Tools

JFD Communicating with Stations Via Video Conferencing

By Mallory Cooke
By mcooke@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - The Jackson Fire Department installed new video conferencing equipment they say will save money and keep response times low.

A click of the mouse can connect all six fire stations in Jackson. “It’s not a brand new technology,” said Chief Max Stewart. “It’s been used in business, but it is brand new to the Jackson Fire Department.”

Stewart says the department recently purchased a $25,000 video conferencing system. “It’s been thought about for several years,” he said.

The new equipment allows the department to train firefighters at all the stations in the city at the same time. “Before we had to run every company through our building and teach the same exact class nine different days in a row,” said Captain David Dorris, a training officer with the Jackson Fire Department.

Before on-duty firefighters had to drive downtown for training. Video conferencing allows crews to learn at their respective stations and cut fuel costs.

“It’s gonna save us hopefully a lot of money in the long run by not having all of the equipment moving to come to us all the time,” said Dorris.

Stewart expects the project to pay for itself within a few years.

The Jackson Fire Department believes the new technology will also allow them to keep response times low. “They’re still in territory,” said Stewart. “They’re still in service. They can respond promptly.”

The new system records training sessions. If a crew gets called to a fire they can watch the training session when they get back.

The fire department plans to start using the new system within the next month.