It was crucial for this active Fire Department to track the assets it needs to efficiently respond to unpredictable medical and fire related emergencies. The department also expressed the need to track the people it helps save, treat and transport. This ISO Class One rated department, chose Lockwood Technology to design a fully automated, affordable solution that would do the job while reducing time and manpower.
The challenge: The department needed to automate tracking a wide variety of items and people. The department’s items are shared by multiple fire stations housing more than 30 vehicles throughout the city. Personnel must not only react to emergencies and act to save lives, they must collect and manage information vital to ensuring they have the equipment and supplies they need, when and where necessary. The solution had to be fully automated, user friendly and yield quick results.
-Conduct a complete physical inventory of all rescue gear, equipment, tools and consumable stock
-Apply radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to equipment and stock as they were inventoried
-Supply software allowing personnel to track and monitor diverse sets of assets
-Provide RFID-enabled mobile computers and user friendly, configurable software enabling the department to automate various activities, including:
- conducting physical Inventory of stations and vehicles
- monitoring consumable stock
- tracking patients, evacuees and casualties
- recording hydrant checks
-Install fixed RFID readers in the main supply warehouse to monitor inventory levels
-Train department personnel to operate the asset tracking and management system
The solution: Before initiating physical inventory and RFID tagging, Lockwood reviewed detailed lists of the department’s equipment and considered the conditions it would be subjected to, including extreme heat, vibration, abrasion and chemical contact. Lockwood then engaged several of the world’s leading RFID tag manufacturers to provide a range of tags best suited to each type of equipment.
Planning for the inventory and tagging activities took approximately four weeks, and consisted of gathering information, scheduling, creating equipment guides and familiarizing inventory personnel with the diverse sets of equipment to be inventoried. Lockwood completed the entire inventory in one week.
During the process of counting inventory, Lockwood collected data with the RFID-enabled mobile devices and software that that the department would later use. Lockwood also began training Fire Rescue prsonnel on the use of the devices loaded with its asset management software.
Lockwood synchronized the inventory with the fixed RFID reader and software installation and training, allowing the department to keep its database current and launch the asset management system at the completion of inventory and tagging activities.
The department now has a fully automated tracking system that enables it to collect the data it needs to operate from the field using a combination of RFID, barcode and GPS technology, along with a powerful backend database to monitor and track equipment, consumables and victims.