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Try searching for the “largest county in the US” and San Bernardino County, California, rises to the top.  Second place isn’t even close. It is more than double the area of the second-largest county. Coming from a Texan, that is certainly something I can appreciate. Now, putting your public safety and first responder lenses on, you start to think of all the challenges that might occur while responding to calls in a county that size. 

At San Bernardino County Fire (SB Fire), you will find one of the country’s most innovative and progressive fire chiefs in Daniel R. Munsey. A quick trip to the department’s SB Fire’s website provides a glimpse into Chief Munsey’s willingness to leverage technology to keep the citizens and businesses in his county aware of his department’s safety-related activities. They have access to all SB Fire social media, a Pulse Point mobile app for active and recent incidents, and access to a map view for where such events are located in the county. They utilized their San Bernardino County Fire YouTube Page and made signing up for the county’s emergency notifications and the Ready SB a breeze, helping the public prepare for disaster. It’s an impressive operation, and I would encourage you to visit their website yourself. But knowing Chief Munsey, he would quickly give credit to members of the department for making sure his citizens are informed.  

I met Chief Munsey roughly four years ago at the International Association of Fire Chief’s Fire-Rescue International Conference. From the moment we first met, Chief Munsey and I have been competing to see who can develop events and opportunities to introduce technology and innovators to the most members of the fire service. In 2018, Chief Munsey was a member of the team that put together the “Operations Technology Summit” hosted by the Firescope and Esri. He has the fire service edge, having served for 25 years and bringing the natural lingo to every presentation I have seen him give. Chief Munsey’s keynote at TEEX Under Fire 2018 event to this day is one of the most discussed and reviewed slide decks requested by the fire service. 

In November 2019, while speaking at the Emergency Services Technology Symposium, he made the statement, “the fire service needs SMART technologies.” It was a brilliant and concise observation. Chief Munsey went on to explain SMART: Strategic, Manageable, Accessible, Reliable, Timely: 

  • Strategic deployment 
  • Manageable by the organization 
  • Accessible (Events like Operations Technology Summit, Under Fire, ESTS) 
  • Reliable 
  • Timely 

Chief Munsey was promoted to Fire Chief of San Bernardino County in November 2019. His congressional representative was so proud to have him in office, Chief Munsey was invited to attend the 2020 State of the Union as his guest. I am honored to serve with him on the IAFC Technology Council, where even though he knows I hold the edge speaking with the technology companies and innovators, he still promised to get me a yellow helmet as a Rookie after asking me to give the closing statements at the 2020 Operations Technology Summit. We are proud to make Chief Dan Munsey and the San Bernardino County Fire the inaugural Department Highlight for Safe Tech Insights. 

– Caleb Holt, Founder and CEO

Caleb Holt

Caleb Holt founded the nonprofit Make Safe Tech Inc. and the for-profit Axle Box Innovations LLC in 2019.