August 5, 2016 – Mason City, Iowa – There are hundreds of EMS and Fire-Rescue Agencies across the country that rely on the dedication of volunteers. Yet scheduling them can be difficult because they likely have other jobs and their availability usually isn’t consistent. Their other commitments often means they need to give-up or trade shifts. Needless to say, in this instance the shift schedule is not easy to manage. Many agencies still use spreadsheets, whiteboards, or calendars which prove to be error prone.
“We had a desk-size calendar hung on the wall where our members would write their names under the shifts they could work. In order to sign up, they had to physically come into the office to see what shifts were available, and then write their name on the calendar. If someone had to cancel a shift, they had to come back into the office and cross off their name. Then we’d have to try to fill the shift. It was a real mess,” explains Gary F. Merrill, Paramedic Director, Algona Emergency Medical Services City of Algona, Iowa.
Merrill tried Aladtec’s free demo upon the recommendation of one of the department’s volunteer EMTs who uses the system at another agency and the Paramedic Director was sold. Because Aladtec’s an online software program, it’s accessible through any computer, smartphone, or other mobile device via the Internet. It offers a tremendous amount of versatility and dramatically improves processes.
“Aladtec has revolutionized the way our service schedules staff, and the 24/7 access is great! We have four full time members and 29 volunteer members, our volunteers particularly love the flexibility to sign up anywhere, at anytime – no more having to drive to the office. As a supervisor, I too can easily check the schedule wherever I am. Now, it’s so simple to notify position eligible members when there’s an open shift. With just a couple of clicks, I’ve let everyone know I need a shift covered – or a back up crew – no more phone calls! I also like the ability to track an enormous amount of data on our members — certifications, expiration dates, emergency contact info, and much more,” adds Merrill. “Aladtec also provides the ability to create special shifts for events that fall outside of our normal duties, such as high school football games and local dirt track races – which was a real nightmare to deal with before.”
Shift scheduling is just one of the many features within the Aladtec system. It also offers a library where photos, videos, training materials and other important data can be kept. Certifications and licensing can be tracked and documented for easy access. Any type of report can be run with the information in the system – such as overtime and hours worked for submitting to payroll. Forms can be moved into the system too, which reduces paper, printing, filing and the risk of human error. It’s easy to create, fill-out, submit, review and store any necessary form right in the Aladtec system.
“We have set up a “Work Order” form for vehicle maintenance. This allows anyone who identifies a maintenance issue to simply enter it on the form and submit it. It’s then reviewed by our fulltime staff and they determine the plan for the vehicle. This has allowed us to keep accurate records of repairs and maintenance on our vehicles. I believe keeping these forms online will save on maintenance, repair costs, and vehicle downtime because the entire process more efficient,” states Merrill.
In an effort to continue to offer customers the best product possible, Aladtec continually enhances, updates, and adds system features. They are committed to always offer free implementation, free ongoing training and free upgrades. “While the system is very user friendly, in the rare cases where I’ve needed customer support, the staff at Aladtec has been extremely helpful – they have the best customer service I’ve received from any company in any industry,” Merrill concludes.
About Algona EMS: Located in northwest Iowa, Algona is just west of Mason City. The community’s EMS agency is committed to being of service to the great people of Kossuth County. Their Vision Statement is: To be a leading provider of prehospital and out-of-hospital medical care by identifying and meeting the changing needs of our community.
About Aladtec: They proudly provide online employee scheduling and workforce management software to nearly 1,700 organizations, primarily within the Public Safety Sector. These customers count on Aladtec every day to help them save time and improve efficiency. For information about their affordable industry specific options, or to try a free demo, please visit www.aladtec.com.