Tex. fire dept. benefits from BIO-key's FireRMS

Robust BIO-key FireRMS Records Management System Simplifies Reporting and Enhances Data Collection

When Garland’s Fire Department grew to the point that it was handling approximately 17,000 patients each year, a new process was necessary to deal with the increased volume. Documentation for medical calls is often complex and filing follow-up reports using the previous records management system was time consuming and tedious.

Garland needed a records management system that would simplify the reporting process. In addition, the department needed to improve tracking of day-to-day operations, such as cataloguing firefighter certification and equipment information.

Using BIO-key FireRMS™ 5.0, Garland’s paramedics now enter a standard (NFIRS/EMS) report in less than ten minutes. In addition to the speed at which individuals can use this RMS for incident reporting, the product allows departments to gather more data. With increased data collection power, Garland can now create more detailed accounts, such as reports to monitor quality assurance for its medical calls. The department captures information in its documents to monitor the amount of time it takes paramedics to arrive on the scene and to track the performance of individual paramedics – including procedures such as how many times they’ve given patients intravenous lines.

This ability to collect more data extends to many areas of the department; one example is the equipment feature of FireRMS 5.0. Garland is able to maintain an up-to-date inventory on all its gear, when it was last inspected, which pieces are scheduled for maintenance and any material that is out of service. Not only is this data valuable to the department in order to know the number and types of vehicles that are in service at any given time, but also as a tool to demonstrate quality assurance practices for the division’s insurance rating.

The insurance company also appreciates the benefits from FireRMS 5.0. The reports documenting that each apparatus has been properly maintained and repaired result in lower premiums.

The amount and type of reporting that Garland can complete with FireRMS 5.0 is more accurate and more thorough than with the previous system. The application makes it simple to add entire reports or additional questions as needed. With the old system, it cost approximately $10,000 worth of programming to add a question to a document; now with FireRMS 5.0, it costs nothing but the time it takes to add that question.

Using the training module, Garland can now track when training expires and re-certification dates arise for its 250 firefighters. Each year they attend nearly 100,000 man-hours of education to maintain their credentials and special certifications. FireRMS 5.0 allows the department to keep one electronic record
for each person and identify certification dates by category. For instance, if an employee has training as both a firefighter and a paramedic, all of those certifications can be tracked in one place.

With the previous paper-based system, firefighter training paperwork was kept in one file cabinet and EMS training paperwork was kept in a separate file cabinet. Now all records are maintained in FireRMS 5.0, eliminating any lost or misplaced paper.

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