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'Floating' firefighters could patch scheduling holes [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Mar 14, 2017 2:53:37 PM

When fire departments are faced with more demand than they can handle, the answer may lie in creating new positions that cover high-need shifts as required. These "floaters" can help response times and cut down on the need for mutual aid calls.

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Topics: Firefighters, Staffing

Fighting back against volunteer firefighter shortages [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Mar 6, 2017 4:46:41 PM

Hiring firefighters will always be a challenge due to the unconventional hours and specific skills needed. This task can be even more complex for volunteer fire departments. However, a few promising strategies can ease the strain a little.

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Topics: Firefighters, Volenteers

New technology promises to help first responders [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Feb 9, 2017 2:15:44 PM

When emergency personnel respond to a call, they need to grasp the situation at once to formulate a response. New software is helping them get the data they need in a hurry.

Departments around the country have taken on pre-plan programs that use touchscreen interfaces to give police, fire and EMS personnel information such as floor plans and notices about residents who may require special attention during a rescue. This data takes some of the guesswork out of emergency response, and shaves precious minutes off of response time.

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Topics: EMS, Police, Firefighters

How fire chiefs can overcome staffing shortfalls

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 23, 2017 1:35:31 PM

What happens when fire chiefs have to make do with too few personnel?


Public safety departments have to make do with the budgets they are allotted. When funds are short, it takes creative thinking and effective management to pull through. Fire chiefs around the country are facing this tough situation: How do they keep their communities safe when they don't have the resources to hire more staff members?

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Topics: Fire Chief, Firefighters

Retiring Firefighters vs. New Recruits – Finding the Balance [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 17, 2017 1:38:38 PM

In Columbus, Ohio, a spate of retirements has pushed the department to increase hiring. But new recruits might not be ready soon enough.

The city has approved the hiring of 25 additional recruits to fill newly opened positions after already adding 40 new firefighters this year. However, some firefighters have stated that there will be more open spots by the time these new recruits are trained and certified.

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Topics: Firefighters

Specialized schools seek to create firefighter candidate pipeline

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 28, 2016 1:37:00 PM

Programs for high school students are helping chiefs hire young, diverse fire departments.


The specialized skills necessary to become a firefighter don't materialize overnight. Departments need to find ways to ensure their incoming recruits have those unique abilities. While on-the-job training is a necessary way to teach skills and keep them sharp, it's useful to have structures in place that can prepare candidates before they ever join a fire department.

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Topics: Training, Firefighters

Personalized, specialized training coming to fire departments

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 1, 2016 3:53:02 PM

Firefighter training methods are diversifying.


Provided they have the administrative and IT frameworks in place to track them, fire departments can employ training methods that go beyond the ordinary to get their firefighters to a high level of expertise and readiness, and keep them there over time. In a field where such preparedness can literally help save lives, leaders are encouraged to explore new ideas and modernize their HR processes wherever possible.

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Topics: Training, Firefighters

About Orion Communications

As workforce management and data interface experts, Orion Communications is a leading provider of public safety workforce management software.  Orion’s AgencyWeb® software helps agencies simplify complex workforce management processes and reduce labor cost. Orion has been serving the public safety industry since 1998 and is a certified women-owned business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

For more information, please contact Jackie Belasky at 214-361-1203, #2413 or jbelasky@orioncom.com.