Easy Asset Tracking Improves Fleet Maintenance for Fire, EMS Workers

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What kind of difference can easy asset tracking make when it comes to the safety of fire and EMS workers? According to the United States Fire Administration, 16 percent of on-duty firefighter fatalities occur each year while responding to or returning from incidents, with the majority of fatalities resulting from vehicle crashes. Vehicle collision is the second leading cause of firefighter fatalities. The first assumption most of us will make here – and it’s not unjustified – is that these collisions usually take place with other drivers on the road, probably those who fail to yield to emergency vehicles. Or, in some cases, accidents are due to excessive speed, not taking curves safely, not passing other vehicles safely, or not anticipating that other vehicles may not stop at intersections.

However, we can’t discount the importance of proper maintenance and the potential role that vehicle malfunctions could play in an accident. That’s where easy asset tracking comes in.

U.S. Fire Administration Recommends Maintenance SOPs

In a February 2014 report issued by the U.S. Fire Administration (“Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative”), a section devoted exclusively to vehicle inspection and maintenance opens with the statement that “all agencies should have and enforce SOPs [standard operating procedures] for vehicle maintenance procedures … SOPs must specify timetables and procedures for performing regular, routine vehicle maintenance and include specific information on the frequency of inspections, the items to be inspected, procedures for recording the inspection, and procedures for making necessary repairs.”

The report recommends that, once any fire/EMS vehicle has been designated unsafe or even potentially unsafe based on inspection, that vehicle must be removed from the fleet until the necessary repairs have been completed. Further, no fire/EMS personnel should use a vehicle that has either been labeled unsafe or potentially unsafe. While this directive sounds straightforward, we have to consider it within the busy jobs of fire/EMS staff. Whether they will take such recommendations to heart depends largely upon the processes in place within their respective departments. The great news is that easy asset tracking can help keep vehicle inspections top of mind for personnel. Additionally, an easy asset tracking platform provides a centralized hub for all of the department’s fixed asset data – whether vehicles, equipment, uniforms, or any other item on which they depend to serve the public.

The Benefits of Mobile Asset Tracking

Some easy asset tracking platforms are accessible via the mobile devices fire and EMS staff already carry. Within seconds, they can pull up a vehicle’s complete maintenance history and get custom notifications to remind them to conduct regular inspections. Additional features like electronic signature capture can add a layer of accountability and transparency. The platform may also house such information as vehicle warranty information, depreciation, lease or purchase information, and employee(s) to whom the vehicle has been assigned. Employees can create work orders if desired and monitor their status. For administrative purposes, the department may wish to examine its vehicles across the board, determine which if any of them need to be retired from the fleet, and prepare an appropriate budget for replacement, if necessary.

Asset Panda’s simple to use mobile platform makes tracking and managing fire and EMS vehicles easier than ever. We give fire and EMS staff the ability to stay on top of routine maintenance and monitor the lifecycles of all of their fixed assets – from anywhere, at any time.

By:

Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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