FirstWatch On Duty During COVID-19 “Stay at Home” Order

Todd Stout
A message from Todd Stout
How FirstWatch is helping with COVID-19, thumbnail

How FirstWatch is helping during COVID-19. Click on image.

March 20, 2020

Dear FirstWatch Friend,

As you may have heard by now, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a “Stay at Home” order for all non-essential services:

We provide essential services, and rest assured that our team here at FirstWatch in Carlsbad, California will still be working, although almost exclusively remotely. Most of us started working remotely last week with our own efforts to help “flatten the curve”. We have only had a handful of our team in the office this week, and everything has been working well.

With this Stay at Home order, we’ll take the next steps to even further reduce time spent in the office or our Network Operations Center, down to only those activities that have to be done in person that are essential to meeting the needs of our customers and the citizens and patients they serve, and keeping our business running.

Like most or all of you, since the beginning of the year, our focus has been increasingly on COVID-19-related work. We’ve created 100 FirstWatch COVID-19 triggers monitoring CAD, EMD, ePCR, and hospital data so far as shown in the left chart below from an internal dashboard. The right chart shows that 67 of these trigger requests started with our “standard” COVID-19 trigger setup, and then due to the agencies’ process for identifying potential PUI cases, we added custom aspects to their trigger to make it work exactly as they and/or their Public Health folks needed.

We are also helping in related ways, including with our Health Intelligence pages ( and hosting many COVID-19 educational webinars for public safety. We are proud to be continuing our history of emerging infectious disease outbreak education in partnership with industry leaders in the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC), the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI), the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), and the California Ambulance Association (CAA).

Also like you, in addition to COVID-19, most of our regular day-to-day work is still needed, and so we’re triaging and juggling priorities hourly. We’ll continue to meet as many other needs as we can, but COVID-19 is an international crisis, and the related work is helping customers in many ways, including helping ensure that crews are notified before they arrive on scene, so they don appropriate PPE, and avoid quarantine situations and stay on duty.

As a 21+ year old company that started out focused on “biosurveillance”, and now partners with over 500 public safety agencies that serve over 40% of the population of the US and Canada, we’ve been through this before on a smaller scale with H1N1 and Ebola. And, since about half of us worked in public safety before we started/joined FirstWatch, we also are lucky to understand triage, prioritization, crisis management, and what it takes to adapt and improvise to make things work, no matter what.

We’re here to help, and your emergencies are our emergencies. Please contact our support team ( or text or call me directly ANY time.

Thank you for your support. Stay healthy! – Todd (cell: 858-395-1728)

Todd Stout

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21+ years strong, public safety software company whose 55+ staff have over 350 years of public safety (mostly EMS) experience and another 300+ years of public safety software experience. FirstWatch was started by Todd Stout, son of EMS icon and the creator of System Status Management (SSM), Jack Stout ( Our 500+ customers serve over 40% of the population of the US and Canada.

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