. Scheduling for Police, Fire, and EMS Professionals
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How RescueBooker can Help

Volunteer police, fire and EMS organizations have a very difficult time filling their shifts with volunteers. Even if they do a great recruiting and add people to their roster, it is increasingly hard to get them to commit to the traditional 6 or 12-hour shifts. With partial shifts now the norm, not the exception, scheduling coordinators are constantly on the phone trying to cobble together a schedule to accommodate volunteers working a few hours here and there. For the typical organization, RescueBooker addresses these scheduling problems head on for as litle as $36.25 a month --- a little more than a dollar a day.

RescueBooker is an internet-based scheduling service that accommodates the busy lifestyle of today's volunteer. From their computers at home or the office, volunteers can quickly book on and off shifts in small time increments. The online, up-to-the-minute schedule clearly shows what shifts available for signup. If they have requested it, RescueBooker can even email or page them on a timely basis to let them know about shifts they might like to cover. No need to call the coordinator (or be called), or drive down to the apparatus bay to scribble their name on the paper schedule--it's all done online. And, volunteers with consistent schedules can set up a regular shift that will be respected and reserved for them by the system.

Managing schedules with a traditional paper-based sign-up process is equally tedious and frustrating for the scheduling coordinators, who must worry about filling in gaps and looking for last minute changes. RescueBooker makes their job easier. With more flexible schedules, crews are more likely to sign up on their own. RescueBooker can also monitor the schedule to keep completed schedules whole. If someone books off a shift and causes a scheduling problem, RescueBooker can page or email a coordinator.

Managing the scheduling process is also easier. Standard reports provide daily, monthly and yearly tallies of hours and shifts worked. And, since everything is logged for the coordinator's review, it is easy to identify those people who scratch their names off the schedule at the last minute.

Because RescueBooker is a service rather than just a piece of software, the process is easy to set-up, use and maintain. Because RescueBooker uses a standard browser interface, there is no need to install any client or server software on the PC's of coordinators or volunteers. Scheduling data is securely tucked away on a server managed and backed up by Bigfoot Labs. And, because login names and passwords guard your scheduling information, information can even be safely accessed from a public internet terminal.

For optimum control, the RescueBooker system recognizes two levels of users: Coordinators, who set up and control all passwords and access within the system, the scheduling process, and Members who log in and book on or off shifts. For members without internet access, shifts can be booked by calling a Coordinator.

All users who log on pass through an "announcements board" listing important things to note. These items are entered by the scheduling coordinators and refer to things like open shifts, equipment that is out of service, or upcoming training events.

What do our users say about RescueBooker? Volunteers like the freedom to book on and off shifts over the internet from home and the ability to book partial shifts (down to five minute increments) themselves. Coordinators like the "legal crew" checking done visually on the screen to quickly spot shifts that need someone of a particular certification to complete the crew. They also appreciate knowing immediately when someone is booking on or off a shift and thereby creating or fixing a problem for them. And Administrators (usually the chiefs) enjoy having their squad cars, ambulances and fire trucks ready to respond with a full crew for very little money and a lot less effort.

© 2003, Bigfoot Laboratories, Inc.
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