ESO Forecasts Key Fire Department Trends for 2018

Increased Importance of Accreditation, Greater Data Accessibility, Increasing Budget Scrutiny Will Be Key Themes in 2018

January 3, 2018 – Austin, Texas – ESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services, fire departments, and hospitals, today shared the industry predictions that will have the biggest impact on fire departments in 2018: Accreditation will continue to grow in importance; data will play a more and more important role in fire prevention, responder safety, fire suppression and responding timely to emergency events; budget scrutiny will play an increasingly prominent role; and hiring and retaining talent will be critical as leadership retires.

“2018 will create both opportunities and challenges for fire departments,” said Shelley Koegler, Vice President of ESO Fire Products. “With greater financial scrutiny, fire departments will need to rely more heavily on data to show value. Additionally, accreditation will play a key role for fire departments to help with grants and other funding needs. We’ll also see an accelerated departure of key leadership in fire departments, highlighting the need to attract and retain key talent, as well as preserve institutional knowledge.”

Key Firefighting Predictions for 2018:

  • Accreditation will increase in importance: Accreditation for fire departments will become increasingly more important going into 2018 as organizations look to secure funding through grants for personnel and equipment. Additionally, accreditation will help improve ISO ratings and lower costs for insurance for customers served by fire departments.
  • Visibility and accessibility to data will be essential: Access to and the use of data is going to become more and more essential for fire departments (as well as EMS and hospitals). Data and proper data analysis will enable quicker responses and smarter decisions about lead indicators for certain types of fires, certain types of injuries and certain types of illnesses. Additionally, we’ll see integration of data and sharing of information between fire departments and EMS organizations. Data will allow for creating smarter response plans and call-type predication, leading to the ability to provide safer events for responders.
  • Budget scrutiny will increase: As the types of calls many fire departments are responding to continue to shift (from fire emergencies to medical emergencies), budget scrutiny from city council and other local governing bodies will increase. The increased scrutiny will put pressure on fire departments to better track how dollars are being spent and create benchmarks to measure relevant outcomes.
  • Retaining talent and preserving knowledge will be paramount: There will likely be an exodus of talent and knowledge over the next five years as industry veterans that serve in leadership roles retire out of the system. Fire departments will need to create a twofold strategy to attract and recruit new and emerging talent as well as preserve institutional knowledge that will be walking out the door.

“Organizations that monitor these trends and adjust accordingly will see the most success going forward,” added Koegler.

Download the 2018 Fire Predictions whitepaper here.