Why Data Storytelling Holds the Key to Effective Public Policy As a data enthusiast, one of my favorite quotes comes from Edward Tufte, who famously r...
Initially, mySidewalk customers come to us with a pressing problem. Maybe two. And often, our suite of easy-access tools quickly provides a solution to those problems. Though, here's the thing– there is so much more that comes after those initial problems are solved. Consistently using these tools leads to more conversations and more uncovering of impactful insights into your community.
When it comes to keeping your community safe, making cases for resources can be crucial. At risk of losing a fire station, Tubac FD leveraged the power of community data to show how detrimental a loss of even one station would be and instead prove the need for an additional fire station. But I will let Fire Chief Horvath tell it how it is.
“We are a rural fire district. Sometimes there’s a sense that we could pay people on call or get volunteers. The dashboard helps us legitimize our current position in a way that is, really, inarguable from the other side. Looking at it, we can easily say we absolutely need to have these resources and need to get more of them in the future.” – Cheryl Horvath, Fire Chief, Tubac Fire District2. Tell better stories
Sharing important stories and sparking conversations comes easy with Press™. With its readily accessible URLs and PDFs, Tubac Fire Department shares updates with residents through a popular local Facebook page.
“We don’t have a local newspaper, there’s no governance here. We’re a town in a county. But we do have a community Facebook page. We put donations into a community fund for prevention, community education and all that. We’ve never told that story publicly until now. You wouldn’t believe the number of likes we got before lunch.”3. Build the capacity of your team and partners to use data
When it came time to apply for a renewal of their district’s ambulance and emergency response contract, Tubac used almost a years worth of data they’d been tracking through their Fire Performance Dashboard to build a report of their response times, ultimately helping the District win a $500,000 recertification bid.
"This data has already helped me keep what I have and you can't underestimate the value of that. Same with our Certification of Renewal– that was huge!"4. Make higher-impact investments
That new and approved fire station we mentioned at the top? Well, Tubac FD took their Press™ Fire Performance Dashboard a step further and used it to pinpoint the best location for its construction.
“This data helps people understand the scope of our district’s work, the number of calls we run, where we run them, geographically how large we are, how lean our resources are. We were able to say, this station is our busiest and this is where those calls went, helping us legitimize the site selection for our new fire station.”
Now, the team at mySidewalk knows this success is only the beginning for Tubac Fire District. It's only the beginning for your work, too.
Sara joined the mySidewalk team in 2019 to lead the design and implementation of the next generation of public safety products. Prior to joining mySidewalk, Sara worked at the Office of the State Fire Marshal, a state-level government agency dedicated to the protection of lives and property from fire, explosions, and natural- and human-made disasters.
Whether you're a city official or a public safety leader, your community is bound to have risks. In fact, most communiti...
Setting yourself apart from every other grant applicant is getting more and more difficult. Especially in the fire servi...
CRAIG 1300™ has been a long time coming for both the industry and our partnership with NFPA. After nearly three years of...
Subscribe to the blog and stay up to date. We write about data, and the people using it to change the world.
We're a technology company that builds data tools for people who aren't data scientists. Data in the right hands can change the world, so we're on a mission to democratize data.