5 tips to help on-call firefighters embrace FireServiceRota

Selecting a resource management system is no easy task. It demands time and effort to find a solution that fits your fire station’s specific requirements. However, finding the solution is only the first of many steps to ensure that the software you selected works properly and helps everyone in your organisation achieve their goals faster and easier. 

Implementing any new technology is an important change that can really stress people out, because people generally resist change. 

However, there are a couple of different ways you can use to encourage your on-call firefighters to start using FireServiceRota. Here are 5 tips you can apply to help ease the process of adoption:

TIP 1: Find your early adopters/superusers 

FireServiceRota is intuitive and very easy to configure. It will not take you too much time to find crew members that are willing to try it out and understand the nitty-gritty details of the system. 

As soon as you implement FireServiceRota at your station, you will want to “train the trainers”. Even better, you can let your early adopters play around with the system and the app, and ask them to share their newly-acquired knowledge with the rest of the crew. 

TIP 2: Talk about benefits, not features

When adopting new software, one crucial step is to explain to your coworkers what’s in it for them. 

The discussion should not be on the grounds of “how do I do things?” in the new software, but instead, it should focus on “how does it benefit me?”

With FireServiceRota the benefits are pretty straightforward: you make the availability of firefighters visible, so crew members can proactively plan their on and off-duty schedules. This process ensures they can be free when possible, and remain/book on-call when needed. 

These flexibility and reliability allow firefighters to balance their work/life commitments while ensuring the fire station always has sufficient crew to attend to emergencies. 

TIP 3:  Assign privileges to those using the system 

One of the most effective ways to improve adoption rates in your station is by attaching special rights to those using FireServiceRota over firefighters that are not actively using the system yet. 

As other stations have done, one option is to give “priority” to the people keeping their rotas up to date on FireServiceRota. 

For example, when an emergency call comes in, the firefighters that are shown available in the rota take priority to be part of the crew, over people who did not book available (even if they show up). 

TIP 4: Empower people, let them thrive

FireServiceRota allows managers to share responsibility with firefighters and let them solve understaffing situations by themselves. 

By making the rota visible, firefighters are aware of the relevance of their availability and allows them to make informed decisions when booking on and off-duty. 

For example, being aware that one person is the last available driver can put a burden on their shoulders. However, FireServiceRota offers several ways of reducing it. For example, you can request somebody else to cover for you, and the system will automatically update the rota, without causing crewing deficiencies.

These scenarios give them the opportunity to step in and encourages proactive bookings. As a result, planning becomes the norm and provides peace of mind to crew members when they want or need to book unavailable, knowing they fire engine can still respond.

TIP 5: Make effort visible and recognise performance

One of the main features of FireServiceRota is the Reporting section that allows managers to understand not only the quantity but the quality of the available hours of each firefighter. 

This provides the possibility to recognise those who put their hours when they matter most. 

For example, there may be recurrent situations where there’s only one available driver for several hours throughout the week, which can create extra pressure on that person. 

In consequence, managers can compensate their efforts by taking action into targeted recruitment to increase crew numbers, providing resilience and therefore, flexibility to those currently struggling.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, these tips will help you encourage your team to start using FireServiceRota. 

Nevertheless, the most important message you need to convey is that FireServiceRota is not a control mechanism for managers or a complex tool to use. 

Instead, it’s a dynamic and user-friendly system that will help them achieve balance in their work and life commitments more easily. 

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