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FDM's Records Management System Passes with Flying Colors

Copyright: Copyright 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content,

Date: 2010-12-21
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The Ogden City, Utah, Fire Department, is very vigilant in evaluating departmental processes to ensure efficient operations while providing a high standard of service to their community.

“We periodically look at the return-on-investment that we are getting in time, energy and the tools that we use to carry-out our long-term processes,” says Greg Chamberlain, Deputy Fire Chief. “In that vein, we look at the way we do business and determine whether the tools we are using are inhibiting or benefiting us. We also compare what we are using with what is currently available on the market.  We apply this same principle to all of our tools whether it is hoses, SCBAs, PPE or software.”

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“We have reviewed FDM’s Records Management System (RMS) twice now and it continues to be the most flexible and well-rounded system that meets our realistic needs,” continues Chamberlain. “We discovered early on that if you put the effort into better defining your business processes, as well as learn the functionality of FDM RMS, it lends itself well to quick modifications and easily adapts to changing requirements.”

Despite passing its evaluation with flying colors, the new system was not always met with such enthusiasm. “When we first started using the FDM RMS, there was mixed feelings as there always is with change,” says Chief Mike Mathieu. Challenges included re-training personnel and making them comfortable with the new system.

“At first, the change was questioned, mostly because it meant moving to unfamiliar territory, using new tools and following new processes,” says Chief Mathieu. “But alongside FDM, Ogden Fire Administration was committed to ensuring a smooth transition and it wasn’t long before our personnel knew the system was here to stay. This was evident when personnel started asking Fire Administration for new FDM modules and questioned why all reporting activity was not completed with FDM”.

“Today, I believe our personnel would be lost without the FDM RMS and as time goes on, we are discovering new ways of using the system to our benefit,” continues Chief Mathieu. “We can use the data to generate reports that help us understand our position and make more informed, logical decisions. Now when we add a new module, the transition is seamless with only small issues that require clarification about policy”.

FDM believes that strong partnerships are the foundation to successful projects. “We are very pleased at how Ogden has taken the initiative to make the most of FDM RMS,” says Ed Colin, President of FDM Software. “Software is only as good as how you use it. This is often the challenge faced by software companies. You can have software that does amazing things, but if people aren’t using it to its full potential then it’s as if the functionality doesn’t exist. It’s our job to train our clients to get the most out of the software and then we rely on our clients to maintain that momentum. This is especially important for FDM since the software is virtually entirely customizable,” concludes Colin.

From the Ogden City Fire Department’s perspective, FDM’s leadership has been invaluable. “FDM’s ongoing support has been great,” says Chamberlain. “We really appreciate the attention to the customer input and the fact that FDM continues to resist the urge to make yet another “canned” software package.”

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