Firefighters Face 60% Increase in Fire Calls in 2018
The first few months of 2018 may be in the books, but firefighters across the U.S. are staying busier than ever, according to a recent statement by the American Red Cross, noting that its volunteers have responded to 60% more fire-related calls so far in 2018 than in the previous year.
The spike in fire incidents may be related to the weather of early 2018, which the National Weather Service is calling “colder and drier” than usual in many locations, setting the stage for an increased use of heating devices often linked to house fires.
This statistic is interesting in light of the recent trend of decreasing fire-related calls (down about 20% in the last decade) and increasing medical emergency calls (about 80% of all calls). Fire departments are continuing to look for ways to improve efficiencies and workflow to not only provide better care to patients, but to make the most of their resources in both the medical response and firefighting arenas.
A recent article in FireRescue1 outlined the top five service trends to watch in 2018, and among them was leveraging technology to improve communications between mobile devices, modernize data management, and increase operational efficiencies. Many of these new technologies are being designed by firefighters, for firefighters, who know exactly what crews experience as they arrive on the scene of an emergency call.
One such technology, created by former firefighters, is an easy-to-use software interface that eliminates the need for firefighters to manually re-enter the same information multiple times for medical aid calls. ESO Fire Incidents ensures that a firefighter will never again have to complete both an EHR (ePCR) report and an NFIRS report for the same call, saving time and reducing the occurrence of reporting errors. A user-friendly interface guides firefighters through the documentation process and notes any errors in the record immediately, so that it can be corrected before moving to the next step.
Fire chiefs and administrators see the value in such technology because it not only frees up the crew members’ time to focus on working the incident, but also makes it easier to pull and submit required data for the state, via an automated NFIRS function. Improved data quality can give a better insight into what’s really going on in the state’s fire incidents as well as within fire departments themselves, helping members get the resources they need to do their job to the best of their abilities.
As firefighters look for ways to do more with less and continue to provide life-saving care within their communities, emerging technology is sure to help them meet the needs of each call, helping them spend less time on paperwork, and more time facing the emergency at hand.