ER in the Heartland - Kansas User Group Saves Time and Money

ER in the Heartland - Kansas User Group Saves Time and Money

October 02, 2017

The City of Leawood Fire Department began using Emergency Reporting in January 2015. This was after fourteen years or so on another reporting platform which offered very poor customer service and a difficult user experience. We realized that a change was needed even though it was right in the middle of seeking accreditation After test-driving several alternatives, Emergency Reporting was chosen due to its intuitive end-user interface and its easy-to-reach customer service team. After setting up the CAD interface and ordering a couple of custom reports, ER quickly overshadowed any of our previous experiences with incident reporting and records management.

During these last few years, many other fire departments in the State of Kansas have embraced the Emergency Reporting platform. Although we had an onsite training event hosted by the Shawnee Fire Department, we felt recurring training would enhance our region’s knowledge of ER. Traveling to ER training events in other parts of the country is often not in the training budget. Therefore, it became very common for departments, especially those new to ER, to reach out to more experienced departments to ask questions about setup, best practices, report generation, and even third-party integration. In years past, many local departments participated in a variety of local user groups in areas such as fire service accreditation and even other software systems. We quickly realized that just such a group for ER users would allow members to learn from each other’s successes and challenges as each department worked to utilize the platform fully.

As a result of this desire to share best practices, we created the Kansas ER Users’ Group. Currently, eleven fire departments and districts meet quarterly. Each member takes turns hosting the meeting. We set an agenda ahead of time to ensure efficiency and effectiveness since some members drive several hours to participate. Agenda topics are driven by agency need and interest. Generally, one or two people will present on specific areas of expertise (or at least recent experiences). We provide time for each department to share their updates and ask specific questions about best practices. We also document and distribute minutes to help with information retention and to keep members in the loop who might have missed the meeting. Emergency Reporting has also been a big supporter of this effort. ER Trainer Tom Louis attends remotely whenever possible and provides a GoToMeeting platform for virtual attendees.

We are proud to have the following departments as members:

  • Arkansas City Fire Department
  • Emporia Fire Department
  • Eudora Fire Department
  • Great Bend Fire Department
  • Johnson County Fire District #1
  • Leawood Fire Department
  • Manhattan Fire Department
  • Northwest Consolidated Fire District
  • Ottawa Fire Department
  • Paola Fire Department
  • Shawnee Fire Department

If you would like to learn more about the successes of our Kansas ER User Group, please reach out to me, Colin Fitzgerald, at


Colin Fitzgerald is a Deputy Chief at the Leawood Fire Department and is their ER administrator. Colin has been in the fire service for 22 years after getting his start as a U.S. Air Force firefighter. He is a licensed paramedic, has an MPA, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and is a designated Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. The Leawood Fire Department is accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and has an ISO 1 rating. LFD has been using Emergency Reporting since January 1st, 2015.

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