The Technology Committee is off to a great start in 2019. We’ve established our priorities and are working to put the pieces together to accomplish several related goals in 2019.
The first priority is to develop a resource for the TFCA membership. In the coming months, we will be establishing a database which will provide you a place to search for other agencies using technology you have an interest in learning more about. The intent is to provide a place to search up that new EMS software, camera system, high pressure pump, CAFS system, etc. and learn quickly which other member agencies are using that technology. Bringing together these agencies give everyone more opportunity to learn the pros and cons of a technology, hear about experience and utilize that in their research.
The second priority is to seek out and support more opportunities to present technology to the membership. The Technology Committee has partnered with the TEEX Product Development Center on the 2019 Under Fire Innovation Showdown and Technology Summit. This event is in its second year and is shaping up to be a great event with partners like ESRI, FirstNet and W.S. Darley bringing the latest and greatest in technology. Fire Chiefs across the country are sending their technology-minded staff to this unique event and the Technology Committee is excited to be a partner this year. If you haven’t registered for this free event, you still have time at www.teexpdc.com/underfire .
The third priority is to communicate what is out there for fire agencies to consider during their hunt for technologies to support their organization. There is an ocean of technologies who want to be on your purchasing list for next year. The Technology Committee, in cooperation with the IAFC Technology Council and CalChiefs Operations Committee are working to bring you articles, white papers, and sometimes just a “heads up” on what technologies exist out there. We’ll be posting articles to TFCA social media, with longer articles and white papers being uploaded to the Technology Committee’s website at https://www.txfirechiefs.org/technology-committee so keep an eye out for those coming soon. If you’re not yet following the TFCA on social media, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep tabs on what is going on across the state.
And finally, we need your support to keep at this. At the end of 2018 we asked for a response to a survey to understand the technology concerns and needs of the membership. The top response was more information and help with data solutions. There are a lot of efforts going on right now concerning data in the fire service, so we are going to try and focus on a few different areas in the coming months to provide you with those resources. For the moment, we suggest you look into NFPA 950: Data Development and Exchange for the Fire Service, a document under development that begins to standardize the way software and records management systems exchange data so every new connection to a database isn’t a new contract or API with additional cost to the user. We would also recommend looking at the efforts to establish an Operational Reporting system called NFORS. If you’re looking at Incident Reporting Systems and what is available out there, you want to know the differences between NFIRS and NFORS.
Have a question or suggestion for the TFCA Technology Committee? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look for feedback from the membership, so please ask your questions or provide suggestions on how we can support TFCA membership.