by Chris Brussow, Asset Management Consultant, Miller Spatial, LLC
Fire prevention programs are the responsibility of many fire departments throughout the U.S. The goal of fire prevention is to educate the public in safety and prevention of fire in the home, at work and in the environment. These programs are proactive methods of reducing potentially dangerous emergencies.
The City of Redlands, California, uses Cityworks PLL permits and inspections to maintain and monitor fire safety compliance to mitigate fire-related hazards.
When the City implemented the fire inspection program, it became evident that the existing fire permitting program was outdated and not capable of managing the modern workflows the fire chief needed to implement. There were no systems or controls in place to maintain permits. It was impossible to track fees or ensure that entities were staying current with their fire permits.
To solve this issue, the City found Cityworks PLL to be the perfect solution. PLL was successfully being used in several departments, including Planning, Building and Safety, Municipal Utilities and Engineering, and Quality of Life. The City had been using PLL since 2011, so it made sense to expand it to include the Fire Department. PLL’s browser-based UI was influential in their decision. Fire crews depend on mobile devices to work in the field and could leverage PLL mobile options to efficiently complete their inspections. Using GIS, the Fire Department can easily locate addresses and parcels for permits and inspections. Each address is required to maintain a valid permit, which is a large undertaking. Managing tens of thousands of permits annually became practicable with the use of PLL and GIS.
The City needed a system that could automate the fire permitting process, allowing citizens and businesses to complete their own applications. Cityworks helped ensure permits were only issued after all the necessary steps were completed (including accurate payments). The City also wanted to implement an automatic renewal process that would ensure all permits would be renewed each year.
The Fire Department and its inspectors can now create permits on site. Customers sign the document with a digital signature and the permit is issued digitally on the spot. Previously this process was time-consuming and hard to manage with paper forms in a decentralized system. Using PLL, the City meets their needs and has maintained a successful program with almost no missed permits.
The effectiveness and time savings of implementing and expanding PLL have been evident. Reports that previously would have taken days to complete are now created instantly in Cityworks. Customer experience has dramatically improved, administrative time has dropped, and, most importantly, fire safety and security in the city have improved to all-time highs.