Macedonia firm’s software helps fire teams keep gear in check

By Dan Shingler for Crain’s Cleveland Business, September 23, 2018 — 

Firefighters have a lot more to keep track of than just fires, accidents and disasters.

They also have equipment they need to keep track of and maintain, stuff that can sit unused for weeks but which must work perfectly the next time it’s needed. There are oxygen tanks, masks, hoses, ladders, gloves, boots, hooks, radios, helmets and axes, not to mention all the of equipment on a truck that controls water and handles communications.

All that equipment and the need for its readiness has created a nice little niche for Macedonia-based Station Check, which makes a software-as-a-service product that it says helps departments keep track of their equipment and its maintenance.

“It’s all about readiness,” said Tony Crisalli, a local investor, serial entrepreneur and co-owner of the company.

That message is getting traction with fire departments, too, Station Check officials say.

The private company is still small, with revenue about to top $1 million for the first time this year. But revenue has tripled in the past year, Station Check reported, and, more importantly, its customer base is growing.

The software now is used in more than 300 fire stations with more than 70 departments around the country, Crisalli said.

The market is ripe for the product, he said, because fire departments have been slow to adopt new technology to manage equipment. About 90% of the departments across the nation still use pen and paper to track their equipment, Crisalli said.

Unlike a paper log, Station Check follows up to ensure equipment checks and maintenance procedures are actually done by requiring users to log in and confirm them as they’re completed, Crisalli said.

It’s not a new product; it just recently has gotten a new push, Station Check partners say.

The system was born in Akron and is the brainchild of software guru Marling Engle, founder and CEO of the software development and consulting firm Metisentry. Engle wrote the code for Station Check in 2010 and released it to the first fire departments in 2012. But it wasn’t until Crisalli came aboard at the end of 2014, invested in the company and built a management team that it started to grow quickly, Engle said.

“Station Check started as an internal product at Metisentry,” Engle said. “We built it and got a couple of customers on. Then I met Tony, and he said, ‘I think there’s a lot more here,’ and I said, ‘Me too.’ ” … So he started on the capital raise, and now he’s doing product development and helping market it.”

Along with Crisalli, local financier Fred DiSanto — chairman and CEO of Ancora, a Cleveland wealth management firm with $6.8 billion in assets — and about a dozen others have invested an undisclosed sum in Station Check. DiSanto, Crisalli and Engle now make up the company’s three-member board of directors.

The new investors have meant that the company has been able to build up its management team with executives with backgrounds in homeland security, accounting, finance and marketing.

The three directors are also the company’s largest shareholders, but no one owns a controlling interest anymore, Engle said.

“There are probably 15 more shareholders now. We’re on our third or fourth round of funding, and there are no majority shareholders of Station Check now,” he said.

That’s fine by him, he said, because the company has achieved faster growth than he likely would have on his own, because Metisentry, not Station Check, is his chief business.

“I’ve always bootstrapped everything,” Engle said.

Now Station Check is at trade shows, and its people often are on the road showing fire departments the software’s capabilities, Crisalli said.

But both Crisalli and Engle said their best source of new subscribers — monthly fees are based on the size of a fire department or station — is referrals. And for referrals to exist, the system has to work and prove to departments that it can save them time and money, if not lives as well.

So far, so good. Station Check gets high marks from users such as Matt Cern, a firefighter with the Valley Fire District in Peninsula and deputy branch manager for the Summit County Hazardous Materials Response Team. Some Summit County emergency response agencies are looking at Station Check, but Valley Fire already uses it and Cern said he knows it works.

“We were one of the guinea pigs,” Cern said, noting that Valley Fire was one of the first departments to use the software.

It’s particularly important there, too, he said, because the department is volunteer, meaning it’s not continually manned. When firefighters are called into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to rescue someone or put out a fire, they need to know the equipment was taken care of since it was last stowed.

He said Station Check organizes and programs things such as checks of critical self-contained breathing equipment. The service leads to a better run station and equipment that is continually maintained, he said.

“What we found over the course of time doing paper checks was that guys weren’t always thoroughly doing everything. Now they have to, because the software checks it,” Cern said.

Now the next step is to further ramp up growth. Crisalli will focus on that, while Engle continues to improve the product based on user feedback and to scale it for more and larger users.

The company recently signed up the city of San Diego as a client, which alone has more than 60 fire stations to monitor, Crisalli said. He said talks are underway with another major U.S. city that he hopes to sign up soon.

The potential market is huge, with more than 29,000 fire departments and over 50,000 stations in the U.S. alone, Crisalli said.

If Station Check can penetrate that market, it won’t be done, either. Both Crisalli and Engle said the product has other applications as well and they plan to market it to police, military units and possibly sports teams.

See the original article in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Emergency Reporting Announces Partnership with Station Check

BELLINGHAM, WASH. (PRWEB) AUGUST 07, 2018

Emergency Reporting® (ER), a leader in cloud-based Fire and EMS records management software, is pleased to announce its partnership with Station Check, the leader in asset management, workflow, and checklist software for fire departments. The new integration will enable ER customers to save time and gain valuable insights by streamlining information they enter through Station Check dashboards with their ER accounts.

“At Emergency Reporting, we consistently seek partnerships with other leading software providers that will add value and make life easier for our customers,” said Stewart Smith, Product Manager at Emergency Reporting. “Station Check, like ER, provides powerful, easy-to-use software that simplifies and streamlines station management for fire service leaders, so they were a natural fit as a new addition to our growing network of partners.”

Station Check provides:

  • Asset Management and Tracking (with a status dashboard for all assets, as well as history and detailed reporting of all maintenance)
  • Workflow Management (including an actionable dashboard of everything that’s due, communications including new assignments and status notifications, a report on all activities, and more)
  • Dynamic Checklists (reducing workload and improving efficiencies)

With the ER + Station Check integration, users will be able to automatically create the following in ER without ever leaving their Station Check dashboard:

  • Pass through detailed information and change the status of vehicles and equipment
  • Automatically create repair tickets during a check or add one-off repair tickets on the fly
  • Auto-populate maintenance events based on either time or usage (miles/hours)
  • Create customizable notifications to individuals, groups or globally – editable by asset or task

“The software integration between Station Check and Emergency Reporting gives fire departments quick, easy access to the data they need to operate at an optimal level of efficiency and readiness. We’re incredibly excited about this latest step in Station Check’s product evolution and what this means for our mutual customers,” said Tony Crisalli, CEO of Station Check.

For more information about the Emergency Reporting and Station Check integration, visit http://info.emergencyreporting.com/stationcheck-1. To request a demo or free trial of Emergency Reporting, visit https://explore.emergencyreporting.com/information-request-form/.

About Station Check
Station Check’s asset management, workflow, and checklist software helps fire departments achieve the highest standard of readiness, compliance, and accountability. The company began in 2010 with a single fire station and now has thousands using the powerful and easy to use software in the USA and Canada to stay aligned and ready for what’s next. Station Check is a registered U.S. Government contractor and an Ohio limited liability corporation. Learn more at http://www.StationCheck.com.

About Emergency Reporting
Emergency Reporting (ER) offers a powerful, cloud-based records management software (RMS) solution to Fire/EMS agencies worldwide. Founded in 2003, ER empowers first responders with secure, easy-to-use station management tools that offer one-report filing of NFIRS and NEMSIS data. ER’s affordable SaaS solution allows Fire/EMS departments to run their entire operations efficiently and effectively, enhancing both firefighter and citizen safety. ER is proud to support more than 379,000 first responders at thousands of civilian Fire/Rescue and EMS agencies and DoD/military installations, as well as large entities with self-contained Fire/EMS services such as NASA, nuclear power plants, hospitals, and oil refineries. For more information, visit http://www.emergencyreporting.com.

Media Contact:
Andrea Hayes
(844) 752-6066
andrea.hayes(at)emergencyreporting(dot)com

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Station Check’s New Release Allows Integration with Most Popular Applications

Station Check, the leader in automated equipment checks and asset management for fire departments, announced today at FDIC International the newest release of its software platform, SC-300X. SC-300X simplifies integration with existing software partners and runs intuitively on most any device that has internet access while better serving the needs of larger departments.

Station Check provides cloud-based software services that allow fire departments to move paper-based checks onto mobile devices and electronically store the data. Station Check further provides closed-loop management of faults and other tasks so they can be promptly addressed. SC-300X is the latest software upgrade released to customers at no extra cost. It includes:

Integration support. SC-300X includes advanced API support for most of the major software packages used by fire departments.
Universal access. Station Check has always been usable on any device with internet access, but now with responsive design, every needed piece of information for chiefs, officers and field personnel can be accessed with full functionality down to a cell phone screen.
Large department support. The Enterprise program supports the needs of larger departments with sophisticated communication and filtering tools needed for large operations.
“We listen. Our customers want integration support as part of our advanced feature set, and so we’re providing it,” said Brian Sroub, Station Check’s president. “Our customers are our heroes, and we will continue to bring them the innovations they need to better serve their missions.  We do what we do best – software, technology and operations management – so first responders can do what they do best – protect our communities and save lives.”

SC-300X comes at a time of unprecedented growth for Station Check. The company has been experiencing triple digit growth rates adding clients across the USA and Canada.

“We estimate that well over 90% of apparatus checks are still being done with paper and clipboard, but an increasing number of departments are now looking for an automated approach,” opined Tony Crisalli, Station Check’s co-founder. “Station Check’s closed loop software is so much more than simply going paperless. SC-300X supports our customers and their communities in achieving the highest level of efficiency and readiness, and we’re incredibly proud of this release and what’s to come.”

About Station Check

Station Check automates the millions of vehicle, equipment, inventory and credential checks done every day by first responders and the military to ensure that nothing falls between the cracks. The company began in 2010 with a single fire station and now has thousands using the software in the USA and Canada.  Station Check is a registered U.S. Government contractor and an Ohio limited liability corporation. Learn more at www.StationCheck.com.

Station Check named by Plain Dealer’s Tech Czar as “startup to watch”

An excerpt from the Plain Dealer business page – Sunday February 19:

First-Responder Tech. An Akron-based tech company is creating engaging software that allows fire, police and EMS first responders to inspect and quickly repair their equipment before answering their next call.

StationCheck was launched in 2010 when entrepreneur Marling Engle had a client seeking a software platform that would allow them to create checklists at a fire station. Engle was fascinated by the technology and took it to two additional investors, Tony Crisalli and Fred DiSanto, who vetted the tech and found it had immense potential. Crisalli eventually introduced the concept to Brian Sroub, an experienced tech executive in the Silicon Valley, who quickly became the company’s president in 2016.

See the rest of the article here: https://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2017/02/stationcheck_mosaic_junction_i_1.html

What’s New? It All Fits on Your Phone…

Station Check recently introduced several major upgrades to its cloud-based software package for first responders.  To get a better understanding of this significant move, reporter David Montville recently met with Station Check’s president, Brian Sroub to discuss those software enhancements.

MONTVILLE: I noticed you changed your software. Why?

SROUB:  We’re just continuing our mission to better serve our customers. Software is a living product. The best software companies are always finding ways to improve their product and make their customers happier.

MONTVILLE: Of course. What were the major changes this release offered?

SROUB: Since 2010, we have been working with fire departments and EMS units to make it easier for them to do the apparatus and equipment checks they must do every day, every week to be ready for that next call. Over the last seven years, we have added thousands of features that our customers were  asking for. We are best-in-class for equipment inspections from a functionality perspective. But over time as we kept bolting on new features, it became increasingly difficult for new customers in particular to work their way through the software.

MONTVILLE: I’ve seen that happen with so many other companies.

SROUB: Yes. I’m exaggerating a bit, but this upgrade was a little like going from a DOS program in the 1980’s to a mobile phone app in 2017. People today want software they can figure out on their own. Training is important for our first responders, but they get so much of it – they need us to make it easy to figure out quickly. It’s got to be intuitive.

MONTVILLE: We don’t have time here to go into every new feature. Are there any you’d like to highlight?

SROUB: I’ll draw your attention to a few.  First, we made it easier for the field officer who actually does the check as well as the person who fixes faults. They account for over 85% of the use of the system

MONTVILLE: As one of that kind of person, I applaud you.

SROUB: Thanks. Second, we focused on making the user interface work well on a cell phone, not just a tablet or a notebook. We recognize that there are some tiffs going on about the use of personal cell phones in the workplace, but we also saw that a majority of our users were already using cell phones on Station Check today … and no department that we were aware of was issuing personal tablets to every user doing checks and repairs. We figure the turf battles over the hardware platforms will work themselves out. We provide the solutions that work the best from a human point of view … and what works on a cell phone also works on a tablet, even better.

MONTVILLE: I like it. Those battles will shake out. Is there anything else?

SROUB: We also made it much easier to navigate through large departments. Our team came to call this Scope. Basically, Scope allows larger organizations to know exactly where they are within a large organization and then to mince and mash the data within stations – and the workgroups within those stations — to see just the information and tasks they are looking for.

MONTVILLE: It sounds like something a power user would like …

SROUB: <laughs> Yes, I understand, but if you’re a larger department of say thirty or more stations, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without Scope, and once you use it for a few hours, it becomes a natural.

MONTVILLE: If it’s ok with you, I will follow up with some of your larger departments and report back.

SROUB: Please do…you know where to find us.