Bjørnafjorden strengthens the fire service with digital tools for better structure and documentation

The use of GRID has become a valuable resource for Bjørnafjorden Fire and Rescue. In a period of cutbacks in the municipality, digitisation was prioritised to ensure more efficient use of resources, better structure and documentation for crew and management. Bjørnafjorden strengthens the fire service with digital tools for better structure and documentation blog hero image

Bjørnafjord is a developing municipality with 26,000 inhabitants living in different areas on both sides of the fjord. With a new road connection through a tunnel, the municipality now has a short distance to Bergen, while emergency preparedness has been strengthened and the fire service is well equipped, despite the size of the municipality. Bjørnafjorden Fire and Rescue has 60 employees, both full- and part-time, working at three fire stations located at Moberg, Venjaneset and Eikelandsosen. When Espen Storum took over as fire chief after many years in the service, he saw the need to put things in order.

"We are an energetic and forward-looking fire service, but we needed structure and documentation. We have people who are exposed to occupational hazards, and we need to take good care of our employees. A folder on the shared server was not sufficient. We take this seriously and need to use technology to handle this efficiently, so that we can organise and track activities better" says Espen Storum, Fire Chief Bjørnafjorden.

Despite financial cuts in the municipality and the need to save money in the fire service, they chose to invest in Bliksund. Previously, they used Flexit Fire for controlling materials and equipment, and it was important to have a system that could replace the old one and gather all information in one place. It was also important that the new system should be simple and resource-saving in order to keep track of routines, crew, expertise, exposure, hours and costs. And an important part of the HSE work.

Espen Storum, Fire Chief Bjørnafjorden profile image"It's crucial to me that things are simple and time-saving for the crew. Time is short, so they need to be able to update information easily wherever they are. When the crew can perform their tasks on the fly, we get better and faster feedback and information to management. In addition, the vehicle module gives us better control and overview of the vehicles, costs and maintenance, allowing us to save money through more efficient operations." says Espen Storum

Bliksund has more modules than the old system, and although they have not yet adopted all the modules in GRID, the fire chief sees many opportunities. Previously, they have used many different channels, and they hope that the crew will use GRID to an even greater extent in the future to achieve greater efficiency. 

Before the fire brigade in Bjørnafjorden switched to Bliksund, they contacted several fire brigades that were already using Bliksund, and they also visited Haugesund fire brigade for a review of their work and use of Bliksund. With a clear goal and good people, the fire chief believes they have succeeded well with the implementation. 

Overview and everything in one place

Previously, both the crew and management had several separate systems, and they experience a significant improvement now that everything is gathered on one platform. They save a lot of time and resources by allowing the crew to easily update the information via the app solution that they have on their mobile while out in the field. This ensures efficient updating, timekeeping and sharing of information. Previously, they had to use cumbersome spreadsheets to enter hours, but now everyone enters their own hours and the entire salary basis is sent from the GRID platform to payroll for registration and payment.

"When all information is available in GRID and the crew can access updates through the app, everything runs much more efficiently. Now everyone updates the information directly, which saves us a lot of extra work. It's very valuable for both the crew and the management to be able to communicate with operations in this way. With this in place, many of my management needs are covered. We see great potential now when we see how actively the crew use the solution. It will then be easy to use even more modules in the future", says Espen Storum, fire chief of Bjørnafjorden brann og redning