24/7 Software Blog

The Reason Legacy Incident Management Systems Will Fall Like Colossus

by 24/7 Software / September 11, 2014

Surely the Griswold family was in tears when Six Flags Magic Mountain’s mega wooden coaster, Colossus, closed in mid-August. So we can only imagine the heartache they experienced this Monday when they find out their “Wally World” dream coaster collapsed after a fire started on its lift hill.

Shortly after the ride closed in August workers began adding steel parts to the attraction to build a hybrid coaster for a 2015 reopen. During the early stages of the reformation, a fire reportedly sparked from a welder’s torch leading to the collapse of a portion of the roller coaster.

This leads us to our point. It’s old. It’s outdated and needed an overhaul…a major one. Colossus was the world’s fastest and tallest wooden roller coaster after opening in 1978. Yes, in 1978 – 36 years ago!

This incident is a textbook example of why your relic of an incident management system will bring you similar heartache. Pain that could’ve been prevented, oh say, even 3 years ago!


Here’s our perspective: your solution provider isn’t with the times. Get with the times. You’ve been using the same antiquated system for several years now, and the data you’re getting isn’t the data you need. You’re losing track of incidents. If you run events with hundreds of incidents, well then, you know you’re not getting all the documentation you should be getting AND you’re not improving response times to important incidents.

Don’t let your legacy go as far as ‘collapsing’ your whole operation from a trickle-down effect of inferior outdated, outmoded, old-fashioned technology that gives nothing useful. What’s the purpose?

Think about it. Yes, Colossus closed in the nick of time BUT what if it didn’t? What if a fire or incident did occur that inevitably injured visitors to the park? Be proactive and understand that changing your incident management system provider to one that will keep up with the times, is the move you need to make.

Don’t wait for your legacy system to collapse your operation when you could’ve prevented it. You can thank us later!

(Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Colossus Collapses from Fire on Lift Hill)

Must-Know Problems with Legacy Incident Management Systems

Scant awareness, tracking, documenting, and communication of Incidents is a challenge often faced by venue managers.

With old-school incident management processes, venue staff might not have been aware of incidents occurring. When you’re using old methods…reporting takes too much time. This prevents staff from responding with lighting speed (which is what you’re going for). Incidents then escalate or significantly ruin safety and security.

What’s the eventual effect of this? The guest experience. As you’re aware, this is not something to take lightly.

Fights, guest complaints, medical and maintenance issues never seem to get passed ‘Go.’ They start going up the lift hill, but never make it down – if you catch our drift.

We wish we could say, “It’s a thing of the past,” but unfortunately, we can’t. Its reign continues. It’s still a trepidation at venues. It still amazes us, but these outdated systems force venues to continue using pen and paper to record and track incidents. Even worse, they don’t offer staff and guests an efficient way to communicate.

We habitually praise the good ones, but if your provider is holding your feet to the fire (no pun intended) about continuing the agonizing undertaking, known as their archaic system – FIRE THEM.

Sorry, but there’s no other way to put it. It’s as real as a legal battle you could be facing if you don’t get rid of them.

It’s time for you to know about incidents that used to go unreported. It’s time for you to enhance response times to incidents. IT’S TIME for better communication between your guests and staff. It’s time for you to say, “Out with the old, in with the new!”

We know it’s what you should’ve said several years ago, but we’re willing to give you a pass if you’re moving to a solution provider that offers you a system like the type we’re going to share with you in this article.

Now you’ll be able to reduce your risk, and enhance the safety, security and experience of YOUR guests. How? All your incident details will be easily accessible for future reference and liability defense.

Progressive System Providers Create Long-Term Value

Since we like to be the bearer of good news, there are state-of-the-art systems that fill the critical void to maximize awareness and response times for a variety of incidents occurring at your venue.

These systems are always new and will NEVER become legacy systems, because they're always updating, enhancing and evolving alongside ever-changing technology.

What’s the end result? They help achieve what you want: minimize your risk and maximize the safety and security of your guests.

You definitely don’t want your staff to know about incidents and not be able to respond in a timely manner–or not to respond at all–because they were distracted. No need to stress about it anymore, it’s a new era of incident management. 21st century solutions have several safeguards to help you prevent these situations.

Now you can develop and set up protocols to display by incident type in a dispatch queue. That way your staff knows exactly what to do. A dispatch interface utilizes a color coding system, where each incident has a different color and is time stamped accordingly.

Perfect example. A guest slips on a wet spill in a restroom at your venue due to broken plumbing.

There’s water everywhere!

  1. An employee closest to the incident calls it into your command center.
  2. The incident is quickly entered into the dispatch interface for the solution.
  3. The incident is coded in red.
  4. The dispatcher communicates the incident to need-to-know staff.
  5. The incident is now coded yellow.
  6. Once Fire Rescue and your maintenance department arrive on scene, the incident’s status is changed to green.
  7. So efficient that lucky number 7 isn’t even needed.

Do you see how seamless the flow of information is?

These solutions let users see when incidents are sitting in a certain status for an extensive amount of time. This gives indication staff should contact the person or department the incident was assigned to…so they can make sure it’s being handled!

This leads to better response times. What happens when you add faster response times to your operation? You reduce your risk and–you got it–you enhance the experience of ALL your guests! (We relish in redundancy when it comes to noting the important stuff.)

Where certain departments are assigned incidents, and response times may be critical, incidents assigned to those departments can also be programmed to ‘blink’ when sitting in the created or dispatched status after a specified amount of time. This aids your staff in identifying when a critical issue might be overlooked. It’s the system’s way of getting your attention.

When the going gets tough, multiple calls are often dispatched over the radio to a person or department within a short period of time. You already know this could result in some calls going unnoticed or even forgotten, right?

Well, an innovative system allows for a text or email to be sent to multiple staff members in addition to the radio, giving the responders a ‘written’ record of all incidents that need to be handled. The combination of these tools makes it highly unlikely that a critical incident, where fast response times are required…gets ignored.

With multiple incidents occurring in certain instances, a great system provides you with effective resource allocation. You can view the number and details of incidents assigned to each department or operational unit. This will let you regulate who will be quickest to respond.

Valuable solution providers offer handheld incident management mobile applications that can operate using Wi-Fi or cellular data plans alongside your system. These apps can close a serious communication deficit in your venue.

Your staff can now report issues within seconds using touchscreen and icon-based technology. These applications also allow for two-way communication. Once an issue is reported, the staff can be messaged for more information as needed. No sweat.

Not only can there be communication to and from a single device, but all devices can be messaged if needed. You can send pictures and videos too! Wait, what? Yes, you got it!

If your command center is sent a picture of a suspicious person or missing child, they can immediately send that photo to every device in the venue.

A solution with maximum value will include an associated person database to store and easily access information, including photos of persons involved in incidents at your venue. You can always access these records in the future to identify people involved in prior incidents.

Up-to-date systems we’ve seen also give your supervisors the power timestamp response times from the mobile devices they offer. What’s even better is every user’s screen will update in real time.

What does this do for your operation?

More accurate tracking of incident response times is what it does. Responders no longer need to radio or call your command center to update an incident. The responders can simply timestamp the new status themselves.

Keep reading, it gets better…

The incident management systems that REALLY set themselves apart offer a tablet application where incident details feed directly into your system over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection. This boosts your ability to capture accurate details for incidents, including pictures, videos, audio, witness statements and even signatures right through the application. The tablet applications replace your yellow note pads.

Yes, you can finally throw them into the recycling bin. The day has come!

Even if one of your incidents occur in an area where Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection doesn’t exist–let’s say your parking lots for example–all the incident details can be entered and stored on the tablet until it enters an area with connectivity.

This next feature…we don’t recommend telling your legacy provider…they might not even believe it’s possible (or exists for that matter). What does situational awareness mean for YOUR operation? We’re sure it’s high on the priority list.

Trailblazing systems offer live mapping functionality for plotting all incidents on a map of your venue.

We celebrate in a moment of silence.

Maybe you already started researching these supposed “unicorn” type systems BUT if you haven’t…there’s more.

Filter events shown on your map by department, event marker, incident type or status. Hover over an incident to see all its details. It’s too easy. See events by color coding so you know what’s happening and where it’s happening. Easy enough, right?

We saved the best for last…

The unknown absolutely affects your operational efficiency and guest experience. Don’t let it.

As the wave of the future, one-click reporting and comprehensive stats give you all the data you need to increase your operational efficiency. Click, click, done.

Build a lasting incident management infrastructure that evolves as your needs over the years do too. Don’t wait for your operation to collapse before you take action.

Download our free eBook about incident management software 
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