Westfield Fire Dept. announced a partnership with Community Connect during a Feb. 25 press conference at WFD headquarters, 17535 Dartown Rd. Community Connect is a mobile app that allows residents to create a profile and enter property or occupant information, such as garage entry codes, if there are pets in a residence when first responders arrive on a call.
WFD worked with software company First Due in 2020 to help the department with its prevention and inspection program. Community Connect is part of First Due’s software.
“Community Connect allows residences and businesses to create a life safety profile to share critical information about your property or business with us that we can get on the fly immediately when we get dispatched,” WFD Chief Rob Gaylor said. “We have that critical information that’s going to save us time and energy to focus on your needs and treat you in the way you need to be treated in a timely manner.”
Community Connect uses bank-level encryption to keep information safe. The app is voluntary and residents decide what they want to share.
“That information is important to us in the event that we get dispatched on an EMS or medical calln or even a fire instance, to know what the needs are of your family and your residents, and that info is available to us right then and there on dispatch,” Gaylor said.
Bryan Kercheval, a former Westfield volunteer firefighter, was the first Westfield resident to sign up for Community Connect and spoke during the press conference.
“The Westfield Community Connect program is a great tool for our community and our public safety responders,” Kerchevel said. “As a former Westfield volunteer firefighter, I can tell you that those precious seconds and minutes do count in an emergency. If we as citizens can provide valuable information to public safety before an emergency occurs, then we can help them when responding to our homes during an emergency.”