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Lathrop Manteca Fire District seeking new record system
LM fire 2

New businesses and new houses means more places for the Lathrop Manteca Fire District to protect.

And in the last five years, they have seen a whole lot more places that they need to protect come online – taxing the relatively small district and forcing them to look in ways that they can streamline process while at the same time offering the same elevated level of service.

In 2012, for example, the district approved 1,258 permits for new businesses and new residences, and by 2017, saw the number of permits rise to 1,854 – a 45 percent increase.

Unfortunately, they’re using a 20-year-old system to help manage their growing operation – a period of time in which the number of residents living within the district’s boundaries grew from 20,000 to 30,000 and from three fire stations to what will soon be five when the new River Islands fire station comes online.

In order to meet the rising demands and in an attempt to stay ahead of the growth curve that is expected to continue indefinitely, the district has put out a call for software companies and data firms to come up with a new state-of-the-art records management system that will make the district operate much more efficiently and eliminate the need for multiple programs.

Initial responses from vendors haven’t been entirely favorable, but the district’s administration believes that what they’re asking for would be cutting-edge and potentially something that other agencies would take a hard look at if they’re able to secure it.

“The first thing that we have to evaluate are the proposals that we’re going to get back – our legacy program has been in place for so long, so we’re going to have to have our eyes open to see what would be best to serve us,” Battalion Chief Larry Madoski said. “We’ve been told that we’re asking for the world by some vendors, but we’re just an hour away from Silicon Valley and that’s the world’s capitol for data and we should be asking for the world.

“It’s just all about evaluating these proposals and finding out what’s important for us.”

And such a system is everything in a line of work where every call needs to be meticulously noted, saved, and filed away for future not only for data analysis sake, but for legal reasons as well.

According to Madoski, certain incident reports that need to be funneled up to the San Joaquin County EMS Administration and the Local Agency Formation Commission sometimes need to be sent within an hour of the incident concluding – taxing their already dated system that sometimes requires multiple entries in a variety of systems just to get the report that is required.

For example, human resources training is often cataloged in one program while field training is tracked in another, and both have to be manually entered into another system so that they can be tracked using the 20-year-old system that was designed to be used with the outdated call screens that have since been replaced by iPad Pros in each and every engine and unit.

Eliminating that duplication, Madoski said, shows the district’s willingness and dedication to keeping costs low while at the same time staying on track of all relevant requirements and keeping on the cutting edge of emerging technologies.

“Our Fire Chief wants us to be responsive to the community, he wants us to be efficient and we’re being asked to do those things in the most responsible way possible,” Madoski said. “And being responsible fiscally can mean saving thousands of dollars in servers, hardware and licensing to host our own information.

“If we do that, we can put those dollars back into services that meets the demands of a growing community, and fortunately that’s the path that every member of our organization is on to fulfill our mission.”

Being that their request isn’t something that any of their vendors have ever seen completed before, the district is keeping the request open and will likely test any product that is delivered before advancing to the next phase of the contracting process.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.