Tatango Customer Spotlight: North Whatcom Fire
Here’s another Tatango customer interview in a series we’re calling “Tatango Customer Spotlight”. If you didn’t catch the previous interview, you can check it out here: Tatango Customer Spotlight: Reset Games
Below you will find the interview.
Client Name: Chris Hollander
Client Campaign Name: North Whatcom Fire and Rescue
Location: Whatcom County, WA
Industry: Emergency SMS
1. Who didn’t want to be a firefighter when they were a kid? How did you get such a cool job?
My dad moved up to the area in ’92. He started looking for a way to give back and became a volunteer firefighter. When I moved up to Whatcom County in 1998, I went through the volunteer fire academy and became a volunteer. Almost nine years later I tested and was hired as a career firefighter for North Whatcom Fire and Rescue.
2. Awesome. What do you use text message alerts for in the fire department?
We started using it just for callbacks if we needed more personnel due to a fire, aid call, or big accident. Now we have made different text message alerts for meeting changes, training, or any announcement that needs to get out to all employees quickly.
3. What did you use before, and why did you make the switch to text message alerts?
All career members carried pagers (remember those?). If there was a need for a callback for personnel, then we would send out a page. We did this up until about two years ago when we found text message alerts with Tatango.
4. Give me an example of one of the text message alerts you’ve sent.
In early April, we had the following text message alert sent out to all career members at 12:46: “Residential structure fire, callback, need personnel to respond to their station.”
5. Did the text message alerts work?
Yes, most definitely. We had more than enough personnel respond to the text message alert and the station was fully staffed in less than an hour, in case of another fire or aid call.
6. Well that’s good to hear. How easy is Tatango to set up and use within a fire department?
Tatango was super easy from the start. It took about 5 minutes to join and from there, we were up and able to cancel our pager contract (which saved a lot of money). All four chiefs have MDC (mobile data computers) in their command vehicles. From those computers they can log into Tatango and send text alerts to everyone. Most of our callbacks have been from a chief who has been on-scene of a large call and needed more people.
7. Besides being easy to use, does anything else stand out about Tatango over other service providers?
When the fire department started to use pagers, cell phones were not as popular. Three years ago when we hired 20 people, everyone had a cell phone. So now we’re carrying a cell phone and a pager. Once we became aware of SMS and how easy it is, we looked into a few different services. Not only was Tatango local for us, but thousands of dollars cheaper than other companies. Any questions we had were always answered, not only the same day, but by a real person. CEO Derek Johnson even came by to see the fire house and answer any questions we had!
8. Awh, that’s so nice of you to say! I’m guessing you would recommend Tatango text alerts to other fire departments?
I have. Lots of fire departments are looking for ways to save money, in addition to having a way to call back people for fires or overtime. I have told them how easy and inexpensive it is. I would recommend Tatango to any fire department.