Iowa Fire Department Utilizes Microsoft Power BI to Analyze and Display Data Collected with Emergency Reporting Software

Bellingham, WA – Emergency Reporting® (ER), a leader in cloud-based Fire and EMS records management software, was featured this week in a blog post published by Microsoft. The interview-based article summarizes a discussion between Chief Andrew Olesen of Cedar Rapids Fire Department and Microsoft. You can view the complete post here: 

In the interview, Chief Olesen describes why his agency switched to Emergency Reporting Records Management System (RMS) and how his department uses it to track and analyze important fire incident and patient care data. The blog post highlights Cedar Rapids Fire Department’s innovative use of Microsoft Power BI to create visually impactful dashboards using their data from ER.  

By leveraging both of these platforms, Chief Olesen has been able to provide real-time information and business intelligence that has been instrumental for decision makers in his community. 

The ability to collect and analyze accurate data has long been a need for the fire service, but modern tools and integrations are making that easier than ever before. When Chief Olesen was asked what challenges led his agency to switch to ER, he stated: 

“We’ve always been a data-driven organization, but the data collected wasn’t always at the level we would have liked due to the legacy reporting system we had used for the past 15 years or so. The system was hosted on-premises and needed to be installed and maintained on each machine. We had a limited number of users who could be on the system at the same time. We had an issue with data quality and integrity and spent a lot of time doing QA to ensure it was accurate. We were the complete opposite of cloud-based. 

“We needed a stronger Records Management System (RMS) that would also enable us to share data and analysis across organizations, with the City Council and other agencies, as well as with the public. We want the community to be able to track what’s going on in their neighborhoods and engage with the fire department.” 

The blog post also discusses the importance of using information from your RMS to justify your services and make data-driven decisions, now and for the future “The City Council constantly wants us to talk about why and how we do things and make reportable, data-driven decisions. It is an integral responsibility of government to communicate to the public how they run operations and leverage technology to be more effective. Leveraging Emergency Reporting and Microsoft Power BI, we’re planning to develop a customer facing dashboard next. Our time, incident, and medical data is now really tight, and we want to be able to share that,” stated Chief Olesen. 

“Emergency Reporting is excited to announce the kickoff of a new project that will empower our 6,500+ fire departments with a powerful data visualization tool,” said David Nokes, Chief Executive Officer of Emergency Reporting. “In collaboration with both Microsoft and several key beta customers, we are excited to show how your data can be utilized in Microsoft Power BI.  This is a great step forward in our ongoing relationship with Microsoft Public Safety and the municipalities we proudly serve.”  

To learn more about Emergency Reporting, or how ER data can be imported to Power BI, please visit to contact our sales team.  


About Emergency Reporting
Emergency Reporting (ER) offers a cloud-based records management software (RMS) solution to Fire/EMS agencies worldwide. Founded in 2003, ER empowers first responders with secure, easy-to-use station management tools that offer one-report filing of NFIRS and NEMSIS data. ER’s SaaS solution allows Fire/EMS departments to run their entire operations efficiently, enhancing both firefighter and citizen safety. The company’s training and support teams, with 220+ years of combined Fire & EMS experience, help ER maintain its reputation as the most friendly and easy-to-use RMS solution on the market. ER is proud to support more than 460,000 first responders and agency personnel at more than 6,450 agencies, continuously adding an average of 18 new agencies each week. Current customers include Fire/Rescue and EMS agencies and DoD/military installations, as well as large entities with self-contained Fire/EMS services such as NASA, nuclear power plants, hospitals, and oil refineries. For more information, visit

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