Old Colony students unveil 'hot' new website for Onset Fire Department

By Matthew Bernat | May 25, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Old Colony computer science student Matthew  Cordeiro explains new features his team made to the Onset Fire Department's website.

The Onset Fire Department’s website has a hot new look, courtesy of a team of students from Old Colony Vocational Technical High School.

The six-member team, all seniors in the school’s computer sciences program, unveiled the streamlined website on May 23 at the fire station.

The project began one year ago, and Fire Chief Ray Goodwin and part-time member Jonathan Gordon, who built the original website, were eager to see what the students came up with.

They were not disappointed.

“Thank you for this. It’s great you guys got experience and we got a great product,” said Goodwin. “It’s clear a lot of hard work went into this.”

Ryan Robidoux, who teaches the class, explained that Old Colony tries to find a big project for students to work on throughout the year. The idea is to give students an idea of what it’s like to work on a project for a paying client.

For the Onset Fire Department website, a four-person development team designed and built the site. One student led that team, ensuring the project remained on time. Another student, Zack Fay, served as project leader and acted as a liaison between the team and fire officials.

Fay stayed in touch with Goodwin and Gordon throughout the development. He ensured the department’s requests were included in the final design.

Changes included an easier interface for fire officials to use, making it quicker and simpler to update the website and get information out to the public. A new webpage geared toward educating kids was also added.

Fay said the students appreciated the fact that their work would be used to inform public.

“We worked harder on this site because we knew the public would be using it,” said Fay.

The new website, which will keep the old site’s web address (www.onsetfire.org) isn’t live yet as officials learn their way around the new features. However, Robidoux noted it should be live within the next week or two.

And when it is, Gordon said firefighters are looking forward to spreading the word about everything the department is up to.

“It’s good to see something we can update easily,” said Gordon. “This is going to be a lot better. I can’t wait.”

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