Moving from a handwritten schedule to a “cloud-based” system
also saves this agency up to 20 hours per week in associated labor.
December 12, 2013 – Bangor, Maine – When using the old paper and pencil method, regardless of how small an EMS agency is, they still typically struggle to keep their shift assignments accurate and the schedule up-to-date. “We created a handwritten schedule – the bad part was trying to get requests and availability from all our members. We wanted to go to a more accessible process to make it less labor intensive in scheduling shifts, so I started shopping around. After trying the free trial, we decided on EMS Manager for the price, along with the added features the system offers us,” indicates Eric Strout, Director, G&H Ambulance Service, Glenburn, Maine.
Strout uses EMS Manager to schedule 35 members for this volunteer service. Because his staff works at other jobs and/or other agencies, he needs to offer many different schedule options to accommodate their availability. He states the members of G&H Ambulance like EMS Manager because the system allows them to see which shifts are open and they can easily and quickly sign up for the shifts they want. They don’t have to go into the station to view the schedule – or wait for the schedule to arrive via email.
“Because we are a smaller volunteer service we really value the amount of time EMS Manager saves us. I save as much as 20 hours a week now. It used to take me hours and hours to create the schedules, balance shifts and figure out who was available when,” shares Strout. “This online crew scheduling system is great for morale, it’s easy to navigate, it’s user friendly, it provides great assistance in seeing a snapshot of what is going on, and it’s a huge communication improvement for our department.”
Budgeting for purchases at small volunteer agencies can also be challenging. Since EMS Manager is a available as an annual subscription and there are no additional fees or hardware, most agencies find it easy to budget for and find it very affordable. “A subscription system was easy to pay for with our current budget…I’ve found it a very worthwhile investment,” Strout adds.
EMS Manager is much more than just an online employee scheduling system. It allows users to track certifications, integrates with payroll, offers an event calendar, and it also features a library. Director Strout explains, “We use our system to track mandatory training and store master forms and policies so everyone has access to them. When changes are needed we can make them electronically and they are updated and available immediately. We use the forum to post various types of information so everyone can stay in the loop at their convenience. We also use the “required messages” option to track when communication is provided to people. This way we know if someone read the message or not – and it provides a documented notice about certain important items they must read.”
EMS Manager is accessible at anytime from any computer, smartphone or mobile device with an Internet connection. This is particularly convenient for volunteer services since members can view the schedule, sign up for shifts and be alerted about available shifts while they are at their “other” job, at home or on the go. “We use the mobile app all the time. As a supervisor, I use it to see my own schedule and I use it to communicate to all our members from wherever I may be at any given time,” adds Strout. “I’ve also implemented Aladtec’s scheduling system at two other services I’m involved in. It’s a great time saver and very easy to learn and use!”
About G&H Ambulance Service: Located in Penobscot County in Maine, approximately 10 miles North of Bangor, this service is the primary ambulance that covers the towns of Glenburn and Hudson. The 35 member agency serves 7,000 people and travels statewide for non-emergency calls.
Aladtec, Inc. is a proud provider of web-based software solutions for online employee scheduling and workforce management applications. The company’s flagship products, EMS Manager and FIRE Manager, are leaders in the public safety sector. Together with their newest product, Zanager, they serve more than 1,000 EMS agencies, fire departments, police departments and other businesses. Over 60,000 employees use Aladtec’s online employee scheduling and workforce management products. Aladtec is headquartered in Hudson, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.aladtec.com.