New Tools for Volunteer Fire Departments

Erin McCabe
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Posted on:
Wed, Aug 30, 2017
Reading Time:
3 minutes
Categories:
Alerts, Blog, Emergency Communications, EmergHub, Fire Management, Live Survey, Oncall, Recall
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Volunteer fire departments can benefit from these new tools

What does your volunteer fire department currently use by way of emergency management software?

Firefighting is often times a difficult and life-threatening occupation and those who voluntarily sign up to put themselves in harm’s way should be reassured that their department is utilizing sophisticated and up-to-date tools designed to keep them safe and make their jobs as efficient as possible.

SimplyCast’s new emergency communication platform, EmergHub, is comprised of several new tools that can be used to enhance operations at volunteer fire departments.

Alert the public in case of fire

The Alerts tool allows your department to send out mass alerts to citizens in the case of a large or unruly fire, warning them that they may have to evacuate if the fire spreads any further. These alerts can be sent via four different communication methods: email, SMS, voice, and fax. Notifications can be sent through all of these methods simultaneously in an effort to be sure each recipient receives the message in a timely manner.

Be further assured your contacts read and heed the notification by enabling the Confirm Receipt of Alert feature which will require the alert recipients to complete an action such as clicking a link in the email or pressing a number on their dial pad to confirm they have read and understood the message. This enables your volunteers to focus on other important tasks and not worry about citizens being unaware of the ongoing incident.

Poll citizens to determine fire scope

Once a fire has been reported, it is important for the fire department to determine the size and possible spreading risk as soon as possible in order to minimize the amount of damage to homes and/or woodlands. One way EmergHub can help with this is through our Live Survey application. The department can easily send out quick, one-question surveys asking citizens either whether they can see the fire or how far away it is from their area.

Recipients can answer via any of the distribution methods and their responses will show up automatically in a live-updating report. Each time a contact responds to the survey their answer is updated in real time, provided the fire department with valuable information they can use to aid in their extinguishing efforts.

Recall personnel to the scene

Sometimes you need to ensure the firefighters who respond to a fire have the specialized skills needed in order to properly deal with the situation. This is where EmergHub’s Recall tool comes in. Recall allows volunteer fire departments to send notices to volunteers and categorize the responders according to the skill sets they possess. Notices can be sent out over email, phone, and/or SMS and can be responded to using these same methods.

When you have received confirmations from the required number of volunteer firefighters who belong to a specific responder category, you are able to end this category to prevent an excessive number of responders. Once you have enough volunteers who confirmed their ability to attend the scene of the fire, you can close the recall notice, meaning that anyone who responds after the closure will receive a reply saying they are not needed at this time.

Would you like to know more?

These are only a few of the tools included in the EmergHub platform. If you would like to know more about EmergHub and the rest of the applications available to volunteer fire departments, visit this page. You can also sign up to receive more information about the EmergHub channels directly to your inbox by clicking this link!


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