The City of Dickson FD Manages Essential Operations with Software Suite

The City of Dickson FD Manages Essential Operations with Software Suite

Thanks to being located just 40 miles west of the fastest growing city in Tennessee, Nashville, the city of Dickson is also experiencing significant growth. To meet the needs of an expanding city, the City of Dickson Fire Department is adding 12 new full-time firefighters to its current roster of 39 career members and constructing a third fire station.

Keeping up with a rapidly growing city and workforce can be challenging, but with the help of Vector Solutions' suite of integrated systems, the City of Dickson Fire Department is better prepared with best-in-class training, asset, and workforce management tools.

Assistant Chief Kane Sesler, responsible for managing the department's Vector Solutions technology, shared how the Vector's suite helps the department manage essential operations.

Easily Meet State Requirements with the Ultimate Training Platform

The City of Dickson implemented Vector Solutions' online training platform, Vector LMS (TargetSolutions Edition), in 2017 to help manage its training program.

Firefighter training platform

"I track everything through Vector Solutions. From CPR and state medical licenses to the yearly firefighter physical and lung capacity test, it's all in the platform," Chief Sesler said.

By assigning members credentials (task books) and assignments, the City of Dickson Fire Department delivers mission-critical training, tracks completion progress, automatically deploys renewal notifications, and more all in one place.

  • Meeting the state of Tennessee's yearly suppression in-service requirements of 40-hours of training is painless with custom assignments.
  • Tracking driver's license expirations is made easy with a credential set up to automatically alert the user and system administrators 15 days before the member's license will expire.

The department even tracks and manages its academy through the training platform. "Day one, recruits are assigned a Chromebook and taught how to use the system," Chief Sesler said. "We provide all assignments and testing through Vector Solutions."

Mobile App Simplifies Daily Checks and Eliminates Paperwork

Chief Sesler knew what he was looking for in asset management software, and in 2019, the department adopted Vector Check It.

inventory inspections

"I knew what we needed and how I wanted it to operate, and when I saw the Check It software, it checked all the boxes."

From tracking medical supply usage and expirations to documenting daily vehicle inspections and repair orders and completing checks for ISO, Chief Sesler emphasized how much Check It has helped the department manage its valuables.

"Check It is probably my favorite of all of them!"

Chief Sesler broke down the many ways the City of Dickson Fire Department uses Check It every day:

  • Drugs: "We have a lot of drugs set up with notifications for the medical officer to reorder when the expiration date is coming up, or when the count drops below a certain number."
  • Academy: "The day our cadets come in for the academy, they'll be assigned their books and a computer. Those academic tools are expensive. The Training Division will scan the barcode and assign it to that person through the academy. At the end of the academy, it gets unassigned and goes back into the library. If someone checks out a book from the library because they're testing, we know who's got that book. Some of these books are $300-400. We assign books out to individual firefighters just like we assign turnout gear."
  • PPE: "I have iPads mounted next to the washer/extractor unit, so when someone has a structure fire, they don't need their phone, they can go right into Check It on the iPad, enter in their credentials, tell it they're washing their gear and it automatically logs it in for them."
  • Hydrants: "We partnered with our water authority to put metal tags on all the hydrants in our jurisdiction that we inspect annually. The firefighters pull up, scan the barcode on the tag, and it brings that hydrant up. They input what they did, and it's automatically logged in."

Completing digital mobile checks from the provided iPads or any web-enabled device makes it quick and easy for members to complete checks, locate equipment or inventory, reorder supplies, and submit repair requests.

"Our people really like it because it cuts down on their paperwork. They don't have to handwrite their notes or come back inside to input information into a computer. With the tablet or their phone, it's at their fingertips."

Swapping Spreadsheets for a Digital Scheduling Tool Reduces Errors

After realizing they needed software with more functionality than the spreadsheets they used to manage the department's scheduling needs, Chief Sesler also brought on Vector Scheduling (formerly Crewsense) in 2019.

Vector Scheduling Web and mobile app

"We track as much in CrewSense [Vector Scheduling] as we possibly can."

The department manages complex daily coverage needs for its 3-shifts, vacation time, sick time, overtime, and even recruit attendance while in the academy and special teams deployments, all on Vector Scheduling.

Chief Sesler shared:

  • Vacation Time: "The guys love it; the officers love it! Somebody can request vacation time, and it automatically drops it in the schedule. Supervisors can then go in and approve or deny the request."
  • Recordkeeping: "We can go back and look at the data weeks or months later and know if something comes up, who was on the truck that day. Before we purchased CrewSense [Vector Scheduling], we had no idea. It's been great!"
  • Communications: "It's really easy to communicate with every member of the department instantaneously. We also have it broken down that if we just need a firefighter, we can call just a firefighter, or just a lieutenant, or captain, or engineer. We use that feature quite a bit."
  • Deployments: "If we have a special ops team deployment coming up, team leaders can send out messages asking who is available. Now, we've got a real-time, quick count of who can go on a deployment."

To read more client testimonials, check out our Success Stories.

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