At a Glance
- Save lives
- Minimizes response times
- Improves training efficiencies by 66%
With Video Collaboration, Lincoln Fire and Rescue Saves Lives and Sees a 66 Percent Increase in Training Efficiency
In Lincoln, Nebraska, firefighters, rescue workers, and Emergency Medical Services personnel all share a secret weapon. It helps them arrive at the scene of most emergencies in just three minutes. It lets leaders recapture a week of management time every month. It even allows firefighters across town to meet face-to-face every morning.
Lincoln Fire and Rescue's secret weapon isn't some turbocharged vehicle or fly-anywhere drone. It's a rapidly expanding video collaboration network. And in just a few months, it has become a crucial communication backbone allowing the emergency services agency to cut costs, reduce travel across town for meetings and training, recapture a week of management time every month, cultivate a more flexible and efficient environment that improves training efficiency by 66 percent, and streamline the way it protects and serves the citizens of Lincoln.
Lincoln dispatches first responders from 14 fire stations equipped with high-definition video collaboration systems. Each morning, the video systems enable as many as 85 firefighters to virtually attend operational meetings and schedule reviews. "We could not start our day without the regular video call," says Leo Benes, Battalion Chief. "It's critical."
Video collaboration saves time and lives by reducing the need for personnel to drive to headquarters for training or other meetings – a practice that had forced neighboring stations to cover their territory while they were out. "A fire can double in size in 30 seconds," says Benes. "We can't afford to have officers out of service for mandated training."
Jamie Pospisil, the agency's firefighter training manager, was initially doubtful about video's ability to replace in-person classes. She changed her mind after a house fire broke out a block from a fire station where a crew was taking a class over video. "In the past, that crew would have been 20 minutes away from their service area," Pospisil says. "Honestly, this sold me on using video collaboration for training."
Advanced recording and streaming solutions let firefighters review classes, meetings, and other video calls during their downtime. And administrators are now investigating how using video collaboration-equipped mobile devices in the field could give incident commanders at headquarters real-time, on-site assessments during wide scale disasters.
"Anything that cuts costs and saves time is huge for us," says Benes. "That's why this network is so important."