On April 15th-16th the WFCA Wildfire Technology Summit held in Boise, Idaho brought together a unique combination of Western Fire Service leaders, technology industry experts, and federal partner representatives. The purpose was three-fold: discuss and determine how the fire service and federal partners can share data across systems; develop broad language for use in department RFQ/RFP when acquiring technology solutions to ensure current and future needs are met; and lastly begin to build solution-specific specifications for the software and hardware products most needed in the fire service. The typical acquisition in today’s environment is one of three paths- you spot something at a vendor show, word of mouth through networking connections, or possibly through a vetted process in which the solution ultimately fails to meet the expectation. It is the goal of the WFCA to help our members make better technology decisions by providing tools and support through a trustworthy and properly vetted process. The strong work this group did will be the foundation in making that goal achievable. This will be an initiative that our members will want to keep a close eye on and stayed engaged with.
Mark Niemeyer, Fire Chief
Meridian Fire Department
Chief Niemeyer is the Idaho state representative for the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), as well as the WFCA Wildfire Committee.