FirstForward is a secure platform where first responders such as law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel can share their expertise, collaborate, and access the latest tools and training they need to do their jobs.
Created by Envisage Technologies, a leader in public safety technology, the FirstForward network will be launched privately to a select group of police, fire and EMS departments. A national roll-out is slated for 2015 to offer membership to Envisage's existing base of over 500,000 first responders who use the company's Acadis Readiness Suite to track training and compliance.
"Our primary goal is to provide tools that help first responders across the Nation connect and collaborate with each other," said Ari Vidali, CEO of Envisage. "We want to make it simple for a firefighter or police officer to connect. We want them to be able to discuss crucial topics, access the collective knowledge of their peers and celebrate the stories of heroism and compassion common among all first responders."
FirstForward will verify members who join the network, issuing digital badges based on their discipline and work status. This careful stewardship of community membership will enable secure "badge to badge" communication between individual officers and allow departments to protect content from unauthorized access.
Introducing the Industry's First LearningCloud
"Training is of vital importance in these high-risk professions. We wanted to make access to training as easy as downloading music from the iTunes store," said Vidali. "The FirstForward model changes everything and challenges how we think about access to learning content in the industry."
Police and emergency departments often subscribe to multiple training catalogs over the course of their careers. Separately, these catalogs may lack courses vital to public safety professionals.
FirstForward features the industry's first LearningCloud, designed to aggregate the best training content from top vendors into an online library that makes every course available for individual learning. Through the LearningCloud, training coordinators will be able to purchase and download only the training they need, mixing selected online courses from different provider catalogs to create the best training program for their department.
An Ambitious Vision for the First Responder Community
The only way to remain a first responder is to come home alive. As FirstForward evolves, members will collaborate to teach best practices in a protected online environment, preparing them for crisis and honoring the everyday heroism bonding them together.
"Being a first responder is not something you do alone," said Michelle Cole, COO of Envisage. "Our vision for FirstForward is to connect first responders to a much wider support network of training, gear and people - making an amazingly tough job a little bit easier."
FirstForward aspires to enable the lifelong learning needed to ensure a public safety officer reaches retirement. As members work to advance their careers, FirstForward will maintain a training history of all completed courses and work with trusted vendors to give first responders access to life-saving gear. FirstForward will facilitate discussions about crucial topics in public safety, helping colleagues solve problems together.