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Case Study | Mill Creek Fire Department
Learn how the Mill Creek Fire Department in Wilmington, Delaware, made the industry’s most secure yet accessible accountability tags and saved $25,000 in two years. With the right ID system for their needs, they transformed the way first responders and hospitals access crucial information when they need it most.
About the Client
Mill Creek Fire Department has a long, rich history in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s grown immensely since it was first organized on January 6, 1927. With 350 members—and growing an average of 15 to 20 new members each year—they’re the fourth largest firehouse in Wilmington.
With such growth within their department and the advancement in technology in our world today, the Mill Creek Fire Department needed an ID system that could better meet their needs. Rick Cannetelli, the current lieutenant, said their old accountability tags—issued to each firefighter so they can tag in and out of a fire scene—were made of 2" x 2" laminated cardboard.
There are two primary purposes of the accountability tags: to track when firefighters are on the scene and to have their personal information at hand in case of an emergency. While folding a piece of paper to put in a 2" x 2" laminated cardboard “pouch” kept personal information private, it was very hard to open the lamination when necessary and first responders needed to act faster than they could open the tag.
Once a tag was cut, a new one had to be made. But there were many challenges with constantly making new tags since there was a long production time. For such a valuable and necessary item, they needed faster and more cost-effective production.
Rick said they also needed more durable material for the tags, as well as an ID system that was customizable, easy to use, and included quick tech support.
Since there’s little regulation at the state level, counties and individual stations are left to figure out their own ID solutions. When Mill Creek started looking for an easier solution for their accountability tags, they researched and tried many options throughout the course of one year.
Then, they found us. Rick said they were impressed by our focus on usability, the fact that we have the industry’s best customer service, and—of course—the right products.
They purchased an ID Maker Advantage Printer System, which allowed them to take a photo, plug in the firefighter’s information, and print a durable tag in seconds. They also integrated the ID card design software, ID Maker 3.0, with the back end of their website which securely stored the individual’s personal information and kept it safe from unauthorized users.
To make a firefighter’s personal information easy to access on a fire scene, Mill Creek used QR codes. Other fire stations in the area were using barcodes that required expensive proprietary scanners to read the encoded information. Barcodes worked well at the station, but the main point of the tag is for emergency workers and hospitals to quickly and easily access personal information on-site. Mill Creek’s use of the QR code made accessing the firefighter’s information a breeze because QR codes can be scanned with any smartphone and many internal systems.
Rick said they have been impressed by our easy-to-use software and exemplary customer service. He also loved that they were able to design their own tags. These are a few of the features that made us their #1 choice.
Mill Creek has been using this system for two years and estimates the cost savings at around $25,000 compared to nearby fire stations. They have also been able to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to create more durable tags and access the information, which Rick said is priceless.
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