When the FDNY wanted to cut costs and improve efficiency for faster response, they turned to GPS tracking. The system was designed to locate some 1,300 ambulances and fire trucks so workers could better dispatch emergency responders. When GPS tracking has proved to increase efficiency and cut costs for most businesses, the FDNY are still facing astronomical consulting fees from their Hewlett Packer private consulting firm. Facing budgetary constraints that may result in the layoffs of over 1,000 firefighters and shutting down 62 firehouses, why is over $410,217 in city cash going to private consulting firms?
“This money has been spent to improve and enhance our AVL capabilities, and the technology has resulted in reduced response times across the city – a value you can’t put a price on.”
The technology is invaluable for the FDNY, but can the crazy fees be avoided? Some say yes. Al Hagan, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association said, “AVL, the failed UCT [Unified Call Taking] system of 911, and the questionable CityTime program should all be put on the chopping block before one police officer, firefighter or EMT is removed.” Spending city money on technology rather than core members has been something Mayor Bloomberg has been criticized for in the past.
With GPS becoming more readily available to the general public, maybe it’s time for the FDNY to reassess their expensive AVL plan and tap into a less expensive form of GPS tracking. That way, they can maintain their fire department employees while still utilizing the technology that they described as “invaluable.”
(Via NY Daily News)