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Entrepreneurs

CEA Professional Services Winner: Making Essential Safety Agency Software

By Johanna Cano, posted May 5, 2023
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES | ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL | Co-Founders Scott Monroe, CEO & Preston Stackhouse, CFO | Year Founded: 2020 | Employees: 12 (Photo by Logan Burke)
Two firefighters took their experience on the field to create a new software product aimed at providing performance management and safety/wellness for public safety agencies.

Co-founder and CEO Scott Monroe and CFO and co-founder Preston Stackhouse, who have both worked for the Wilmington Fire Department, partnered to launch Essential Personnel in 2020. Stackhouse currently works at the department as a fire lieutenant.

Monroe, having been with the fire department for seven years and in the Marine Corps for 19, found that the two organizations were opposites when it came to how they handle performance development and people data.

“The military has a complete and holistic understanding of their people and what they’re good at, their strengths, their weaknesses, what they’ve done, awards, they track for mental health and physical wellbeing, injuries, exposures and critical incidents, if you’re dealing with stressors in your life,” Monroe said. “And then I come on the job as a fireman, and they have none of that data.”

This is what inspired Monroe to create a software product that provides a holistic view of employees within a municipal department. 

Essential Personnel is a software-as-a-service product for public safety agencies such as fire, law enforcement, EMS and 911. The product has three pillars: Perform, Safety & Wellness and Academy.

Perform provides personnel evaluation using metrics, team organization and management, qualification and certification tracking, an award system and employee performance profiles. 

Safety & Wellness helps leaders automatically track critical incidents, injuries and exposures and provides safety and wellness resources. 

And Academy houses continuing education courses, training and more.

“The big takeaway is that this is helping them with team building, it’s enhancing morale, internal communication, career development and mental wellbeing,” Monroe said.

Essential Personnel got an additional confirmation of the need for this type of product when the N.C. Senate passed legislation in 2021 about criminal justice reform that, among other things, requires law enforcement officers to receive training on mental health and wellness strategies. It also requires law enforcement agencies to create an early warning system within the agency to monitor actions including discharge of a firearm, use of force, vehicle collisions and citizen complaints.

Essential Personnel’s tools have capabilities for both of those requirements.

Currently, the software is used in nine states, and Monroe said the startup most recently onboarded the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

In growing the company, Monroe would like to continue its focus on serving public safety agencies but has also unlocked municipal governments as a new market.

“We’re really excited,” he said, “to break into the entire municipal government space.”

Click here to view all of the 2023 CEA winners

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