Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District

RFID Inventory Management System

Background

The Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District has a non-transport ALS (advanced life support) license and runs emergency calls with six different apparatus.Approximately 75% of our 6200 calls per year are medical. These units are stationed at five different locations throughout the city of Bonita Springs. Each apparatus carries an abundance of medical equipment and each station has a medical supply room. There is also a main supply room that acts as a distribution center for all stations and trucks. The inventory system currently used is almost non-existent and is extremely inefficient. It is based on periodic manual inventory which results in missed items, expiration dates and costly mistakes. We were in need of an inventory system to increase efficiency and reduce spending.

RFID Inventory Management System

I looked into many inventory systems which all still involved visiting all locations on a regular basis to scan or count inventory. We needed a dynamic system that reacted to the needs of our organization. The RFID (radio frequency ID) system counts and tracks items continuously at all locations. The system works by reading items that are tagged with radio frequency stickers. Readers and antennae are installed in medical supply rooms and

 continuously monitor quantities, expiration dates and even send alerts when quantities get low or are expired. Inventory can be seen from any computer or smart device from any location.

Success of the Project

The project is now completed and the system is amazing. It has met and exceeded our goals and expectations. Inventory is monitored almost daily by visiting the website via computer. Projected savings of 30% on purchasing will pay for the initial cost in the first year. This is possible because of a much more efficient system that reduces excess inventory and waste. There are now very few errors because all counts and expiration dates of all items are monitored. Inventory is ordered well in advance of expiration dates, and very rarely does any station run out of any item. The amount saved in personnel hours is hard to measure. Manual weekly and monthly inventory by crews is no longer necessary. Frequent trips to deliver medical supplies have also been greatly reduced saving time, fuel and wear on vehicles. We are in a business that does not allow us to run out of emergency equipment or have expired medication on an apparatus or in a supply room. Saving money is only a small part of the benefits of the RFID inventory system. Click here to download the full case study.