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    Default Small Equipment Software

    I am looking for software for tracking small equipment, fans-saws generators, etc. standalone not for apparatus/vehicles.

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    What type of information are you looking to track and how dynamic is it (i.e. how often will it change) ?

    I can't think of any "canned" purpose built software, however I do know that Firehouse has a module that will let you track equipment, maintenance History, what rig or person it's issued to etc.

    Another option (depending on your requirements) would be to use an off the shelf application that you may already have like a spreadsheet program like M.S. Excel or a database program like M.S. Access - both of which are part of the M.S. Office Suite.

    Your third option (and possibly the most expensive) would be to have someone develop a program custom for you.

    FWIW - I am a programmer for my "payin gig" so if you can give me a little better idea what exactly you need, I can try to point you in a better direction.

    As a side note - if you have a local college (or even some high schools), their computer science dept. may be able to help you in setting up something as a student project.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    If you are just keeping basic inventory, an Excel spreadsheet will work fine. If you're looking to manage a lot of equipment and do searches and more RMS functions, putting something together in Access or a similar db program is a better route. Depending on how complex your needs, there are programs that allow you to generate bar codes and scan your inventory and track its movement/status.

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    Default Check out this presentation for the solution you are looking for


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    N2DFIRE, I am currently using Excel spreadsheets, but I am tracking alot of equipment, chainsaws, rescue saws, holmatro tools, ventilation fans, generators, etc. close to 200 pieces. I am looking for somthing that would give me reports of what is coming due that kind of stuff. we service equipment every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireresource
    N2DFIRE, I am currently using Excel spreadsheets, but I am tracking alot of equipment, chainsaws, rescue saws, holmatro tools, ventilation fans, generators, etc. close to 200 pieces. I am looking for somthing that would give me reports of what is coming due that kind of stuff. we service equipment every day.
    O.K. - I agree that Excel isn't really going to be "robust" enough to do what you want. You might be able to make do if you really got into the advanced programming scripts that it allows (not just simple Macros) but it's a pain and for one project probably not really worth the time involved in the learning curve.

    Next step would be to step-up (more like step-over) to a database like M.S. Access, however I have a feeling that you're going to run into some of the same limitations on generating reports.


    From here you have 2 paths.
    Path 1 - look at something similar to Firehouse Software:
    Apparatus, Equipment, and Inventory
    This module is available individually or as part of a bundled system.

    Comprehensive apparatus, equipment, and inventory records with additional fields for specialized types of equipment and equipment maintenance, including specialized testing fields for hose, SCBA, pumps, and other types.
    Track every aspect of inventory, like out of service equipment, consumables, and maintenance and testing details.
    Maintenance and test detail records can be batch scheduled or completed.

    http://www.firehousesoftware.com/eval/moddesc.htm
    Being as I am not too familiar with their entire product line - I'm not sure if this is offered as the "Client/Server", "Web Based", or both.


    Path 2 - Develop your own system using a true database application and some type of front end to manipulate it.
    My suggestion:
    Use SQL Server 2005 Express Edition as your database & build your own web based interface to it.
    SQL Server Express is a free, ligthtweight version of SQL Server 2005 designed to help developers build robust and reliable applications by providing an powerful database that is also free and easy to use.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en


    Things to compare
    - Cost
    Firehouse (or other) - call for pricing but it ain't cheap.
    In House App.
    SQL Express is free
    Any Windows Server based O.S. as well as Windows XP already has the software to become a web server built in so - free.
    Application development - if you want to try and tackle it yourself then all you need is an internet connection for research & windows notepad to code in so free.
    If you can "farm it out" to a local high school / college - free
    If you have to pay a programmer / web designer then $$

    Also - you can pull your existing information from Excel into SQL Server (and FYI Firehouse uses SQL server as it's back end database so you should still be able to populate some of the data if their folks are willing to help you do so)

    If I were in your position & $$ was no object I'd evaluate the FH offering (or anything similar you may have found) first - why reinvent the wheel?

    If you didn't like the FH stuff or cost is an issue then I'd really look into the College/High School thing. I know from experience that (esp. with colleges) they will give students large project assignments like this to complete to simulate real world experience so they may actually jump at the chance to do this for you. Doesn't cost anything to ask

    Hope this was at least a little more helpful & I wish you luck with your project.

    Edit - Forgot to add that if you have an Intranet (agency owned network) that a web based application (be it FH if available or your own) would allow you to access the system from any computer connected to the network as well as allow multiple persons to use it at the same time - there can also be security features to restrict access as well. More food for thought.
    Last edited by N2DFire; 03-17-2006 at 09:17 AM.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    I'd suggest software used by rental equipment stores. Several programs available and would have all the functions you need.

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    Default Inventory and Maintenance Software

    We are using a software package call Emergency Software Products, they have an inventory and maintenance software package that we use. It works well for all types of equipment. They sell it as a standalone or network version. I also due sales for them part time. If you would like I could send you a free demo cd of their products. Thank you.

    www.emergencysoftware.com
    wsmith@emergencysoftware.com

    William Smith
    Fire Marshal
    Fairfield, NJ

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