We are all familiar with the fire department. It’s is made up of remarkable men and women who risk their lives to put out fires and keep people safe. But under the motto that prevention is better than cure, the fire department’s job goes beyond saving lives in an emergency.
In the context of Fire Safe Living, the fire brigade works in various ways to prevent a fire, including home visits and information. During these home visits volunteers provide general fire safety advice and advice tailored to each living situation.
‘Brandveilig Leven’ (BVL, fire-safe life) is a project within the Netherlands Fire Service aimed at increasing awareness of fire prevention. Fire prevention can only be achieved by uniting forces within the community: by talking to neighbours, by providing information at schools and community centres, and by working together with businesses and healthcare institutions.
In the Amsterdam-Amstelland safety region, a number of former firefighters are actively involved in spreading the fire-safely message by, among other things, offering training to home care professionals and employees of housing corporations, and by providing information about fire safely in public places such as markets, schools, churches and mosques, and to senior citizens.
From paper records to an online portal
The former firefighters can register for these training and information sessions at their convenience by filling in paper registration forms. Arianne Liebe, area coordinator and policy adviser for the Amsterdam-Amstelland Fire Department, believed this process could be made a lot easier.
‘From my experience working for Nederland Cares as a volunteer, I knew that Gen25 developed a web portal where volunteers can sign up for various projects. This solution was precisely what the Fire Department needed: a solution that allowed our people to register for different activities in an accessible and structured way.’
On the new portal, the days on which the activities take place are clearly displayed in a calendar. The different colours indicate whether the activity is still taking registrations. If the activity is fully booked, members of the flexible BVL team have the option to be placed on a waiting list. The Service Team is responsible for keeping the calendar up to date with new activities, after which a notification is sent out to the team. In short, the portal provides everyone with a clear overview of all available activities.
At Gen25, we are given two days per year to volunteer in causes close to our heart. When the Fire Department reached out to us with this assignment we, as a designer and front-end developer, offered to design and build the portal and use our hours for this purpose,’ say Ricky Admiraal and Machiel Dalebout.
‘The portal has a sleek design, is very user friendly and requires only a minimum amount of training to use. Collaborating with Gen25 was a smooth experience and our Service Team is very happy with the result,’ says Arianne Liebe, Amsterdam-Amstelland Fire Department.