Why You Need Cloud-based Software

Selecting a Fire RMS

Posted on July 23, 2020
Tags: Fire



Hello, my name is Bill Gardner. I’m a retired fire chief with 35 years experience in public safety, both fire and EMS. One of the most difficult technical decisions that fire administrators have to make with their IT partners and within their own government structures is: where does data live? You look at information that we have in today’s age of people wanting to do bad things in communities with the protected information from doing a preplan, and contact information for those people, security and alarm information. All of those things need to be protected. For years the ability to protect that on premise was simple enough. But we know that systems have been hacked from CAD connections, phone connections, connections where people had something that they just opened with an Internet connection, and all of a sudden, now someone has control of their network. What we’re seeing is taking this to a cloud storage environment. The cloud storage environment, if done correctly, is much safer. It needs to be in a location where someone has gone through the steps of having a third party go through and verify and justify they’re safe.

The other part of it is, is making sure that that is an accredited process, making sure that the process shows that the data are safe. And they can show that it’s part of their ongoing practices.

Also that data, you need to make sure that it is in a spot where you still can use it. So many people fear this. The data goes to the cloud, it’s not our data, you can’t get to it. All of that data should be reportable and retrievable, and you should be able to see that at anytime that data should be able to be used as you’re going for different products and different applications to answer your problems. So don’t think if your data is not on site, you can’t use it. That’s not the case, you still have the ability to use it in whatever applications you need to use.

The piece of putting that data on site should also help you relieve ongoing maintenance costs for servers and racks. And your IT people should be able to help do much more active things to keep your systems better, quicker and more efficient when they’re not having to worry about dealing with your servers and updating mail servers and the cost of the servers. All of those things are improvements. One of the other improvements that comes when you have cloud storage data is the ability to benchmark that data. One of the things that we know, that we’ve seen in studies, that we’ve seen taking place from the US fire administration today, that we see with CDC and the National firefighter registry is the ability to report that data.

Also for that data to be used safely, discreetly, in a research environment to help improve the fire service and firefighter safety.

Having cloud storage of that data allows that but also allows that data to be used for comparison. That data can be used to compare agencies of similar size, similar responses and similar service models without revealing any of the agency’s protected information. Showing how well you’re doing but more importantly, providing a voice with a fire service to the federal government, to the rule makers and the regulators saying this is what’s happening today. Here’s the facts. This is what we need. We know during these troubling days of COVID, that we needed PPE. By having cloud based information, we were able to provide that to the federal government, to the state government into local emergency managers to help get the information they needed. We see that with the Center for Disease Control, and tracking cancer exposures, and making sure that we’re reporting that correctly.

That all should be part of your RMS, that RMS should be making sure that that system is stored in the cloud so you’re improving the safety of your responders, the men and women on the floor that are entering the call, using that data safely and not worried that your customers’ data or your employees’ data is out somewhere for someone else to use. Hope this helps in making your decisions. Have a great day. Be safe.