Fire Chief Holl Saw Digital Deficiencies. Brigantine Avoids Tech?

Remembering Chief Holl
Remembering Chief Holl

Does Brigantine shy away from digital technology? That’s a question being asked by residents after learning of Brigantine’s limited interest in subsidized Police body cams. This comes on the heels of Police Chief / City Webmaster Tim Reed’s recent decision to cancel the on-demand webcasts of City Council meetings.

Many still scratch their heads wondering why highly effective ‘Dash-Cams’ were removed from Brigantine police vehicles.

The late Fire Chief; Jim Holl thought Brigantine had a digitally deficient fire department. Could this adversely affect fire & safety operations? Most think so.

Just 2 months after Holl passed away suddenly on June 2, 2013, the highly regarded Fire Chief was awarded $218,538 in FEMA grant dollars. Holl garnered those dollars for his department based on the research & study he conducted & reported on. Very few in Brigantine have seen this report….so here it is…..

Read Holl Report here

Chief Holl wanted to investigate and clarify the current status of utilization of information technology within the Brigantine FD & EMS. This award winning report indicated that the Brigantine Fire Department had problems with employee’s not complying with the operating guideline for information technology.

Brigantine Fire Department
Fire Chief James Holl

According to the report & internal survey:

The Brigantine Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service (BFD & EMS) may not be utilizing information technology adequately. Inadequate utilization of information technology within the Brigantine fire department could lead to negative consequences for the department, employees, and the community the department serves.

At the time of his research, the department utilized a paper posting and bulletin board system for communicating important departmental orders, memorandums and information. This paper system may not facilitate information sharing among other departments within the City. The paper system may make compliance with orders and policy memos slow.

The paper system may prevent the timely communication of critical information from agencies outside the city i.e. State or Federal Emergency Management, The use of e-mail and electronic data systems to provide situational awareness may not be effective.

Traditions die hard in the Brigantine fire department. It’s is not clear the reason for continual use of the paper system.

For the purposes of compliance, survey was measured by the employee completing the act of creating a network account with the National Fire Academy. One hundred percent (100%) compliance was anticipated. 91% compliance was achieved in the time frame of this research project. The average time for compliance was 22.3 days.

Reviewing the data from the survey it appears the answer to the research question is that the Brigantine Fire Department is utilizing information technology adequately.

BrigantineThat answer does not hold true when the data from the software log-in and email compliance data is reviewed.

Members only logged-in to the mandatorily used software 69% of the time. Only 80.1 % of respondents actually read the e-mail.

It took almost 30 days for (Brigantine Fire Dept Members) to read a priority e­-mail related to operational safety.

That same e-mail (E#I) was read by just 81% of the department. lt took greater than 22 days to comply with a departmental order sent via e-mail.

Download & Read Chief Holl Report Here

Editor’s Note:

Fire Chief Holl was head & shoulders above many with skills and training plus an excellent grasp of technology. His resume was loaded with credentials that easily put him at the top ranks in the department. That’s why he made an excellent Fire Chief. It’s truly sad that he passed away so young. Brigantine needs more people like Holl.

Indeed, his family, friends, and the community at large is still struggling to deal with the loss of a great leader, friend, father, son, brother, husband and fire-fighter.

It’s been said that some members of the Brigantine Fire Department were not exactly welcoming of Holl’s money saving & safety-first ideas. Some fought him at every turn. BrigantineNOW salutes Fire Chief James Holl for doing what was right, no matter if it ruffled a few feathers along the way.

Holl was trying to get buy-in for stuff like this: Advanced GIS technology and remote sensing capabilities. Communities can more effectively identify hazards and develop an efficient response strategy designed to mitigate the risks facing property, occupants and firefighters. See here: Technology Chief Holl wanted for Brigantine Fire Department.

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3 thoughts on “Fire Chief Holl Saw Digital Deficiencies. Brigantine Avoids Tech?”

  1. It is not limited interest in body cams. What was stated was that the $3000 would not cover the full price tag of the servers and systems needed for them. So the city would have to spend additional $7000-9000 to outfit the whole department. You can not scream and yell about the city spending to much money then complain that they aren’t buying enough things. I will also promise you there is no lapse in safety in this city. Your claims as usual have no factual backing.

    1. Please read the Chief Holl report…..to see how safety is affected by poor management, a immature firefighter union leader, and improper investment in tech. Your comment is protective of a mis-managed city hall. We hope Mr weidner doesn’t spend too much time as a full time real estate agent…especially since taxpayers fork over close to 200k per year for him to be a fire chief. We hope Mr Reed will rethink his stance on cutting off web access to city council meetings. Reed is a very weak police chief.

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