So I am working on some demo web sites and have hit the "brick Wall" that most writers hit when they run out of ideas. So i am reaching out to my fellow ff's and emt's and seeing what you would do for your co' or dept's site.
Please post here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what featurs you would want in your dept site ether its a internet only, a intranet for just the membership, or if its a blended site for both public and department use.
Internet for others to see your site, projects, fundraisers, awards, etc. with a intranet for members of the department to look at their own training records, and do online trainings, and internal suggestion box, etc.
Some good sites I have seen have individual pictures of all their members and ranks. Some even let the firefighters write a little bio about themselves that when you click on their photo you get the story of why Charles became a firefighter, maybe how long he has served and some resume stuff - like where he served and various capacities.
They also have details about the number of staff and roles. Section that explains the training that each degree/rank must undergo. Maybe also have number of calls, and types of calls.
? Maybe a Budget page - but this needs to be put into context for the community, since it is much more expensive in real life than the average person understands, is my assumption
Awards Page - showing details of awards to individual members and to the department.
Pictures of all the trucks - identified with details.
Pictures of what new item you are saving money to buy - like a truck - show the truck and explain the fundraiser and how to donate. Announce all donation events online.
History of Your Dept Page - historical pictures are nice
History of the Fire Service Page
Tributes Page - to post local fallen firefighter information
Community Service page - with videos and information on home safety, etc. for community members to look at and learn. Such as how to properly install a smoke detectors, etc. Home fire extinguisher use, water safety, cpr, car seat installation, etc.
Community Trainings page - Water safety, CPR, basic first aid, etc.
Community Links Page - other people, liike the people who provide child-proofing a house training could post a link on your site for people to enter to get help child-proofing their home
Have a way for community members to send you emails to the department - words of encouragement, suggestions, thouhts, prayers, ya know - anything that they want to communicate to the fire department. Some sites even have email addresses set up for each staff member, so when someone clicks on their individual picture a community member can send them an email.
Have a kid page for kids to play games - like stop, drop, and roll, and search and rescue games, even online coloring pages kids love - ones they can color online or print then color - such as color the firetrucks and fire station and buildings that the fire department would have to put out, like their school.
Some sites post a wall of "edited" comments of appreciation towards the fire department - many are anonymous to support confidentiality.
Use simple colors - crazy colors are distracting. Let the pictures serve as the crazy colors.
Make it fast loading. MAKE SURE EVERTHING IS SPELLED RIGHT ON IT !!! GET A FEW PEOPLE TO SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK IT - since it makes us look ignorant to the public.
Look up www.presentationzen.com Excellent resource of the best ways currently to present information with the maximum impact and the fewest words !!!