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Pocatello FD taking part in Community Risk Assessment pilot program

Pocatello Fire Dept. Pilot Program
Kim Stouse of the Pocatello Fire Dept. highlights the pilot program the department is testing.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Pocatello Fire Department is one of 25 departments around the country selected to take part in an NFPA pilot program.

Powered by mySidewalk, the department has had access to the portal for nearly a month, but it was "in a building phase" until recently.

"It is still a work in progress," Kim Stouse, community relations and education specialist for the department, said. "But, yeah. It's super awesome, love it."

The program compiles data from numerous sources, many of which can be accessed by the public online, in a way that saves time and money for the department, according to Stouse.

"I can look at things such as our fire incident data: do we have a higher number of certain types of calls to a certain area? The poverty: do we have a certain portion of town that maybe has struggles more socioeconomically?" Stouse explained.

The age of area homes, disability percentages and many other statistics can also be easily accessed by Stouse, and other members of the department, with this program.

"Really, it allows us to have one place where I can look at the data and say, 'Yeah, we see we're having a lot of calls to this location, maybe it's a lower socioeconomic, so they may not have means to getting smoke alarms and that would be an area we could focus our smoke alarm campaigns on,'" she explained.

Stouse says she's already used the data in presentations to the department's senior staff.

As part of the program, the Pocatello Fire Department will have access to the system for a year. After that point, Stouse said they will have to decide whether or not they'd like to pay for the service.

While much of the information is publically accessible, the portal is currently password protected.

Stouse believes that the program, should the city decided to continue using it, could be helpful to many around town.

"Down the road, our planning department can use [it] to recruit future businesses to our area," she said. "So it's covering our whole community and it's not specific to the fire department."

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