While effective fixed asset management is vital for all government agencies, those focused specifically on public safety have an especially important responsibility when it comes to tracking equipment. Vehicles, technology and machinery used by local entities like fire departments and police stations and federal agencies like FEMA alike must be able to respond quickly to urgent calls. This is essentially impossible if these organizations don't have their fixed assets in order.
Recent audits in Canada and the United States show that safety agencies large and small face issues when comes to inventory accounting. The right fixed asset software tools can help such entities maintain efficiency and keep costs at bay to deliver the best service possible to their communities.
Audit finds Canada search-and-rescue relies on outdated equipment
Last month, Canada's Auditor General Michael Ferguson addressed Parliament, stating a recent report found the country's search-and-rescue system equipment is severely outdated, according to The Toronto Sun.
Ferguson stated the SAR's lack of new items has greatly been affected by the "continued use of older planes that require extensive maintenance" and "helicopters that are either insufficient in number of less capable of responding to incidents" by the Royal Canadian Air Force.
"We are very concerned about the sustainability of search-and-rescue services in coming years," he added.
In addition, outdated equipment has also let to gaps in staff and training. Ferguson called for federal agencies to work together within Canada's provinces and territories to improve SAR initiatives throughout the country.
While the report found SAR activities met legal minimum standards of readiness, the auditor general noted services need to focus on updating equipment and inventory management.
Fla. fire department under fire, faces audit
After a Tallahassee Fire Department employee with a 16-year career was placed on paid administrative leave last week, he requested the agency be investigated on multiple levels, including inventory management.
The former firefighter, Mark DeCarlo, alleged the department was missing "tens of thousand of dollars" worth of equipment, according to local station WCTV. For example, one of the station's fire hoses is rotting and has yet to be disposed of and replaced, DeCarlo stated.
Fire Chief Cindy Dick responded to the allegation by requesting the city to look into the claim.
"We have policies and procedures as it relates to daily inventory of equipment, daily operational readiness of equipment, any number of checks and balances, reporting of equipment, but to ensure that we're getting an objective view of it we've asked the city auditor to come in and take a second look of our practices," said Dick.