Transforming Fire Agencies Workflows

Truckee Meadows Fire Prevention Bureau

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Brittany Lemon

Fire Captain

Location

Reno, NV

Response Area Population

120,175 People

Personnel

191 Firefighters

Q&A

Truckee Meadows before First Due

First Due

From Inspections and Permitting to Invoicing, First Due has created more efficiencies when it comes to Truckee Meadows’s Fire Prevention work. Can you describe where your agency was before First Due and the evaluation process you went through to find the software that would work best for the Truckee Meadows team?

Fire Captain Brittany Lemon

After joining Truckee Meadows Fire in 2020, Chief Way, the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention, determined that because of staffing in the Division, we had not been able to adequately  inspect all existing occupancies within our jurisdiction. We were also still using pen and paper for inspections and trying to maintain a paper records management system. We saw these gaps and determined through software and automation, we could better utilize the people we had while we tried to recruit and train additional personnel. We recognized we had not properly analyzed our processes and we were not using technology to our advantage. We needed to streamline our work and implement technology to make our processes as easy as possible for our inspectors and  customers.  

Chief Way had helped obtain First Due Pre-Planning and Community Connect for our District for Pre-Planning and we knew a First Due Inspections module was available and were interested to see how it could transform our inspection processes and workflows. We were already fans of First Due because of how clean and new the system looked. In some of the other software systems we tested, it was noticeable the software was outdated. We also liked that the First Due team made it very clear the platform is something that is always being worked on. It wasn’t like several other software companies that usually stated, “Well, this is what we created, and we really don't want any input from you.” That’s the kind of software innovation we value and that future-focused development was important in our product evaluations for a new Inspections tool.

We were already fans of First Due because of how clean and new the system looked. In some of the other software systems we tested, it was noticeable the software was outdated. We also liked that the First Due team made it very clear the platform is something that is always being worked on.

We were already fans of First Due because of how clean and new the system looked. In some of the other software systems we tested, it was noticeable the software was outdated. We also liked that the First Due team made it very clear the platform is something that is always being worked on.

Initial Onboarding Period with First Due

First Due

What did it look like during that initial onboarding period, getting things like your checklist set up and your codes implemented and all that fun stuff?

Fire Captain Brittany Lemon

I hate to make it sound so simple, but implementation was not a complicated process. We were fortunate to have our First Due Account Executive Nicholas Dunigan and our First Due Client Success Manager Ronny Smith, working with us.  They have been such an asset to me and to our organization. First Due has been incredibly responsive in assisting with any concern or issue that we have. A while back, we were having a server issue and I reached out to First Due, and within minutes I heard back from Ronny.  

When we were creating the forms and checklists there were a few items we needed assistance with, but a lot of the process was intuitive. Regarding customer service, First Due has been one of the easiest companies I have worked with, professionally and personally.  

I hate to make it sound so simple, but implementation was not a complicated process.

I hate to make it sound so simple, but implementation was not a complicated process.

Training the Department

First Due

What was it like ramping up training for your team on First Due, especially moving away from a pen-and-paper process and giving them software that meets their needs for the very first time?

Fire Captain Brittany Lemon

We had quite a bit of time to test the system on the back end. We had our Inspectors conduct testing by using one of our fire stations, and input data as thought they were each conducting an inspection. This was easy, because First Due downloads every building in your jurisdiction from your GIS. We wanted to make sure everybody was on board and comfortable with using the software before they began inspecting existing buildings in the public. There are always people that are more comfortable with technology than others, but the personnel training on the system was fairly easy for us.

There are always people that are more comfortable with technology than others, but the personnel training on the system was fairly easy for us.

There are always people that are more comfortable with technology than others, but the personnel training on the system was fairly easy for us.

Inspections, Invoicing, and Permitting

First Due

How does your agency use First Due for inspections, invoicing, and permitting?

Fire Captain Brittany Lemon

We use First Due as our full records management system for conducting inspections, noting fire code violations and operational permits,  issuing written notices of violations, and billing and permitting. It has been easy to send invoices electronically to customers. After we complete the initial inspection, we now have instant records of what violations were noted, when they were corrected, and what uses are generally occurring in that building through the operational permits that we have inspected for and issued to the business. With First Due, we're able to email an invoice for the permits directly to the customer. The customer receives an itemized invoice and can see exactly what they are being charged for.  

Being paperless provides us with some benefits. There is no paperwork to lose or misplace. Re-inspections are automatically scheduled and show up daily, so we are reminded to return and reinspect to ensure violations have been corrected. Environmentally, it's better than printing out a piece of paper, putting it in an envelope, putting a stamp on it, and sending it out. First Due saves us a lot of personnel time, as well as cutting down on our administrative and mailing costs. I have talked to people from other Prevention Divisions/Bureaus, and many are still doing all of this by hand.

Re-inspections are automatically scheduled and show up daily, so we are reminded to return and reinspect to ensure violations have been corrected.

Re-inspections are automatically scheduled and show up daily, so we are reminded to return and reinspect to ensure violations have been corrected.

Exploring First Due

First Due

What is one of your favorite tools inside of the First Due?

Fire Captain Brittany Lemon

I enjoy First Due’s inspection reporting function. The person that gets the inspection report may not have been the person who walked the inspector around the business, school, or warehouse. With the inspection report, the individual can see the violations with code sections from the IFC as well as a picture of the items that require correction. This helps our inspectors during reinspection and helps show the customers what needs to be corrected.

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Complete any type of inspection using intuitive and flexible checklists with full integrated pre-planning for company level inspections.

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NFIRS

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ePCR

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Mobile Responder

Complete mobile response functionality enables your crew to receive notifications immediately from dispatch - status, track vehicles / personnel and route to an incident.

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