Speaker: Al Sterkx, Asst Chief- retired, Eastex Fire Dept
Please introduce yourself. Describe your agency and the community you serve.
Al Sterkx: Hi, this is Al Sterkx, Assistant Chief of the Eastex Fire Department. The Eastex Fire Department is a four station, full career, paid department servicing the population of about 100,000 in the Northeast Harris County, Texas area.
What solution(s) did you use before PSTrax? What challenges were you having?
Al Sterkx: When I first started with Eastex about 12 years ago, we were still using the paper checkoff list and there was quite a bit of in- and out-of-service of trucks, which required swapping of equipment back and forth. And they never, ever got everything perfect. We had radios missing, we had equipment that was on one truck that was, we thought was supposed to be there, and it turned out to be on another truck or at another station. So we really needed something that was going to be a little easier to deal with. I started working to try to figure out the programming of the firehouse reporting system and as most people know, that's a real challenge to try to learn how to do that effectively as well as making it accessible to everybody that may be a little bit computer challenged. So we had to come up with something else.
Why was PSTrax the right fit? How are you using it at your agency?
Al Sterkx: So the "something else" turned out to be PSTrax. We were looking at several different options, but it seemed like PSTrax fit the bill. The guys came in, Scott was great to work with, really took the job of getting converted to the system out of our hands and into PSTrax. They made all of the truck lists that we gave them, anything that we had some mistakes on they were fixing, and made it a real effective way to keep track of our equipment.
What's the best thing about PSTrax? What specific results have you achieved?
Al Sterkx: There's several things that were good about PSTrax. I don't know that I could pick out one over the other, but ease-of-use and access is certainly one of the great ones to mention. The cost effectiveness of it is another, it wasn't an exorbitant cost to get into it, nor is it a cost to maintain it annually. In addition to that, it didn't require any training to go and get our guys to figure out how to do things off site. You know, once you get a user login, in a couple of minutes of instruction of how to do things, you know, it's off the shelf, checking off the trucks.
Would you recommend PSTrax? And why?
Al Sterkx: I don't do a lot of recommending vendors or processes or software or trucks or things like that, but I feel very comfortable in recommending PSTrax to any size fire department that's looking to keep track of their equipment on a daily basis. The ease of use, the cost effectiveness of it, the way that you can keep track of the section TCFP requirements, for the NFPA 1851, for the PPE SCBA. You have to do it. So this is a way to take the hard part out of it.