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Milton Fire Department

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MODERNIZING CALL BACKS: MILTON FIRE DEPARMTENT SAVES HOURS EVERY DAY WITH FIREHOUSE247

The Milton Fire Department’s first station dates back to 1881. In early 2024, Milton Fire Department moved into its new state of the art Fire Station, replacing its former headquarters that was originally constructed in 1887. Milton Fire Department has over 57 personal assigned across 3 stations, responding to over 4,500  incidents per year. 

For over 40 years, pen, paper, and spreadsheets have been the primary tool to maintain scheduled rotations, manage call backs, and resolve overtime disputes. In 2023, Milton had a longstanding detail that finally broke the old ways of doing filling shifts. The firefighters had to call down the paper list of 30 to 40 firefighters starting at 6:00am each morning, wait 5 minutes between calls if a voice message was left due to their existing rules, in order to fill these daily details. This consumed several hours each day of the responsible firefighter’s valuable time, putting a strain on other tasks, such as equipment checks, apparatus checks, and training. This manual process and legacy rules also resulted in occasional dispute about who is entitled to the overtime shift. Something had to give. 

Milton Fire Department decided to form a small committee of 6 firefighters to evaluate different options. This lead them to Firehouse247. After working with the Firehouse247 on a proof of concept leveraging their own roster and shift rotation to automate filing shifts according to their specific rules, Milton Fire Department was blown away. “After a few discussions and some initial setup, we were amazed just how simple and easy it was to turn hours and hours on the phone trying to fill shifts, to a single click of a button”, says Deputy King

Retiring the pen & pencil

“When I had to call a neighboring fire department to help fill details and their response was really fast we knew we had to move on from our pencil and paper approach”, recalls Deputy King.     

Challenge

Hours per day calling through a list of 40 firefighters in order to fill shifts. Longstanding detail made this a daily challenge that took valuable time away from the assigned firefighter, delayed other tasks, and impacted overall morale.

The Firehouse247 scheduling, shift filling, and work management solution made scheduling and filling shift and details simple and predictable. This improved moral and allowed the firefighters to focus on what was truly important, protecting and serving their community.

Solution

“Without Firehouse247, we’d still be operating in a world of pen, paper,  whiteout, and grief. This change was long overdue and we couldn’t be happier with the Firehouse247 solution, as well as the exceptional team that was able to build a solution that accommodates all our rules and addressed all our challenges,” exclaims Deputy Murphy.

Outcome

“Firehouse247 took about three months to roll out,” explained Deputy King. “The Firehouse247 team speaks our language and worked with us every step of the way to make sure our system accommodated all our rules and did exactly what we needed it to do. We were even able to revisit, modify, and in some cases eliminate some longstanding rules that no longer made sense, or that Firehouse 247 made irrelevant. The 6:00am call back requirement, for instance, went completely away. Now we can fill shifts in advance and have a lot more predictability in our daily schedule”. “We’re now looking forward to integrating Firehouse247 into our payroll solution to streamline payroll and eliminate mistakes”, says Deputy King.

With the Firehouse247 solution, Milton Fire Department was able to:

  • Save countless hours per day: “No more spending hours calling down the list of 40 firefighters and having to make sure 5 minutes passed before I call the next firefighter. Now I can just click a button and Firehouse247 automatically goes down the list one by one in 5 minute intervals to messages out via text or email. Even better, the firefighters can accept or decline the shifts with a simple click of a button too. This has been a game changer for us.”, says Deputy King.

  • Achieve predictable daily schedule: “Mornings were a nightmare,” explains Deputy King. “Having to wait until 6:00am each morning meant we had to scramble to fill shifts. And if we got a call that morning, filling shifts would have to wait. Now we fill shifts in advance and have predictability each day,” says Deputy King

  • Eliminate overtime disputes: A huge side benefit we did not anticipate,” says Deputy King, was the logging of all events and activities in the solution. We could now simply look at the log and know exactly when someone was contacted with an open shift and if they accepted or declined.”

  • Update old union rules: “Going through this process allowed us to step back and look at some of the union rules that no longer made sense and make the appropriate changes,” says Deputy King.

  • Happy Firefighters: Now that Firehouse247 is fully rolled out and adopted by the firefighters, moral has really improved,” says Deputy Murphy. “This, along with our new headquarters, has really transformed Milton Fire Department for the better.”

About Firehouse247

Built by firefighters, for firefighters. With first-hand experience of the biggest administrative challenges facing Fire Departments today, Firehouse247 delivers a comprehensive solution that focuses on ease of use to make daily administrative tasks simple and immediate. Issues with scheduling, shift filling and payroll are now a thing of the past.

Fill overtime shifts, details and callbacks automatically whilst adhering to your unique department policies and union rules. Easy integration with your existing systems for CAD, RMS (inspections, pre-planning, inventory, training, etc.) NFIRS, payroll and dashboarding. First-class customer service experience from the Firehouse247 team.

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