Years ago, I was at a public safety conference hosted by Microsoft in Redmond, WA and the employees took us on a tour of “The House of the Future.” To say I was wonderstruck would be an understatement. As we walked into the house some things just automatically happened. Room lighting was changed, and music started playing that was customized based on the person entering the room. In the kitchen one could set different cooking ingredients on the counter and different menus would display that showed what could be made from those ingredients. In the living room, electric photo displays illuminated the walls with nostalgic photographs. Kids could play projected interactive games on the kitchen table during a birthday party. It truly felt like stepping 50-100 years into the future.As Product Manager at Emergency Reporting (ER), I am more excited than ever to attend the Fire Rescue International Conference in Dallas this year on August 9th. We have a lot of innovative development taking place and like that incredible “House of the Future,” the future of ER is arriving very soon.
One of the most exciting new offerings will be our new Analytics Module. We will have interactive dashboards and improved reports. Also, customers will be able to build their own dashboards and reports. For our larger customers who manage county and state contracts, they will be able to access more cumulative data and build custom reports. So, what makes our Analytics different from the competition? ER understands that a fire department is more than NFIRS and EMS, so our Analytics will allow customers to access almost all data in any module whether it is Inspections, Occupancies, Training, Hydrants, Asset Management and so on.
As any firefighter knows, we want to change and yet we don’t want to change. Firefighters are always saying that a hundred years of tradition unimpeded by progress shall keep us from changing. What does this have to do with a software application? As a retired firefighter/paramedic who hated doing computer reports, I even hated it more when the software vendors would change the screens and I had to figure out the new screens and data flow to get the report done at 2 A.M. so I could get back to bed for hopefully another hour of sleep before the next call.
Our UI/UX designer, along with a focus group of our customers, has set the ER application on the path to a fresh look while making sure we don’t disrupt our users with a frustrating total change of the software. We have planned our changes to come out in phases so that theStewart Smith,
Retired Firefighter/Paramedic/Staff Officer
Product Manager – Emergency Reporting