Innovative Flexible Dashboard Module for Fire and Rescue Services

Different people have different information needs. Whether you are a station manager looking at the crewing levels of the station’s appliances for the upcoming weekend, or a retained firefighter wanting to know if he has already complied with his contract, actionable information is not always easy to find.

Station Managers, Resource Managers and Chief Officers face constant pressure to ensure optimal crewing levels while preventing overstaffing stations. However, getting an overview of current and future available Wholetime and Retained personnel at a single glance is not easy, as they usually have to navigate through different systems and spreadsheets that show only fractions of information.

Live Dashboards: An Overview Of What Matters

Everyday, several decisions and processes take place within a Fire and Rescue Service.  Keeping track of them to make quick and informed decisions has become increasingly hard. So, similar to an automotive dashboard, whose purpose is to represent all the processes that go on under the hood in a visual and understandable way, a dashboard for your Fire and Rescue can summarize everything that happens with easy-to-understand, real-time data visuals.

Dashboards help you monitor performance metrics in real-time by providing an at-a-glance view of pertinent data and analytics and provide engaging data visualizations that present information in a way that allows to take action.

In this regard, we understand that the perception of actionable and valuable information for decision making is not the same for different roles within the organisation, which is why we have significantly improved our Dashboard module. It now can be tailored to answer any question, for any position, and for any department, so it allows users to tailor their preferred system-wide or station specific overview through a drag-and-drop interface onto a canvas.

An example of a dashboard composed of the widgets described below

How does a dashboard work?

By their very nature, dashboards gather data from multiple sources of information, whether it is from the availability of Wholetime Duty, Retained Duty stations or a combination of both, and they show them in a single interface. This reduces the amount of time and effort compiling reports, signing into multiple systems, or getting information from spreadsheets.

“I love the flexibility that [the dashboard module] gives us”Anne-Marie CarterProject Manager at Buckinghamshire F&RS

FireServiceRota’s customisable dashboards are built from “widgets”; components that display information about a certain aspect of your organisation. Widgets can be dragged, dropped and resized onto the canvas. The appearance and filter settings customised by the user on the fly.

Available Widgets

The Dashboard module has a wide library of available widgets:

  • Service-wide widgets
  • Service Map
  • Appliance List
  • On-duty personnel statistics
  • Contact List
  • Tiered Response Pie Chart
  • Station specific widgets
  • Available Crew members
  • Service or Station Announcements
  • Crewing Level warning
  • User-specific widgets
  • Personal Contract Statistics
  • Personal availability form

In what follows, we will discuss each widget in more detail:

Service-wide Widgets

Service Map widget

The service map is a real-time strategic map that shows color-coded warnings on crewing levels. It can be resized to become part of a dashboard with other widgets.

Appliance List widget

This widget displays a list of appliances per station and their current and next response level. In addition, it shows the names of personnel in a particular role (like OiC) and total crewing numbers. It is typically used by Resource Management and Fire Control.

On-duty personnel statistics widget

This widget shows the current and forecasted number of on-duty staff for specific roles. Roles and filters can be tailored.

Contact list widget

This widget lists on-duty personnel in specific roles. Moving the mouse over a name provides instant access to contact details. This widget is typically used by Fire Control for quick access to designated on-duty personnel contact details.

Configuration can be applied to all widgets. It allows easy filtering and adjusting, as shown below for the contact list widget example.

Tiered Response Pie Chart widget

If a service adopts a Tiered Response model, this pie chart shows the breakdown of the number of appliances per response level: green (immediate), orange (2nd line), red (3rd line) and black (off the run). Typically used by Resource Management teams.

Station Specific Widgets

Available Crew members widget

This widget displays the available crew for the active station, including roles, skills and shift codes. It is typically used by station managers and firefighters.

Service or Station Announcements widget

This widget displays the existing announcements for the county and/or station. Attachments and polls can be added to announcements. Polls make it possible to quickly ask users for an opinion or decision about a certain topic.

Crewing Level Warnings

This widget shows the current and predicted crewing levels of all of the station’s appliances.

User Specific Widgets

Personal Contract Statistics

Shows the user’s personal contract statistics including compliance indicators, TOIL and leave.

Personal availability widget

This widget allows users to quickly change their personal availability.


Dashboards provide an unbiased view not only of the Fire and Rescue Service overall but each station, regardless of it being wholetime or retained duty as well. With the possibility to tailor it to each individual’s specific needs, it offers a foundation for better decision making. The dynamic service-wide availability map overview, the station status overview (including the alert-mode), the smartphone app and the innovative and flexible dashboard module make for an ideal set of tools to manage the service’s availability at each level of the organisation.

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