- The problem: Limited accountability among fire staff
- The solution: Policy and SOP management software
- The benefits of fire station software
A sound policies and procedures manual is more than just a collection of standard operating procedures. It's a way for firefighters to hold each other accountable to the rules and best practices that ensure your department operates at top quality.
Fire department SOPs and SOGs (standard operating procedures and standard operating guidelines) guide everything from daily internal operations to emergency responses to individual firefighter conduct. They provide a set of expectations and safety guidelines that firefighters must understand and meet to ensure fire departments can offer consistent and efficient public services.
The problem: Limited accountability among fire staff
Unfortunately, many fire departments today struggle to enforce staff accountability due to inefficient policy management processes that put strain on their resource limitations. Manual policy management often means firefighters work from outdated policies, have different versions of certain policies, and resort to whatever works best for them. Chaos and inefficiency often result, which can lead to liability, injury, or worse.
Additionally, a manual, paper-based policy review and approval process is laborious and time-consuming. Fire chiefs and leadership can’t ensure everyone has read and acknowledged every policy. They often hear firefighters and stations say they never received the updated policies. And with their long list of high-priority duties, fire chiefs also don't have time to collect acknowledgment signatures. It's often left to each station to make sure all the firefighters are aware of SOP changes, but this rarely happens.
It's difficult for fire departments to track signatures in general, guarantee full comprehension of policies, and keep everyone informed about policy/SOP updates. This results in knowledge gaps that can lead to non-compliant staff, liability issues for the department, and safety risks for firefighters and the community.
The solution: Policy and SOP management software
PowerDMS’s policy and SOP management software, PowerPolicy, can solve these problems and ensure that departments are all working from the same expectations.
Automated review notifications
PowerPolicy automatically alerts users to any activity requiring their attention, including review or approval tasks, notice of upcoming reviews, and document version releases. When a new version of a previously signed policy is published, employees are automatically prompted to read and sign the new version.
Simplified policy review and tracking
With PowerPolicy, employees can also make side-by-side comparisons between new and old versions of a document to easily see what changed. Plus, the policy management system’s audit trail feature shows a complete history of every document (including changes, comments, approval status, and those who read, signed, and edited the document).
PowerPolicy’s report builder also shows the history of actions for documents to provide proof of employee access/signatures, and version control ensures everyone is accessing the most updated documents.
Ensure staff comprehension
PowerPolicy fire station software also excels in acknowledgment and comprehension. Users can assign documents to be acknowledged and electronically signed by users or specific groups. You can also attach custom tests to policies that firefighters must pass before signing off to ensure employees reviewed and understood the changes.
Reporting and accessibility
Leaders can also track statuses of to-do task checklists, training progress, and test scores with a variety of dashboards and reports in PowerPolicy. Best of all, the mobile app lets employees access fire department SOPs and SOGs from any location with any device and operating system.
As a bonus, an add-on policy training management solution allows fire departments to create, distribute, and track online training courses for firefighters – including data validation and tests to ensure comprehension of policies – to help reduce the cost of in-person training.
The benefits of fire station software
A digital policy management system ensures that all firefighters receive and follow the same up-to-date information to avoid liability risks. Using PowerPolicy, your fire department can easily track reviews, acknowledgment, and comprehension of policies and SOPs in one central repository.
This automated and streamlined process helps keep fire staff accountable to support effective department operations and public safety services. It also saves your leadership time and stress by reducing the manual labor required to ensure SOPs are current and firefighters remain informed.
Ultimately, these benefits support firefighter and citizen safety in the field and improve compliance throughout your department to mitigate risk.
To see how the PowerPolicy fire station software improves accountability and comprehension of policies to keep your firefighters safe, request a free demo of the system today.