RED OAK — The Red Oak Fire Department has launched a new website explaining its role in the community.

“The main thing is that the website is a marketing tool to let our citizens in the community know exactly what their fire department has to offer them because it is their fire department,” Fire Chief Eric Thompson said. “I think that it is very important for the community to understand exactly what we do, who we are, our capabilities and the different programs that we have.

“The website is more user-friendly and puts the information out to the public better. We didn’t feel that we were doing a real good job of letting the public know what we all had to offer them.”

The new site is organized into different tabs that explain what each division does such as administration, training, operations and fire prevention. The site also includes the department’s standard operating guidelines which include items such as rules and regulations, the two men in and two men out rule, command procedure and vehicle safety. It also has a tab for performance standards, which lists tasks firefighters should be able to perform, and information on the inspection program the department has in place.

Under the fire prevention tab, the website provides the public with information such as the steps a homeowner needs to take after a fire, the fire code, permitting process, fire inspections, public education on cooking, smoke detectors, home heater safety and escape plans.

The operations division tab provides information about daily operations, service areas, personnel training, emergency medical information, apparatuses and personnel.

“A business owner can go on there and click on the inspection portion and see what I have to inspect if I am going to do a fire inspection. That way they can see some of that stuff and be prepared before we even come and do the inspection. There are foster home inspections as well. If someone wants to be a foster home they can go on there and see what the requirements are as far as the fire department and what they can expect from the fire marshal when he goes through the fire inspection,” Thompson said.

“The public can go online if they need a fire report. If they need an inspection they can go online and submit a request. If they have a question they can go online and e-mail us and we can get back with them on whatever their information request is.”

The new site, which has a photo gallery, also talks about the department’s history, mission and vision, and the chaplain services it offers its firefighters. The website redesign was done in house and took about six months to compete. The information on it was compiled by Thompson and Deputy Fire Chief Tim Birdwell, before being uploaded by department administrative assistant Stephanie Welch.

“We did a lot of brainstorming and looked a lot of other departments’ websites and got some good ideas. Then we sat down and said, ‘OK, how can we put this together and how do we want to put this together?’ ” Thompson said.

“We have our strategic plan on there, our annual reports are on there and there is a lot of downloadable information where the community can go on and see what the fire department is doing, what we are planning on and where we are planning on going,” he said.

The department’s website is online at www.redoakfirerescue.com.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.