How does a fire department adopt FlowMSP?
The process is easier than you think, and we will help you with each step.
A frequent question we get is “well, how does this actually work? What do I have to do so we can use this?”
Adopting FlowMSP is actually far easier than it may seem at first glance, and we have specialists on staff who focus solely on assisting new customers with their adoption, implementation and downstream usage. In many cases, this Implementation Specialist will do much of the heavy lifting for adoption, so departments don’t have to struggle with the process.
We will help you locate your hydrant data, contact that entity for you, and upload the hydrants into the platform.
Firefighters will not have to manually plot hydrants, argue with water utilities, or fight with complex GPS data layers.
Departments only need to provide a simple spreadsheet of all desired users and their information. We will create the accounts and send the password to each user individually.
You will not have to keep track of who has received a password and when. We will manage that for you.
With your approval we will contact your dispatch center, and make the necessary arrangements for dispatch notifications.
This does not require any new software and we will handle all the technical aspects.
Planning your implementation
Your deparment has just decided to join the 130+ other successful departments who are taking their pre-incident planning to the effective level. Congratulations!!
At FlowMSP we get right to work so that you can get begin the process of gathering your critical building information. Within a few days of the close of your sale, your sales representative and a FlowMSP Implementation Specialist will schedule a conference call (at your convenience of course).
During that conference call, the Implementation Specialist will outline the entire process from start to finish and what the department’s role will be in that process. There will be some timelines to discuss, along with contact phone numbers, general guidance to start, and a few things we will need from you.
At the end of that call, you will receive a summary email detailing all that was discussed, what timelines are needed, and what items we need from you.
One of the most beneficial features offered by the FlowMSP platform is the ability to receive dispatch notifications directly through the FlowMSP mobile app, and have those notifications automatically display the preplan for the incident location.
Often, this feature is mistakenly referred to as ‘integration’ which can lead departments to believe they need additional ‘modules’ provided by their CAD manufacturer. This is not true and departments should not require any additional software to make FlowMSP dispatch notifications work.
Our dispatch notification system functions through a CAD system’s outbound messaging ability, which nearly all modern CAD systems have (typically nothing more complex than an email). This is one-way communication only; so there is no need for complex CAD configurations.
To ease the transition of this process, FlowMSP implementation specialists can make all the necessary phone calls and contacts to assist dispatch centers in properly configuring this outbound message.
FlowMSP Dispatch Notification Process
Add in Hydrant Data
FlowMSP gives fire departments the ability to have an interactive display of their entire jurisdiction equipped with all available fire hydrants.
This information includes:
- GPS location data that places hydrants on the map precisely where they exist in the real-world
- Color-Coded hydrant volume information (if available)
- Whether the hydrant is In-Service/Out-of-Service
- Wet/Dry Hydrants
GPS location data for most hydrants can be sourced from the water utility that services the jurisdiction. As part of your implementation, FlowMSP specialists will assist in sourcing that information as well as uploading it directly into the platform.
It is only in the absolute worst-case scenario, where hydrants will have to be manually plotted.
FlowMSP offers the following user classes:
- User – this account level can only view plans and hydrants. They cannot edit, delete or otherwise alter the information in the account. Great for apparatus or communication desk logins.
- Planner – This account level offers all the benefits of Users plus the ability to add, delete or otherwise alter plans in the account. This level is used for the individuals responsible for creating and maintaining the preplans for a department.
- Admin – This account level includes all the previous abilities plus the ability to add and delete user/planner accounts. This level is typically reserved for the project managers behind a department’s implementation of FlowMSP.
During the implementation process, department project managers need only provide a spreadsheet of all their desired accounts, and associated access levels.
FlowMSP implementation specialists will create all the accounts according to the spreadsheet and issue passwords to each account via email. We will keep track of who has received their password and who has not, taking that burden off project managers.
At FlowMSP we do not believe in just providing a department our product and letting them figure out the rest. After a department has reached this stage of the process, a FlowMSP representative will conduct a series of training sessions so each department completely understands how the platform works, how to use it, and best practices for planning.
Typically, we try to make every effort for this training to be conducted in-person, however some of our further distance customers may receive the same training via a live webinar.
These sessions include:
- A full tour of the platform’s cabilities and features
- A detailed walkthrough of how to create, edit or delete plans through both the web browser and the mobile app.
- Best practices for planning, SOPs/SOGs, and ideas for different structure use cases.
- Strategy discussions on long-term success with a planning project, options for prioritizing structures, and discussions on maximizing planning progress.
- Question and answer session.
Typically, these training sessions take anywhere from 2-3 hours, depending on how quickly firefighters absorb the process and questions.
Step six is when the department takes over their process and begins using FlowMSP during real incidents.
We offer a number of suggestions on the best way to dissect a jurisdiction into planning priorities, or how to assign planning tasks for maximum advantage, and we are happy to provide this guidance.