East Farmingdale Volunteer Fire Co.
Volunteer fire-and-rescue company
operating from three facilities
A fire department fleet doesn't cover a lot of ground — but it must be ready and able to reach every square foot of that ground at any moment's notice.
That means preventive maintenance for vehicles is serious business. At a fire department, the impact of PM isn't measured just in dollars and cents but in the potential to save lives and to protect the property of other citizens.
Such is the case at the East Farmingdale Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., which was organized in 1926 to protect life and property in the East Farmingdale fire district.
Today, the company operates out of a main firehouse and two substations. Over 170 men and women volunteers staff the operation, which fields — and cares for — some two dozen pieces of fire apparatus.
The equipment roster includes Class A engines, ambulances, support vehicles and even an airport crash truck. Last year, the company responded to 759 fire and 1126 EMS calls in a fire district spanning over 16 square miles. The district's high concentration of industry can pose dangerous challenges to members responding to emergency calls.
“We have always stressed the importance of good vehicle and equipment maintenance management to help ensure the availability of our critical emergency vehicles,” points out district administrator Bruce Antonius.
“Our equipment is complicated and includes many attachments and special auxiliary apparatus that must also be maintained,” Antonius explains. “”To assist us, we have been using Dossier 32 fleet-maintenance software.”
The Dossier 32 software, supplied by Atco, NJ-based Arsenault Assoc., enables the East Farmington department to manage all its equipment domiciled in its three separate facilities from a central point.
“Using Dossier 32,” Antonius reports, “has helped to make us a ‘better’ fire department by virtue of the fact that proper preventive-maintenance inspections and scheduled equipment tests are never overlooked or delayed.
“There is no way of measuring how many lives we save annually by running a good preventive-maintenance program,” he continues. “But without it, we know our response time and equipment availability couldn't be as good.”
According to Antonius, the software program helps the fire company fulfill its “daily responsibility” to ensure all safety-related equipment is tested and reliable to prevent failure during crucial moments.
He also says the flexibility of the Dossier 32 program enables the fire department to monitor and maintain literally every piece of equipment East Farmingdale uses, including hoses, generators, extinguishers, and radios.
“Even after using the program for six years,” Antonius adds, “we are still developing ways to use it. It seems only limited by our imaginations.”