Handling Emergencies, Saving Lives:
The Importance of Asset Tracking
for First Responders
Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical teams, and paramedics are often the first responders in an emergency situation. When they show up at the scene of an accident or natural disaster (or any scenario where the danger or threat level is heightened), these first responders aren’t thinking about where their equipment is or if it’s even available. Instead, they’re focused on dealing with the situation at hand, as they were trained to do.
But when first responders don’t have a robust asset tracking system in place, they won’t be able to perform their duties as efficiently or properly as they should. The mismanagement of assets could cause police, fire, and medical teams to take longer to de-escalate a situation; in the absolute worst scenarios, it could mean first responders are unable to save innocent lives.
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When first responders are performing their duties during a heightened situation, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not the equipment they need to control it are available. They should be able to quickly prepare for, arrive at, and handle the scene of an accident or disaster without having to scramble to find a replacement piece of equipment or even make do without one all together.
Ultimately, first responders should never have to wonder if a citizen’s life could have been saved if that one oxygen mask or that extra clip of ammunition had been readily available when needed.
Mismanaged assets for first responders can lead to other problems, as well. For example, if these teams haven’t kept track of crucial assets, equipment, and inventory, first responders are also at risk of losing grant money and bearing the burden of finding replacement items (or simply doing without them). Without an asset management system in place, police, fire, and emergency response employees are also unable to meet state or federal compliances, know when maintenance needs to be done on specific equipment, or even know who used the inventory last.