This past month, Intterra had the honor of participating in the 2018 Fire Rescue International (FRI) Conference in Dallas, Texas. This progressive 140 year old event is an annual exposition hosted by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), a large trade association committed to the excellence of the first responder community, through educational advancement, technological innovation and community collaboration. FRI ‘18 focused on education for high-level fire professionals and aimed to equip future generations for leadership.
A Discussion of Real-Time Data for the Fire Service Industry
Intterra started off their week with the Texas Consortium at an off-site luncheon hosted by the fire department in Southlake. Individuals attending the consortium were like-minded professionals with an interest in accreditation. At the event, Intterra presented the importance of data, and how analytics can be operationalized for the workforce. Intterra highlighted the fact that a proper system integration allows fire staff to pull data from their own department and utilize shared information in the system to improve daily decision making by making benchmark comparisons of the performance to other departments.
While response time, dispatch-to-deployment numbers, and other analytics are available to most departments, the implementation of data visualization software that streamlines and showcases real-time industry trends and insights, substantiates the practical application of these metrics. Instead of departments swimming in clouds of data, operations are rewired by a common picture displayed through a dashboard.
To follow up, Intterra showcased a presentation on real-time interactive data on-site at the FRI conference. In collaboration with the Western Chief Fire Organization, they discussed how data visualization software like Fire Data Lab will operationalize across departments and provides agencies with real-time metrics on how, why, and where things are happening. This information is often requested by politicians, city councils, and boards of directors, to justify budget allocation to those organizations. According to the Intterra team, the event revealed a growing realization of the progressive ability to acquire data and as a result, are discovering the holes in their data and the need for data comparison.
Standing at the Forefront of Technological Innovation
Technological innovation has become a frontrunner for discussion at FRI. The community experienced an influx of technological advancement at the start of the century, which paired with a crash of disillusion as to how to utilize these technologies to improve upon fire service initiatives. The IAFC Technology Council was developed to support and build a more solid foundation for innovation and assist with real world application of these resources.
Every year, the IAFC Tech Council hosts an event at FRI called Innovation Corral where organizations pitch new technologies to tech council subcommittees, organized by discipline. Intterra was a significant contributor to the creation of the council and regularly participates in the review process.
Technologies showcased at Innovation Corral look to improve elements of the fire service industry such as operation, policy, system integration, and IoT. Depending on classification and stage of development, organizations will receive direct feedback on how to improve their technologies and properly align functionality to fire service needs, or be assigned to relevant departments for field testing. In addition, the council will publish articles regarding significant innovations and success to their newsletter, IAFC on Scene, to keep community in the loop.
“We participate for a greater good outside of ourselves. We’re interested in shaping the industry in a meaningful, impactful way.”
- David Blankenship, Intterra Co-Founder and CXO
Fire Rescue International 2018: Technological Advancement Highlights
An interesting take away from Innovation Corral this year was that many exhibitors at the forefront of innovation utilized Intterra as a base to take their technologies further into specialization. Intterra software has begun to play the role of an integrator, sitting on top of all systems and allowing specialists to add-on or improve upon efficiency of fire rescue operations. Examples include the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) who demonstrated the ability of their technology to move large amounts of data through a variety of channels, and Haas Alert, a responder-to-vehicle platform that utilizes data to provide responders with real-time alerts in emergency situations.
In general, technology advancements in fire service seem to be moving toward imagery, remote sensing capabilities, and drones. Many technologies cater to the enhancement of firefighter operations, while reducing risk. Altogether, the FRI Conference carried an air of community improvement and collaboration, which shone true through to the industry’s newest innovations.
The combination of technology emergence and the progression toward active management in fire service is a huge accomplishment for the community. This conference showcased the real impact of the work of these organizations on people’s lives and properties. Ultimately, Intterra’s participation in the real talks, real ideas, and real progress of industry technology at FRI enabled Intterra to make further improvements for better, faster, and more efficient functionality, moving the company further into alignment with international fire rescue initiative.