The New Jersey State First Aid Council, representing hundreds of individual squads, has the responsibility to gather and analyze the thousands of reports generated by Emergency Services statewide. The information is used to provide a basis for funding. These reports vary greatly in content, format, and style from squad to squad. As a volunteer organization there are no payrolls or time cards to draw upon when a community or agency asks about squad activities.
Since virtually every government bureau, local, and state, is operating under increasing budget restrictions, funding for resources and supplies is competitive and limited. In a nutshell, if the NJSFAC didn’t get the story out as to how much money their volunteers were saving municipalities and the state, funding for equipment and materials could disappear.
PeopleForce began by creating a standard form available to all participating squads over the internet. The form, a survey, uses current database technology coupled with the PeopleForce distributed workforce model to collect and store incident reports for later analysis and retrieval. PeopleForce trained the squad members and their leaders in the use of the system. Within a few days squads across the state were inputting data to a central depository where it could be used to create documents explicitly listing times, activities, miles driven, patient data, and demographics.
For the first time the council had the ability to demonstrate the value of the volunteer organization in clear, quantitative terms without the need to purchase a single piece of equipment or software. Additionally the system conforms the data to the national standard (National EMS Information System- NEMSIS), the first statewide to do so.