can use for their food truck inspections. Some of our major departments are still using pen and paper, or a different digital platform, but we have been using First Due for a few years now for our inspections and we feel confident that we can make this process work for everyone.
The First Due Inspection platform is so simple and seamless for us. It’s self-evident, easy to follow, and guides you along each section of the inspection. I’ve seen other platforms, and this one is by far the easiest to use.
Can you tell us more about the form you are building out in First Due and how other agencies in Arizona plan on utilizing it as this process moves forward?
The Arizona Fire Marshal’s association provided us with a food truck inspection form. Every department that is part of the association is using it. It follows the 2018 code, and since we all follow the same code it standardizes the inspection process for food trucks working at special events anywhere in the state. It’s great that we get to use this form in First Due, because configuring the form was so simple. All the codes and explanations are in there, which also makes it easier for the customer to see and understand. The other agencies we are working with love it. We're finding that the process we are building is working for all of us.
Now that you are familiar with First Due Inspections, what is your favorite thing about it compared to other platforms you have seen?
Since I switched to First Due from our old inspections platform, I have not looked back. I could not tell you if our old provider has made updates or enhancements, because once I saw First Due, I knew it was all I needed. The simplicity of First Due caught my eye from day one, and it still is the main reason it works well for me today. By having the checklist right in front of me on its own tab, I am able to do the inspection in a way that works for me. It’s simple and more efficient for both me and the customer.
What other plans do you have to take your inspection program to the next level in First Due?
After we get done with our follow-up meetings with the state Fire Marshal's office, I am planning to take the final list and import it into First Due and that will be the kickoff of our new inspection form for food trucks. We are trying to get the whole state on the same page, so that if our food trucks get inspected here in Rio Rico but want to participate at an event in Tempe or Phoenix, they can do that without having to go get reinspected. We are planning to get a sticker that they can display on their truck informing us the truck has been inspected and their inspection is good for one year.
I am excited to implement this process. It will be the first time we implement something like this and using First Due to create a process from scratch has made it so much easier. The form in First Due references the state fire code, so any Arizona fire department that deploys First Due will have immediate access to the form in their account. Having us all using the same form in the same platform smooths things out and ensures we are all on the same page, so I am optimistic for that in the future.
Lastly, since you have so much experience with several of the First Due modules, can you tell us why you enjoy using First Due?
The differentiator for me is the simplicity. All I have to do is open First Due and I have everything I need, especially for major calls. I have everything I need to make sure my team is responding in a safe and effective way. Big brush fires are common here with the hot weather. Being able to see the incident location and the terrain type prior to arriving on scene has made a big impact on the safety of our crews. I appreciate that I can have First Due on any device, whether it’s on my phone, computer, or tablet in the truck. I find it helpful that I can respond to mutual aid to fires outside of my jurisdiction, and through First Due I can see where the hydrants are located and where apparatus are staged at the scene. It gives me a better overall look at the entire scene before I even arrive.
The First Due team has been by my side since day one of deployment. There are always new things to learn , especially from the technical side, so I appreciate the communication and quick turnaround when I have a question or problem. First Due has built an incredible team and product.