Brian Weindel has been with Fort Smith EMS for nearly 18 years and has implemented several processes, technology systems and software that have been a tremendous advancement for the agency. The majority of Weindel’s operational improvements surround the communications center, ITS operations, and the data and IT to support it. He’s become a champion for EMS, making sure that not only does his agency understand the importance of data and how it drives evolution of efficiency and success, so do surrounding agencies within his community as well. In fact, Weindel successfully lobbied the City of Fort Smith to enact ordinances that requires any ambulance services operating within Fort Smith to operate similar technology and software. It’s this hard work and dedication that made Weindel a perfect recipient of the ZOLL EMS Pulse Awards in 2017.
Weindel has used historical data and built upon the reporting tools from ZOLL to address inefficiencies. He used system status management to place vehicles in locations to reduce response times. Improvements include:
- 50 percent reduction in unit response times
- 66 percent reduction in time from 9-1-1 call until EMS on scene
- 99 percent of calls answered within 15 seconds
- Average alarm processing time under 60 seconds
He used the data to lobby for additional crews and vehicles to the fleet to overcome call volume increases. Coincidentally, the data provided by system status management (SSM) was used in such a way that new vehicles were stationed in locations and current operations reorganized that provided sufficient SSM coverage and now units are very rarely required to move to provide plan coverage. This data has also led to tremendous reductions in response times and compliance with multiple standards within the organization.
It’s the efficiencies of the processes, software and technology that he has introduced that allows such increases without additional manpower or expansion of the department.
The efficiencies Weindel introduced to the billing department greatly streamlined the billing process, reducing billing lead time from 14 days down to 3 days and increasing the call volumes 233 percent, from 7,010 trips to 16,314 trips, without requiring the addition of more billing personnel. It’s the efficiencies of the processes, software and technology that he has introduced that allows such increases without additional manpower or expansion of the department.
He has also been instrumental in improving efficiencies throughout Fort Smith EMS, specifically with Road Safety. Improvements include:
- 72 percent reduction in aggressive driving
- 95 percent reduction in speed violations
- 42 percent reduction in maintenance costs
- 12 percent increase in vehicle MPG’s
The difference in operational effectiveness and efficiency was evident by those living in the community and drew local, regional, state, and national attention. The service was named the state ALS Service of the Year, the communications center received two national Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) awards (Horizon Award and Technology Leadership Award), along with many more local awards and recognition. The local chapter of the Noon Exchange Club even went as far as to change the name of their Paramedic of the Year award to Emergency Medical Person of the Year so that they could award it to Weindel, who is not a paramedic. The club stated they had not seen any other person who had made such an impact on pre-hospital care before, and that changing the name of the award was prudent to ensure the most impactful person would receive it.
About EMS Pulse Awards
To coincide with National EMS Week, ZOLL created the EMS Pulse Awards. The awards recognize professionals who are the pulse of their EMS organization, working behind the scenes of prehospital care and empowering their organization to provide better care and ultimately enable their teams to save more lives within their communities. Winners were selected based on the information you provided in their nominations, which was also used in their story above. This year’s winners were recognized at our yearly user conference, SUMMIT. Congratulations to all of our winners who are successfully streamlining the business side of EMS! Interested in nominating a coworker for their achievements on the business side of EMS? Nominations will open again in Spring 2018.