Online system will help Crown Point track emergency responders
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 26, 2012 11:32AM
Updated: September 27, 2012 9:32PM
CROWN POINT — Crown Point Emergency Management Agency is going online with a new service that will allow the department to register responders to an incident, maintain schedules and track responses.
On Wednesday the Board of Works and Public Safety approved a request by Kelly Miller, Crown Point EMA director, that the city enter into a service agreement with iamresponding.com, which provides the online services.
Cost for the service is $300 a year with a $50 one-time set-up fee and 2.8 cents per call to the toll-free number not to exceed a total of $33 per year. Miller said 1,000, a much larger number than the department would use, would cost $28.
Miller said the department has been experimenting with the program during a two-month free trial and has used it on active calls including the water main break at Main and Summit streets about two weeks ago. He said the only other local department to use the program at this time is Lakes of the Four Seasons.
“It’s a web-based program that allows our officers upon activation to call an 800 number and register themselves as a responder,” Miller said.
When the water main broke, one of the first responders on the scene was also a city employee. When he was called by his department head to come in for repairs, he was able to log onto the iamresponding system and see what other EMA personal were coming and when.
“It’s just been outstanding,” Miller said. The program also allows the department to track the events to which it responds and create online scheduling that can be checked by volunteers anytime from any computer.
Chief of Staff Keith Stevens, a former EMA member, said having a system that allows volunteers to register whether or not they are responding to a call is an extremely valuable tool for the all-volunteer department.
He said not knowing how many, or if any, volunteers will show up for a scene is always a challenge.
“That unknown factor is always there,” Stevens said. Having a system that allows Miller to know who is on their way improves the EMA’s ability to function.
“It’s well worth the money to me just for that,” Stevens said.