[InTime] is definitely a homerun. If this works for us, it can work for anyone. It's made our lives much easier.
Deputy Chief, New Britain Fire Department
Overview of New Britain Fire Department
The New Britain Fire Department is comprised of 125 personnel with six stations and nine pieces of apparatus. They are defined as a medium-sized department for their state. They operate on four shifts, with a 24/72 schedule. Each group has a shift commander overseeing each shift.
New Britain Fire Department Past Challenges
Prior to InTime, New Britain Fire relied on a pencil and paper process for their scheduling. The deputy chief relied on one clipboard that contained a roster of their day. It listed all the personnel who were working, who were not working, and who’s working overtime. Their manual process resulted in inefficiencies and lack of trust among staff.
MANUAL PROCESS CAUSED AN INEFFICIENT LEAVE MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Their leave management process was done through paper slips. The deputy chief would be responsible for going to every station to pick up the slips and manually transposing it onto his paper schedule. This process was prone to error, resulting in personnel not showing up for their shifts.
“It was a painful process. We’ve lost the clipboard and we had no backup. We had to call every station so they can look through their records to try and recoup lost information.” – Scott Morgan, Deputy Chief
ENSURING MINIMUM STAFFING WAS MET BECAME A PAINFUL PROCESS
Ensuring minimum staffing wasted a lot of time and was still prone to human error. They had to go through their paper schedule and manually count to make sure they had adequate staffing on their fire trucks. They would also have to check their leave request slips and validate whether it was reflected properly on the schedule.
MANUAL PROCESS LED TO A LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST AMONG STAFF
Having a manual process meant that it was prone to human error and bias. Staff learned not to trust the assignment process as they didn’t have an automated system that would assign personnel based on their built-in agency rules.
“There were no real reports. It was not always easy to determine who was hired next, due to the fact that we normally only hired from who were working that day. And if we had to call members at home it was usually a long process.” – Scott Morgan, Deputy Chief
Present Day Improvements
After experiencing years of challenges with their manual process, New Britain Fire knew it was time for a change. After comparing different vendors, they decided that InTime was the most suitable to handle their needs. Part of this qualification was the fact that InTime could accommodate a 24/7 shift pattern. InTime can also assign personnel to resources (engine, ladder, etc.). New Britain Fire adopted InTime in 2020.
FROM 9 HOURS TO ONLY 20 MINUTES SPENT SCHEDULING
InTime’s automated functionality enabled New Britain Fire to post shifts and facilitate shift changes quickly. There’s now no need for cross-referencing leave requests slips and double-checking to ensure it was all written correctly. InTime tracks change history which keeps the team accountable.
“It’s fantastic. I look at the roster and say I’m going to assign this person here, that person there, and with a couple of clicks, I’m all done.” – Scott Morgan, Deputy Chief
ENSURING COVERAGE LEVELS ARE MET IS NOW A BREEZE
InTime provides a visual display of coverage levels that take into account leave requests and overtime shifts. This removed the challenge of knowing if an apparatus is adequately staffed.
“Now, it’s just a scan. If I’m missing coverage, it’s really easy to see.” – Scott Morgan, Deputy Chief
IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY AND TEAM COMMUNICATION BOOSTS STAFF MORALE
Staff now get notified, view and sign up for shifts through the web or smartphone. They can view posted shifts 60 days in advance, allowing them to sign up for the days they want. Approved leave requests are automatically reflected in the schedule, removing human error and ensuring shifts are properly staffed. There is also improved trust in the department as shift assignment is based on built-in agency and union rules within the system, ensuring it’s a fair and equitable process. Lastly, there is more transparency now that staff can view their timebanks and leave requests anytime they want.
“They’ve gotten used to trust the system now, and they don’t have to keep a watchdog on everyone else’s hours.” – Scott Morgan, Deputy Chief
REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS IMPROVE ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESOURCE FORECASTING
New Britain Fire now has granular visibility into leave request and timesheet approvals with InTime’s detailed reporting. In addition, visual dashboards enable a high-level view into agency trends, including leave forecasts to better predict resource demands.
“The chief and assistant chief loves the visual aspect of the dashboard. It’s been a big hit for them.” – Scott Morgan, Deputy Chief