First responder-focused digital signage network starts to roll

April 20, 2011 by Dave Haynes

It has to be at least three years ago, probably more, when I was in touch with a retired firefighter who was putting together a screen network targeting first responders in the U.S. and Canada. The idea was to put screens in all the firehalls and base stations and run relevant programming for them.

The problem was that he had immense knowledge of the first responder community and great ties, but didn’t know much of anything about running a digital signage network. And no real business model, but plans to be in 10s of 1,000s of firehalls.

I gave him a few ideas about how he might be able to fund the effort through specialty vendor advertising, but thought the idea might peter out because of the challenges he faced. To my surprise and pleasure, he’s still around and going to market.

From a release:

Fire Rescue TV Chooses Audience for Digital Signage Network.

World Media Net & Affiliates LLC, an authorized reseller of Audience digital signage and broadcasting software was awarded a contract to provide Fire Rescue TV clients a brand new means of receiving in house daily news in relation to the Fire & Rescue industry. The initial digital signage in house network will be offered to both United States & Canadian agencies.

The new Fire Rescue TV digital signage network will provide 24 hour information and news directly related to the Fire and Rescue industry. Fire Departments, Rescue Squad Departments, Military and Government Fire Departments, Airport Fire Departments , Offices of Emergency Services and Hospital Networks are expected to sign on to the new service.

Fire Rescue TV is based in Hampton Virginia. A secondary production studio in the Washington DC area is expected to be on line summer 2011. New Fire Rescue TV clients will be provided a commercial series 42 inch digital LCD screen, content playback system and professional installation services. Fire Rescue TV will provide viewers with an extensive library of videos, breaking news throughout the day and an in-depth look at the latest firefighting tools and trends affecting US & Canadian First Responders.

Fire Rescue TV is managed by CEO Ernie Hux and by Executive Producer Martin C. Grube. Martin Grube retired after over 34 years in the Virginia Beach, VA fire department and served as a Master Firefighter / EMT, Fire Instructor & Assistant Fire Marshall.

The company has chosen Capital Networks as its software vendor and the base business model is getting the first responder stations to buy a technology package for $3,900. The programming includes advertising from the sorts of equipment and materials suppliers who sell into that trade. Training videos are also part of the mix, which might help build an ROI model.

Interesting. The programming on the screen goes kooky with screen-zoning, but at least in the case of firefighters the dwell times are (sometimes) long enough to eventually take it all in. Will be interesting to see if this model gets any real traction, but good on Grube for sticking with it.


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