Spotlight: First Due founded on a mission to ensure responders have information they need when responding to a call
The company created a single, modern, cloud-based application that allows departments to run their entire operation in one place
Company name: First Due
Headquarters: Garden City, N.Y.
Signature Product: A single, modern, cloud-based application that allows departments to run their entire operation in one place
1. Where did your company name originate from?
First Due refers to the first apparatus arriving on the scene of an incident. Our company has always been focused on the first responder. Therefore, we wanted to ensure our name made clear who we are here to serve.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
First Due was founded after a line of duty death when a building collapsed during a residential structure fire, killing a volunteer firefighter. We thought it was crazy that the building department was aware the structure was made from lightweight construction (which collapses faster than ordinary construction during a fire), but first responders were not alerted at the time of the incident.
First Due was then founded with a mission to ensure first responders had the information they need when responding to a call on every structure, even residential. As we worked with agencies across the country, we noticed some massive challenges facing the fire service, especially there being no single platform that does it all. So we expanded our mission to provide a single, modern, cloud-based application that allows agencies to run their entire operation in one place. This platform includes pre-incident planning, community engagement, fire prevention, incident reporting, scheduling and personnel and assets and inventory.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
First Due provides a single, modern, cloud-based application that allows agencies to run their entire operation in one place. Our full suite solution offers the following:
- A best of breed pre-incident planning platform that collects data and creates amazing pre-plans out in the field, and even automatically creates pre-plans on every structure by connecting into data sources such as the assessor's office and the building department.
- An interactive community engagement platform, which allows residents and business owners to share critical life safety information about their occupancies with first responders.
- A full fire prevention module, including customizable inspection checklists, code management, invoicing, permits, virtual inspections and integrated pre-planning.
- A complete mobile response platform, which is tied to dispatch so crews can access all of great information at the time of response, as well as be notified, status and route to the call, on web, iOS and Android.
- Incident reporting platform with automated NFIRS and NFORS reporting with NEMSIS compliant ePCR in the final stages of development.
- Best-of-breed, fully integrated scheduling and personnel management with flexible shift board, time-off, call shifts, messaging and more.
- Asset and inventory management with real-time insight and statistics into apparatus and equipment health, usage and compliance, seamlessly linked to First Due scheduling, incident reporting and more.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the firefighting community?
Our platform provides all the functionality an agency needs to run their operation and ensure compliance, making it essential by definition. What makes us unique is our focus has always been the first responder and always will be. While the demands on fire and EMS agencies grow every day, departments using First Due can meet those demands and ultimately:
- Reduce cost
- Reduce risk
- Operate more effectively
- Save lives
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
A big challenge we have faced is that it has taken time to change how fire departments view software and software vendors. Agencies often see software as a necessary evil needed for compliance only. We on the other hand, want to completely reimagine how departments use software and transform important operational aspects, such as pre-incident planning and community risk reduction by taking a holistic and problem-focused approach. It has definitely been challenging to convince agencies that there is a better way, but through leadership and successful deployments. we feel the tide turning. Agencies are expecting more from their software applications and vendors. We are entering a new era for public safety technology and we are excited to lead the way.
6. What makes your company unique?
We are a different kind of software company:
- One platform, completely cloud-based – meaning upgrades and maintenance are included and everything is seamlessly integrated.
- Our team can innovate faster and build technology more rapidly than the alternatives.
- We have a holistic vision. It's not just about compliance. It's about response, the community and interoperability. We are focused on ensuring everyone can work together for better incident outcomes.
- We partner with our customers. We work with them to continue to innovate and support them.
7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
- That we take a different approach to solving the same problems that they have been challenged with for years.
- We continue to innovate and build solutions to their problems faster than any vendor in the space.
- The ongoing support and partnership that First Due provides to them throughout the entire process.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
When compared to other parts of society, public safety agencies and the entirety of local government are often late to having access to cutting-edge technologies that make a massive difference in streamlining operations and eliminating challenges, but that also just making work more satisfying.
Our team is rewarded by helping every member of a First Due enabled agency's day-to-day job be less complicated. Nobody became a first responder to spend time at a computer. We make it our mission to make sure every second our clients spend using technology is empowering and valuable, rather than a frustrating chore.
9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety or the community?
First Due has made charitable contributions to family support funds in honor and memory of first responders who fell in the line of duty. Acknowledgement of these tragedies are reflected at the core of our company vision, which is to strive for a future where no first responder will suffer injury or death in the line-of-duty due to a lack of information.
10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you'd like to share with about you or your company?
Our team is fully remote with people stretching from coast-to-coast across North America in over a dozen states and provinces. We're able to gain so many valuable perspectives to the nuances of public safety in every pocket of the continent, and we make sure to bring all of those insights into our vision of providing a better product for first responders everywhere. Whether it's a small volunteer agency in New England or a major metro department in California or Texas, we are here to serve them.
11. What's next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
Our goal is to complete reimagining public safety and become the next leader in fiire/EMS software. We will continue to build best-of-breed functionality across response, prevention, incident reporting (including ePCR) and personnel management. In addition to that, we are also working on some amazing innovative features such as First Due Live, which allows first responders and dispatchers to access live camera feeds and location points directly from a caller or people at the scene.