Featured Article from Conferencing

SBFPD Improves Operations with Video Conferencing

February 23, 2017

Whenever there’s a large gathering of police officers, firefighters, or anyone involved in saving lives, I can’t help but wonder what poor soul got suckered into staying behind and manning the station—if anyone at all. Whether it’s something grand like a Memorial Day parade or something smaller like a staff meeting, you have to assume that there are a good number of people who have to stay behind to take any emergency calls, right? Well, apparently that wasn’t always the case in Sunrise Beach, MO.

According to Lake News Online, the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District (SBFPD) used to bring all of its members to the Fire Headquarters for monthly staff meetings. Personally, I think the dedication to these staff meetings is important and admirable, but having every single member go at once seems a bit dangerous.

Apparently the SBFPD had the same thought, because it has now implemented video conferencing services so that firemen and women can still take part in the staff meetings, but from their own stations. The SBFPD is mainly using iPads to put the video conferencing to use, according to the released statement.

Chief Reilly discussed what inspired the move to video conferencing technology by saying, “We look at every aspect of our operation all the time and if we can be more efficient, save money or provide better service, we will do just that.”

He continued, “Anything we can do to keep our personnel in their stations will help us to reduce the time it takes to get to an emergency and that is why we have decided to use video conferencing…We already had the iPads and the app that we are using was free. Not only will we be able to maintain a presence in our fire houses, we expect to see some savings in fuel and time that was associated with moving companies to Headquarters for a meeting.”

Free and effective video conferencing sounds like a great way to ensure that everyone stays up-to-date on important information, while also guaranteeing that all emergency calls are handled as quickly as possible. According to Reilly, training will still occur at the Headquarters Campus because that’s where all of the equipment is, but given that not everyone needs training at the same time, this shouldn’t present a problem or interfere with emergency calls.

Edited by Maurice Nagle