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IAFC Seeks Proposals for App Development

RFP Summary

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) seeks competitive proposals from mobile app development firms and consultants based in the United States to create an iOS, iPad OS and Android app for mobile and tablets that will enable fire departments to create recruitment and retention plans. With content provided by the IAFC, this app will be used by recruitment and retention coordinators at volunteer and combination fire departments to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.


The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide; our members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety policy.

The IAFC has been awarded a FEMA SAFER grant to assist volunteer and combination (departments with career and volunteer members) fire departments improve firefighter recruitment and retention through education and collaboration to improve a department’s diversity and inclusionary efforts to create well staffed, safe, and inclusive departments.

The IAFC seeks to create an iOS, iPad OS and Android app for mobile and tablets to assist fire department recruitment and retention coordinators in creating their own recruitment and retention plans for their department. The app would ask specific questions to gauge where the department is and what they need to better recruit and retain volunteer firefighters in the area. The app would then be able to create a tailored workplan for a department recruitment and retention coordinator to better assist them in their efforts.

Project Purpose

Develop an iOS, iPad OS and Android app for mobile devices and tablets that will enable recruitment and retention coordinators at volunteer and combination fire departments to develop a customized recruitment and retention plan for their department. The app would ask a series of questions based on the fire department’s region and then generate a plan to help recruit volunteer members, both operational and administrative. To support the mobile and tablet app, a desktop content management system (CMS) admin dashboard needs to be created so we can publish new content without code and keep the app up to date for our users.

Target Audience

The target audience will be:

  • Recruitment and retention coordinators at volunteer and combination fire departments across the United States.
  • Volunteer and combination fire service.

Project Scope

SOW 1) With content developed by the IAFC and associated subject-matter experts available from the IAFC, build an iOS, iPad OS and Android app for both mobile and tablets that asks a series of questions to build a tailored recruitment and retention plan for volunteer and combination fire departments.

  1. The app needs to be completely designed and developed by the selected consultant. We do not have an existing app that this one can be modeled after. Proposal needs to include everything needed from the design, development and launch of the app including post-launch support.
  2. The app needs to be able to take the user through a series of questions that will be based off the region the user is in. The region can either be selected by the user or location services can be used to determine the region the user is in. Please provide pricing for both options.
  3. Following the questions, a recruitment and retention plan will be generated for the user. The plan will include checklists, timelines, and links to existing web-based resources.
  4. The user should be able to create a profile in the app where they can save their contact information, their department’s information and any plans that are generated.

SOW 2) The app should be compatible with current versions of iOS, iPad OS and Android and be compatible for iOS and Android versions that are still currently supported by Apple and Google.

The specific iOS and Android back compatibility can be discussed by the selected consultant and IAFC staff. The app should be able to be accessed via a computer if a user does not have a tablet or smartphone.

SOW 3) Ability for the app to send push notifications to the user. User should be able to opt in or out of push notifications.

SOW 4) Ability to capture analytics including app downloads and usage.

SOW 5) Ability for app to include a newsfeed or blog roll. This will be fed into the app from existing social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

SOW 6) The app should be in English. If possible, provide pricing for translation of the app into Spanish.

SOW 7) The app should have basic security measures.

SOW 8) Work with the IAFC staff and subject-matter experts through periodic, prototype reviews and feedback sessions. This could include a one or two-day in person or virtual meetings for app development.

SOW 9) Vendor will supply graphics(if needed) to be approved by the IAFC. This project is not related to the emergency response capabilities of fire departments, but on how to effectively recruit and retain volunteer members.

SOW 10) Proposals should include a maintenance and support plan that details service level agreements for response time, resolution time and how long support will be provided.

SOW 11) The proposal needs to include a desktop content management system (CMS) admin dashboard for content changes and user management. This is critical to ensure that IAFC staff will be able to keep the app up to date and publish changes ourselves.

Evaluation and Notification Timeline

  • July 9, 2021 – Questions due regarding the RFP (may be emailed to Kaitlin Lutz, klutz@iafc.org).
    Please allow two business day for a response.
  • July 23, 2021 – Proposals due back to IAFC (email to klutz@iafc.org)
  • July 30, 2021 – Vendors will be notified on the acceptance/rejection of their proposal.
  • August 2021 – Contract finalization with accepted vendor

Project Timeline

In their proposal, vendors may offer an adjusted timeline if the timeframes align in general with those found below.

  • App that is fully designed, deployed, and used within the first 6 to 12 months following contract signature.
  • For three months following the first production deployment, support is needed to resolve bug fixes and deploy feature enhancements.
  • Developer support for the remaining time on the contract period that ends in or around December 2023.

Proposal Requirements

Please provide answers to the following questions in as efficient a manner as possible.

General Company Information

  1. Provide a brief history of your company, including the number of years your firm has been in business and the number of years of experience in app building.
  2. Provide a partial list of your company’s customers and the type of services that you provide them.
  3. Describe your company’s experience with similar projects and the course topics listed in this RFP, including your development methodology and sample applications available for download in the Google Play store and/or Apple App store.
  4. Do you currently service any other fire and EMS or other public safety (emergency management, law enforcement, etc.) organizations? If so, please summarize.
  5. What distinguishes your company and your products from your competition?
  6. Is your company a certified minority or women-owned business?

    Project Information
  7. Provide a detailed, proposed work plan for building the app including design, review cycles, testing milestones and support structure.
  8. Describe how the project would be managed and your process and response times for responding to project status updates.
  9. Provide an itemized breakdown of fees for the project. Feel free to include optional add-ons for the project.

  10. List the organization name, contact person, email address and phone number for three references for similar projects, as well as a brief description of each project. Other
  11. Provide any other information that you believe is pertinent to this RFP. This could include but is not limited to app add-ons (such as microsites, etc.)not specifically detailed in this RFP.

Award Basis

RFP responses will be judged on the following:

  • History of the company
  • Credentials of vendor backed by applicable references
  • Experience of vendor developing similar projects
  • Proposed timeline including management milestones
  • Methods of project management including how the vendor intends to update the IAFC
  • Proposed cost delineated by major features of the project
  • Developer’s availability during Eastern Standard Time working hours of 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Since this project is funded by a FEMA SAFER grant we can only work with companies within the United States

By submitting a proposal, contractors acknowledge that they and their affiliates have no undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Payment Terms

  • Billed at contract signature: 25% of project fee
  • Billed at regular, agreed upon milestones throughout the project: 50% of project fee
  • Billed following completion of app: Remaining 25% of project fee

Submission Process

Proposals due: July 23, 2021

Please email responses for this RFP to: Kaitlin Lutz, klutz@iafc.org

Download RFP (PDF)

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