City of Sacramento, CA Fire Department Improves Visibility and Resource Management

Posted by Tablet Command on Jul 25, 2023 8:00:00 AM
The City of Sacramento Fire Department executed a smart deployment of Tablet Command to level up their fire operations, increasing:
  • Interoperability between the department and surrounding organizations
  • Tracking and visibility of all assets and personnel
  • Access to real-time information

From wildfires to the regional high-rise drill, this department faces challenges that demand more than whiteboards and paper. 

Staying Modern at 150 Years Old

Screenshot 2023-07-19 at 11.05.09 AMWhen founded in 1872, the Sacramento City Fire Department was the only paid professional fire department west of the Mississippi River. A century and a half later, the department now runs 110,000 to 115,000 calls per year. On a given day, there are 170 people working in service of the department. Leadership became interested in Tablet Command as a modern way to keep operations organized and efficient.

Need: Tracking, Interoperability & Accountability

Better Tracking, Especially for Personnel

Screenshot 2023-07-16 at 8.48.19 PMDeputy Fire Chief Mike Taylor remembers a time when two firefighters exited a building with their air tanks at less than 500 psi.  For a moment before the pair made their exit, there was a brief scramble to track down their names. Their radios were off, and the nomadic state of the workforce means rosters are constantly changing.

“That's a horrible feeling,” Taylor recalls. “That was really the incident that I said, ‘We're not doing this anymore. We are getting a real time tracking platform.’” 

Cooperation & Interoperability

Taylor knew collaboration with surrounding organizations would play a big part in the success of the department’s implementation and would increase the usefulness of Tablet Command. Sacramento is part of a regional dispatch system, so technology has to be compatible with surrounding organizations. Cooperating agencies saw the benefits for multi-agency communication and collaboration and also adopted the fireground management solution.

Accountability & Consistency

“When the wind and the rain are blowing sideways, your traditional whiteboard doesn’t do too well for you. We tried putting up tarps,” Taylor adds. “We tried magnet boards.” Tablet Command helps the department establish accountability quickly, predictably, and reliably with an easy to use interface. Tabet Command’s fireground management is at “everyone’s fingertips,” no matter how near or far from the commanding officer. And easy. 

Solution: Responding to Chaos With Order

Deputy Chief Taylor provides examples of how Tablet Command helps firefighters streamline operations, communication, and collaboration. “This is a lot bigger than just interdepartment tracking. For instance, ourselves, Sacramento Metro Fire, and Cosumnes could all be on the same incident – with various roles and responsibilities and three battalion chiefs from each different agency.”

“Tablet Command allows anyone taking command or a division to understand the personnel they have. We can tap on our unit to see the last names of the members on that unit, and even more in-depth tracking data. How long have they been on? Are they running short today? It’s a game changer for us.”

Overseeing the Response from Anywhere

Screenshot 2023-07-16 at 8.45.04 PMIt isn’t possible for the Deputy Chief to attend every incident. Instead, Taylor can check his iPad or phone to see that the department’s standards for operating procedures are being followed. “Are apparatus parking the way we like them? Are they utilizing multiple sides of the building?”
The entire membership has access to TC Mobile, so accountability and resource tracking are built into every incident response. “We know exactly who is where because of the TeleStaff integration,” adds Taylor. The same goes for apparatus.



Conclusion: Future-proofed Operations for Sacramento Fire Department

The Sacramento Fire Department’s success with Tablet Command comes largely from a smart implementation. The assistant and deputy chiefs started using the technology first, leading the initiative and championing the benefits. The department rolled out functionality from the top down and has now achieved full implementation.

“The Battalion Chief parks, is immediately handed an iPad with the division and units preloaded, and receives more updates as additional information becomes available.”

With everyone on the same page, the Sacramento Fire Department has streamlined incident response and management. The battalion chief no longer has to get acknowledgments and write everything down after arriving on the scene. Taylor says this helps firefighters move into action that much faster. 


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