Industry: Emergency Services / Fire

Locations: Wicklow

Employees: 101+

Introduction:

Wicklow Fire Services provides round the clock emergency responses. Each year between 800 and 1.000 calls are attended by Co. Wicklow’s firefighters, ranging from chimney fires to factory fires to road traffic accidents. Wicklow Fire Services contains 10 fire stations with more than 101 firefighters.

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Training Admin Time Reduction

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Improved Employee Engagement

“Now our training is done on-site with comprehensive records of all our in-house activities. We can see the value that Flex brought to our services by simplifying our processes and reducing the time invested in each activity without compromising our safety standards. Flex has become a terrific business partner.”

Mick Gahan, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer

The emergency services operate in extreme conditions, especially fire fighters. There job by its very nature is to walk into hazardous environments to manage them. To do this safely or with minimised risk there are a multitude of factors which require constant maintenance and administrative attention. Not all fire services are professional either which requires a reasonably unique approach in the management of employees, retained and part-time fire fighters.

As with any operating service, resources must be managed efficiently but in this usage case the management of training records and asset maintenance is paramount. Accidents and injuries will happen and every measure must be taken to ensure compliance in these events.

Using a centralised management system that highlights when actions are required and notifies on key events ensure that the administration is covered allowing the team to do their job ion the field.

Wicklow fire, like many others are bringing light to the areas of darkness within processes and ensure compliance through Flex Manager.

Training Management

–  Training is quick and easy, generating certificates as soon as they are completed.

–  Proof of identity, recording via web camera.

–  Mandatory training for all the employees.

–  Subcontractors mandatory training records per employee.

Asset Management

–  Scheduled Preventative Maintenance

–  Inspections i.e. Post Use / Compliance etc.

–  Inventory checks

–  Asset document management

–  End of life reporting

Modules In Use

  • Asset Register
  • Inspections
  • Maintenance
  • Scheduled Reports
  • Alerts & Notifications
  • Employee Profile
  • Employee Documents
  • Trianing Manager
  • E-Traning Platform
  • Policies & Procedures
  • Audits
  • Corrective Actions

Summary

Wicklow Fire are in search of excellence in management their assets, people and compliance. This means that they are seeking to create the most efficient and fast working conditions for any fire service in any location. As part of their initiative they will be reaching for ISO45001 and flex will be the backbone as a centralised system for Vehicles, Equipment & HSE records.

Area For Improvement 1: Asset Management

Using excel, paper based or QR/Bar code systems was administration heavy, led to potential error.

Many services were using older technology which only allowed the administrators to see where the assets location and link to which tender they were on. There was no inspection / maintenance integration so it was a simple tracking system that was labour intensive and required PDA’s.

Excel and paper based systems mean that the checks then had to be recorded and the data input or worse, the sheets locked away thereby rendering the information useless. This relied on staff in the field making calls on key maintenance issues which is a risk to the over arching administrative committee, something which should not happen with today’s use of technology.

Firefighters: Responsible for the upkeep of the records

Officers: Ensure the inspections are carried out and supply information to management

Management: Manage resources and responsible for overall compliance and onsite practice.

Solution:

The use of an integrated solution has allowed the team to get the most from the employees on the ground. The versatile nature of the applications and the use of more rugged NFC tags enables the team to complete their inventory checks in quicker timeline and feeds the information to the online system that can be seen by the relevant permission parties, this ensures consistency and efficiency in work practices throughout the entire brigade. As this interaction with the assets is recorded it builds a clear and valuable history that is easily accessible through Flex Manager solution.

Area For Improvement 2: Inspections

Inspections were carried out using paper or books to complete post use and compliance checks. this mean that the services had to store all this documentation and go through it in order to find the relevant actionable information. It made it extremely difficult for data analyses and meant that unless direct attention was given to particular assets and locations that there was room for items to be missed or information not acted upon.

Fire Fighters: Labour intensive process, no clear way to communicate issues.

Officers: No oversight without spending time reviewing all documentation.

Management: No oversight on recurring issues and activity on locations

Solution:

The Flex Manager mobile application provides a range of functionality to the fire fighters which is controlled by administrators. They follow the defined process and all inspection information is submitted to the online system. The application is very simple to sue and can gather extra information such as the amount of time inspecting, images and video of errors to assist the maintenance department and even differentiates between major and minor errors to allow clear escalation processes to management.

The online system and scheduled reporting employers managers and supervisors to make informed decisions and consistently manage all operations throughout the entire brigade.

Trend analyses and dashboards also help to provide real time oversight and plans can be put in place to increase oversight on particular assets with common failures.

Area For Improvement 3: Maintenance

Maintenance would have been a very paper driven process. A log of the issue would be submitted and sent on the maintenance department to complete any repairs. The history of work would then have to be filed away against the asset which meant that information.

Fire Fighters: Paper records handed to management or verbal notification.

Maintenance Team: Fill out paper reports and file against asset or update some DB software system.

Supervisors: Required the team to feed relevant information for action.

Management: No oversight across multiple locations.

Solution:

Inspections trigger maintenance items and any relevant information is provided to the notified parties. This ensure that any issues are highlighted at the earliest possible point and can then be managed on a case by case basis.

As the data feeds up trends can be seen and questions can be asked such as what is the best manufacturer, is extra training required on use, should more regular maintenance schedules be setup for assets with recurring issues.

All the information is input and carried out easily on the mobile devices and automatically populates that assets profile thereby providing a full track record of information without the paper.

Area For Improvement 4: Asset Register

Paperwork and documentation on multiple systems with assets are a norm in most industries. This relies on different processes that do not speak to each other in order to maintain specific requirement in the upkeep of an asset through its life-cycle. Below are some extra features and benefits of using an integrated platform which works with every level of your team to create a complete register for your assets and encourage open, clear communication.

Document Manager: Upload documents to folders to ensure all relevant documentation is in a single location i.e. warranties, SLA’s, Manuals etc.

Full Inspection / Maintenance History: All data clearly visible and easily navigated to get a very quick view on the activity of the asset.

Location / Sub-asset Tracking: See the history of where the asset has been and also what sub assets it has had or has been associated with.

Status: This takes a feed from the outstanding actions of the asset and gives an up to date status. When scanned or viewed this prominently shows if the asset has any fault and its severity or if it is OK for use.

Assignment/Training Requirements: Set specific training requirements against assets, if you use an assignment process then employees can only be assigned an asset that they are qualified to use.

Why search for your data, by having a single centralised point to push and pull information your team are empowered to do their work to the best of their ability.