ESO Identifies Key Fire Service Trends to Watch in 2022
January 28, 2022 – Austin, Texas – ESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments, hospitals, state and federal agencies, today shared the trends it predicts will have the biggest impact on the Fire Service in 2022: the fire service will continue to face staffing challenges; community engagement will be essential; provider wellness and well-being will stay top of mind; and delivery service models will evolve and change.
Key Fire Service Predictions for 2022:
Staffing will be a challenge:
The Great Resignation, as it’s known, is affecting companies and organizations across the United States – no industry is immune. This holds true for the Fire Service as well. In particular, we’re likely to see volunteer departments struggling more than career departments because keeping up with certifications and training will be a real challenge. In addition to recruiting difficulties, there is an exodus of experience across the board (including senior officers). Many providers will look for new opportunities that are less stressful, more family friendly, and, oftentimes, offer better pay. Agencies and departments will need to re-think models of engagement, the investment in and importance of training and education, as well as an approach to scheduling that gives providers more control over their lives.
Community engagement is more important than ever:
As a society, we live in a fishbowl. There is ever-increasing pressure to deliver the right optics, showcase value, and the need to help fire service teams understand that pressure. City councils and local governments are demanding greater accountability into what publicly funded services are doing to benefit the community. Additionally, limited funding is oftentimes being repurposed for other community investments (such as a walking trail) instead of a fire truck. Showing positive benefit to the community through both data (to tell the story) and engagement (to deliver the story) will pay dividends. Moreover, social media plays a key role in creating perceptions of the fire service depending on how teams engage with the community.
Provider wellness and well-being will continue to be a focus area:
Fewer responders, more shifts, and a public feeling the stresses and strains of COVID-19. This is a potentially volatile mix that can (and will) have an impact on responders and providers. In addition to staffing challenges highlighted above, we also see even more violence against responders from a public that is generally disillusioned with authority figures, with more providers being placed in harm’s way. Moreover, job pressure leads to fatigue, burnout, depression, and anxiety. The ability to track and respond to key events will be essential to help the fire service stay healthy and safe.
We will see evolving service and delivery models:
There is a push/pull dynamic between government entities and the fire service around what delivery of benefits should be. This includes services like changing overhead lights on trails for safety and providing COVID-19 vaccinations in a public health capacity. There will be greater expectation – and greater pressure – for the fire service to do more than firefighting-related activities. Fortunately, there are opportunities to engage with the community to provide community risk reduction and value-based planning.
Download the 2022 Fire Service Predictions whitepaper here.
ESO (ESO Solutions, Inc.) is dedicated to improving community health and safety through the power of data. Since its founding in 2004, the company continues to pioneer innovative, user-friendly software to meet the changing needs of today’s EMS agencies, fire departments, hospitals, state EMS offices, and federal agencies. ESO currently serves thousands of customers throughout North America with a broad software portfolio, including the industry-leading ESO Electronic Health Record (EHR), the next generation ePCR; ESO Health Data Exchange (HDE), the first-of-its-kind healthcare interoperability platform; ESO Fire RMS, the modern fire Record Management System; ESO Patient Registry (trauma, burn and stroke registry software); and ESO State Repository. ESO is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.eso.com.