City of Boulder

Enriching training and collaboration with Cisco Devices and Webex.

Discover how the Boulder City Fire Department (BCFD) leverages all-in-one collaboration devices to enhance training and streamline collaboration.

Enabling a multi-faceted learning experience.

Spanning 212 square miles, BCFD is always proactive in protecting the community.

A global health crisis

BCFD wanted a way to make training sessions and meetings more accessible in a hybrid world.

Simplified communication

BCFD deployed Cisco devices and Webex Meetings to enhance collaboration.

The total package

With all-in-one devices, BCFD saves time, increases productivity, and enriches its training experiences.

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Boulder City Fire Department powers enriched collaboration with Cisco devices and Webex

Responsible for 212 square miles, the Boulder City Fire Department (BCFD) offers several essential services to the residents of Boulder City, Nevada. From emergency medical and fire prevention to educational programs and training, the department is always proactive in building a safer community.

With both residences and thousands of visitors to protect and just 26 full-time personnel on staff, BCFD knows the importance of swift and coordinated response. Yet, as the global health crisis unfolded, new challenges emerged and prompted a shift to newer, more nimble ways of working.

Adapting to a new reality

Whether communicating with city leaders, inside the team, or across Clark County, collaboration is key when it comes to emergency management. As an all-hazards fire department, BCFD understands this better than most.

The only problem? The onset of the global health crisis brought unprecedented challenges in 2020.

“When COVID occurred, we had limited [video] devices whatsoever in play,” explained Gregory Chesser, Deputy Fire Chief. “We often had to drive 30 minutes to attend meetings, which wasn’t very nice during the pandemic. We knew right away we needed a solution.”

The department also faced the daunting task of coordinating emergency responses and training across a vast area, all while ensuring the safety of its personnel. For a while, the team used laptops to attend meetings, provide training, and stay connected. However, the quality was lacking, which prompted the department to find a solution that made hybrid collaboration a seamless process.

The search for a solution: Embracing Webex

Luckily, the journey to find the right collaboration tool led BCFD straight through Henderson—a city just 20 minutes outside Boulder. BCFD often partners with the City of Henderson for support in terms of joint training and assistance.

One day, while visiting the Henderson Fire Department, Chesser noticed a 55-inch Cisco Board Pro in one of the meeting rooms. Curious, he asked his colleagues to show him what the all-in-one collaboration device had to offer—and that’s how he discovered Webex.

“As soon as they demonstrated its capabilities, especially the integrated whiteboard along with high-quality video, that sold me right away,” Chesser said. “So, when the opportunity arose to consider purchasing, we already had a clear idea of what we wanted."

Ben Jurek, IT Coordinator for the City of Boulder, added that user experience was a big priority. At the end of the day, he explained, it needs to be useful and intuitive for people to learn and understand.

"You could have the best tool in the world, but if it's complicated or frustrating to use, you only get a couple of chances to make a first impression,” Jurek said. “In Greg's case, he saw what he wanted and how easy it was to use, and that influenced his decision.”

He went on to explain his familiarity with Webex, noting that Cisco Board Pros were already in use at Boulder City Hall. In fact, they quickly became the go-to device for meetings and video conferencing.

Formerly, users worked with laptops, webcams, and television screens, but these were too complicated. Staff often submitted tickets to the IT department for assistance setting up the equipment.

But, with Cisco Board Pros, Jurek said he’s received virtually zero tickets.

“It's intuitive and easy to use,” he explained. “People are excited to use it. And, from a support perspective, the less time I spend helping people use their equipment, the more I can spend helping other people with their problems.”

Enhancing the collaborative experience

In addition to all-in-one equipment, BCFD also implemented Webex Meetings—a cloud-based video conferencing platform with intelligent capabilities. Background noise removal, for instance, uses artificial intelligence to bring the meeting experience to a whole new level.

“The quality is probably the best I’ve seen over the years,” Chesser said. “The overall quality of the picture is great, and it sounds like you’re in the same room.”

Cisco’s device interoperability capabilities allow BCFD to seamlessly collaborate with agencies that use other conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Combined with Cisco Board Pros, BCFD’s new and improved collaboration stack has led to notable productivity gains. Staff no longer have to make the 30-minute drive to attend a meeting—they simply join with the push of a button, regardless of platform. Plus, Cisco devices make scheduling and organizing training sessions a much faster process.

“The Boards allow for better communication and cohesiveness between the crews that usually don’t get to see each other,” added Training Officer Joshua Barrone. “And it allows for inter-agency training, so we can actually work alongside Henderson Fire Department. We can build a relationship, build our skills together by connecting through these devices.”

For example, teams use the Cisco Board Pros to go over mock scenarios, such as a commercial structure fire or vehicular accident. Previously, department members who didn’t live in the city would have to commute to Boulder just to join the session. Fortunately, Webex allows them to broadcast training online in a more streamlined fashion.

“It’s allowed better participation throughout the department,” Barrone said. “We’re looking forward to using it with our upcoming classes. We have very excited people, and the Board Pro is going to allow them to attend all the meetings online.”

Not only has Webex made meetings more accessible to BCFD members, but it’s also made them more valuable. The device’s whiteboard capabilities enrich training sessions, especially for firefighters who tend to be visual and hands-on learners. Users can draw scenarios up on the Cisco Board Pro, such as a house fire and the surrounding exposures.

“It allows me to connect to my firefighters through multi-faceted learning,” Barrone said. “It’s not just audio, it’s visual and kinesthetic. I’m engaging all those facets of learning, allowing the lesson to sink in and become better retained.”

Cisco and Webex solutions offer an all-in-one, elevated collaboration experience.

Ultimately, BCFD is happy with its Webex experience. Why? Because, as Barrone explained, it simply makes their jobs easier.

“The Cisco Board is a full system—it’s not just a platform,” he said. “It’s the camera, the microphone, it’s just a complete package.”

To learn more about how Webex can enhance collaboration at your organization, contact our team today.

The one-stop-shop for collaboration

Cisco devices offer everything you need to ideate, create, and innovate with your teams across the hybrid workforce.

Embracing creativity, flexibility, and simplicity for enhanced collaboration.

BCFD modernized its internal and external collaborations with the Cisco Board Pro.

Visual engagement

Embedded whiteboarding tools allow the team to draw practice scenarios and retain key lessons.

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Complete compatibility

Cisco Board Pros and Webex Meetings integrate with numerous conferencing platforms, enabling seamless communication.

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Maintenance made easy

Control Hub gives BCFD a centralized portal to manage its devices with ease.

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Webex Meetings
Cisco Board Pro
Control Hub

The Boulder City Fire Department stays connected with Cisco Devices.

It's intuitive and easy to use. People are excited to use it. And, from a support perspective, the less time I spend helping people use their equipment, the more I can spend helping other people with their problems.

Ben Jurek, IT Coordinator

The quality is probably the best I’ve seen over the years. The overall quality of the picture is great, and it sounds like you’re in the same room.

Gregory Chesser, Deputy Fire Chief

The [Cisco Board Pro] is a full system—it’s not just a platform. It’s the camera, the microphone, it’s just a complete package.

Joshua Barone, Training Officer

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