Tampa Bay’s EaseAlert Brings Healthier Alerting to Firefighters in Nation’s Oldest City
EaseAlert bids farewell to traditional heart-pounding audible alarms in favour of less jarring tactile and visual notifications. What began as a Flagler College class project led by then-Junior Blake Richardson, is now transforming how emergency responders receive critical notifications. Unlike traditional alarms that cause a physiological startle response, EaseAlert’s tactile and visual notifications provide less stressful and more efficient alerts. Responders instantly feel the vibration from EaseAlert’s wristband and see low-impact red LEDs from EaseAlert’s BunkAlerts, allowing them to receive alerts without the dangerous startle response of jarring audible alarms.
With their expansion into the St. Augustine Fire Department (SAFD), EaseAlert is bringing emergency responders in the nation’s oldest city a healthier and more efficient alerting system. SAFD is known for protecting some of the most historic buildings in the United States under the leadership of Fire Chief Carlos Aviles. This expansion marks SAFD as one of the nation’s inaugural fire departments to embrace EaseAlert. This historic adoption, after initially supporting the class project, not only builds upon EaseAlert’s credibility but also positions the entire emergency response sector at the forefront of innovation.
“Chief Aviles and the St. Augustine Fire Department have been supportive of our mission from day one, and now we get the chance to return the favor,” says Blake Richardson, Co-Founder & CEO of EaseAlert. “EaseAlert’s mission is simple: reduce stress and improve efficiency for emergency responders. I’m grateful that EaseAlert now has the opportunity to do so in the city that was home for me during those formative years.”
After trialing EaseAlert’s system, SAFD requested BunkAlerts at both of the city’s fire stations. BunkAlerts are personal lighting devices that shine low-impact red LEDs to provide visual cues and assist with nighttime vision. User feedback via anonymous surveys showed that EaseAlert improved the health of the alerting process by 53%. Further, respondents “Strongly Agree” that EaseAlert provides “at least one significant benefit” (cumulative score = 6.6/7).
“EaseAlert’s data-driven results have opened our eyes to the impacts that our old station alerting system was having on our personnel,” says Fire Chief Carlos Aviles. “I strongly believe that EaseAlert will revolutionize emergency alerting in the fire service. We’re proud to be among the first to adopt this technology here in the Nation’s Oldest City.”
The collaboration between EaseAlert and the St. Augustine Fire Department initially began in 2019, when Richardson spoke with Chief Aviles and the on-duty crew members about an idea to make the alerting process less stressful. “They told me it would be awesome to have a less stressful alerting system like EaseAlert, and to go build it,” Richardson recalls. Richardson then met co-founder Elezar Tonev, who was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Florida, and the pair were off to the races. Richardson and Tonev returned to St. Augustine Fire Department with the novel alerting system for an Early Adopter trial after developing and testing the system. The results spoke for themselves, and Chief Aviles began the process of procuring the EaseAlert system. EaseAlert’s success in St. Augustine serves as a beacon, illuminating the path for its widespread adoption in fire departments nationwide.
For more information about EaseAlert and their pioneering emergency response system, please visit www.easealert.com.
Main image: Richardson (right) with Fire Chief Carlos Aviles (left) of the City of Saint Augustine Fire Department.