By Tara Figurski
Truro Township firefighters hope recently purchased new iPad software will help improve the township’s fire inspection process.
Lt. Joe Posey, who directs the township’s fire inspections, said traditionally firefighters visit a site and conduct an inspection that takes 45 minutes to an hour then return to the fire station and prepare a report.
“That can take one to three hours to complete,” Posey said.
The iPad software will allow fire officials to program common violations into its software to be incorporated into the report on the inspection site, he said.
“We can auto insert relevant text from the code into the report,” Posey said. “We can e-mail a copy of the report while we are talking to the business owner or manager of the business.”
The new software will allow inspectors to schedule a re-inspection on the spot, for 15 to 17 days from the date of the inspection, to make sure businesses have corrected any violations, he said.
“We do about 1,000 business inspections a year,” Posey said. “About 60 percent of those result in at least one re-inspection.”
Fire officials hope to have the software installed and in use by the end of summer.
The new software will also allow firefighters quicker access to information when they are responding to a fire, Posey said. Firefighters will know what type of materials are located in a building and any potential hazards present.
“We can recognize the hazards and put them in the system so firefighters have the information on their way to a scene,” said Posey.
Information gathered through the new software will be updated in the system within 24 hours, he said.
Inspectors can use the iPad to take photos of violations at the business to go with the written report. Having photos available will make potential violations easier to understand for the business owner.
“I can take a picture of the violation and (the software) will stick that right into the report,” Posey said.
The Truro Township Fire Department is accepting applications for part-time firefighters until April 16.
Fire Chief Steve Hein likes to have about 25 part-time firefighters on his roster, but currently he has only 10 part-time firefighters.
“What happens a lot of times is part time firefighters work for multiple fire departments in hopes of finding a full time job,” Hein said. “Some get hired and some move on.”
Hein said Truro recently hired two of its part-time firefighters full time, including firefighter Brandon Doyle.
Truro Township administrator Jason Nicodemus said part-time firefighter Cody Adams has been selected to be promoted pending successful completion of necessary medical exams.The fire department currently has 43 full time firefighters.
To be hired by Truro Township, firefighters have to be a paramedic or at least enrolled in paramedic school, Hein said.
“If they are enrolled in paramedic school and we anticipate them graduating, we will hire them under those expectations,” Hein said.