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Databases and Spreadsheets for Vol FDs

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  • Databases and Spreadsheets for Vol FDs

    Having just retired from the military and joining a local volunteer FD I have discovered a lack of accountability and maintenance for equipment and personnel.

    I have several spreadsheets and databases that I used to manage my Soldiers records for things such as Name, Address Info, Physicals, Training, and Equipment Assigned. I also used a database to log all gear they were assigned including serial numbers, who it was assigned to, maintenance schedules, etc.

    Currently, our department has no accountability even for radios that were given out. We have people in our community that have had radios for several years but have never made a run in the same amount of time. We also have gear that is well over fifteen years old but is still in service.

    In this tight economic times I am 100% for accountability. Not only does it make a department more efficient it also makes it safer.

    I guess what I am asking the community is, "What do you guys use." Remember we are a small vol department in rural Ohio so we have zero funds to invest in this. I am really hoping that someone out there has something we can use. Thanks and I look forward to your input.
    12
    Online Database
    8.33%
    1
    Excel Spreadsheet
    25.00%
    3
    Pencil and Paper
    41.67%
    5
    We don't bother with it.
    25.00%
    3

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    I don't know if you ever created a database for this, but if you did, I would be very interested in seeing it. I am trying to build one, but as this is my first foray into Access, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
      I don't know if you ever created a database for this, but if you did, I would be very interested in seeing it. I am trying to build one, but as this is my first foray into Access, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
      FWIW, spend a lot of time designing your database before you start trying to build it. A well designed database is a real timesaver. A badly designed database will just create nightmares. (Random thought: don't get bogged down in asset tags but do come up with a good system for uniquely identifying durable assets. Settle on a naming/numbering system that works for you and can be expanded as you come up with new classes of asset.)

      Think hierarchies of assets and set realistic goals about how granular you really want to make your asset tracking. (This applies to tracking things like training as well, BTW.) Don't forget that some assets will also want to be attached to (multiple) maintenance records.

      All the time you spend up front designing your database and really determining what you want it to do will pay off in the end. Part of the process should be in determining what reports you want to get out of your database and making sure all the information needed to generate them is present in the system

      Good luck!
      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
      sigpic
      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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      • #4
        Has anything been made of this?
        Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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