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Grand Bay-Westfield Fire Gets New Records System

By Brad Perry Sep 13, 2022 | 2:00 PM

Image: Submitted/Town of Grand Bay-Westfield

A new records management system will soon be in place for the Grand Bay-Westfield Fire Department.

On Monday, town council approved a service agreement with First Due, a one-stop public safety platform.

Fire Chief Troy Gautreau said the department’s current emergency reporting system is “adequately meeting” their needs, but is “dated and has limitations.”

For example, because the current system is server-based, officers have to come to the station to fill out reports following an emergency call.

Gautreau said because the new system is a cloud-based program, they will be able to do that work remotely.

“Being a department made up of volunteers, it makes it a lot easier for the officers after the call. They can start the report right from the scene or, if they have something that they need to get home to, they can keep working on the report on their home computer or their phone,” he said.

Gautreau said the new system will also eliminate a lot of current duplication faced by the department.

He noted that department records management is currently completed via multiple Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.

This system, he said, results in instances of duplication of work by multiple staff members, the need to update the same information in several documents, and limited ability to produce accurate statistics.

“Right now, for example, when we have a new member join, their name and address go into about six or seven different places that also must then be updated,” said Gautreau.

The upgraded system also comes with a “Community Connect” module. Residents can add critical occupant and property data which can then be accessed by first responders during an incident.

It will also allow for the implementation of pre-planning, where firefighters can survey high-risk property and input critical information which will be accessible in the event of a call.

The new system will cost the town just over $10,000 a year. Staff hope to have it up and running before the end of the year.

The City of Saint John adopted the same software for its fire department earlier this year.


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