SOURCE: TradeMaster, Inc.

TradeMaster, Inc.

April 20, 2009 09:05 ET

City and County Fire Marshals Reveal Economic and Productivity Benefits of TradeMaster's MobileEyes™ Inspection Software

Fire Departments Across the U.S. Utilize Technology to Do More With Less

TROY, MI--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) - The story of how to do more fire inspections with fewer staff and less money is much the same for fire marshals across the country. "How do you squeeze more out of a penny?" said Fire Marshal Greg Gilchrist, of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, a 24 square mile suburb of Birmingham, when describing how the current economy is impacting his department. "Every minute counts -- we can't lose time or gas."

Gilchrist is one of several fire inspectors representing a variety of municipal and county departments throughout the U.S., who have offered to share the challenges they face to increase inspections and productivity while saving time and potential loss of life with less available funding.

TradeMaster's MobileEyes™ fire inspection software, www.mobile-eyes.org, is enabling many departments like Gilchrist's to do more inspections, maintain accurate records and keep scheduling "from falling through the cracks" to avoid past due inspections.

MobileEyes™ fire inspection software runs on a tablet PC, which includes handwriting recognition capabilities, and is designed to automate time-consuming manual tasks such as looking up fire codes, writing reports, and keying or re-keying inspection reports into a data base. An inspection report can be easily generated on-site and handed to the building owner.

"MobileEyes™ is the best thing we've bought to assist in inspections," said County Fire Marshal Scott Garner who is the deputy director of Brunswick County Emergency Services in North Carolina, which includes 19 municipalities and 22 fire departments within 850 square miles.

According to Garner, his department also utilizes the MobileEyes™ Plus software which provides invoicing capability following inspections.

"With the new system, we doubled the collection of fees in the first year, from 40 to 50 percent, to 85 to 90 percent," said Garner, who indicated that their invoices also look much more professional over previous handwritten carbon copies. The department also benefits from better online tracking and the ability to send out monthly statements.

Across the country in Pearland, Texas, located 40 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fire Marshal Roland Garcia has faced other significant challenges including Hurricane Ike which created major devastation in his region in 2008.

"MobileEyes™ has definitely helped us out," said Garcia whose department has used the program since November 2007. "Even though we had one less inspector because of budget constraints, we were still able to increase inspections 15 percent in 2008."

The department also identified more than 4,000 deficiencies that they were unable to track before the system was implemented. "We can also produce monthly and quarterly reports in five minutes," added Garcia.

Assistant Fire Marshal Guy Trayling in Lake Zurich, Illinois, echoed Garcia's experience, "My secretary can put together a report in less than an hour, compared to what used to take an entire day."

Working in fire prevention since 1981, Trayling reports that he has discarded every hardware and software since. "Any fire marshal who faces needing more inspectors and more clerical should look at using MobileEyes™," said Trayling. "It meets every need we had to get us away from using paper in the field."

He estimates that his department has saved as much as 40 percent of additional clerical staff time or about $20,000 a year, and 20 percent of additional inspector man hours or approximately $50,000 a year.

Looking forward to implementing MobileEyes™ fire inspection software within the next few weeks is Assistant Fire Marshal Herb White in Detroit, Michigan. White listed a number of compelling reasons for their decision including increasing the number of inspections because the number of personnel has been reduced; allowing clerical staff to do other work and get away from manually inputting reports; and tracking billing, delinquencies, collections and man hours.

White is particularly eager to use the system's reporting capabilities which can break down different types of inspections by types of facilities, residential versus commercial, occupancy type and others. "It will give us a 'true picture' of what we do and where we need to place more of our efforts," said White.

His department has 15 inspectors who will use MobileEyes™ along with supervisors and other departments that will have easy access to all of the data and reporting.

"Down the line, we look forward to providing more information about inspected facilities to first responders and fire fighters to help them in their jobs," added White, referring to Detroit's purchase and implementation of MobileEyes Responder™, TradeMaster's product that communicates pre-plan drawings and other critical information to the command vehicles and first responders.

"We appreciate the many economic challenges these departments are undergoing," said Brian Stump, senior systems engineer for TradeMaster. "It's gratifying to know that MobileEyes™ is helping fire inspectors meet and overcome many of these challenges as we continue to develop and deliver valuable cost and time saving benefits for the future."

About TradeMaster, Inc.

TradeMaster, headquartered in Troy, Mich., is a leading provider of technical support software solutions, including MobileEyes™ fire and building inspection software. The company provides off-the-shelf, user-friendly products not only to state and local government entities, but also to manufacturing companies that are struggling with equipment downtime and throughput issues. In the manufacturing industry, TradeMaster's tools simplify the repair and maintenance of complex equipment and enable paperless data collection and reporting of ISO, OSHA and inspection data. Customers include global firms such as Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler AG, Delphi Corporation, Merillat, Tower Automotive, Fort Wayne Foundry, Land Rover and Comau. For details about MobileEyes™ inspection software, visit www.mobile-eyes.org, and for information about TradeMaster's manufacturing technical support software, visit www.trademaster.cc.

Contact Information


  • Media Contacts
    Tom Gorman
    TradeMaster, Inc.
    586-899-8651
    Email Contact

    Margaret Blohm, APR
    Margaux & Associates, LLC
    313-406-3467
    Email Contact