Clark County Fire Department Manages Access to Controlled Substances
The Clark County Fire Department deployed Videx’ CyberLock key control to monitor the handling of controlled substances.
As the largest fire department in Nevada, Clark County Fire Department needed a system to manage the handling of controlled substances. As it stands the department provides emergency services to an area encompassing 7,910 square miles that includes the Las Vegas Strip, a large portion of the Las Vegas Valley, and neighboring resort townships. The department also maintains one of the nation’s Urban Search and Rescue Teams. This extremely busy fire department’s 29 paid fire stations and 13 volunteer fire stations responded to 122,111 incidents in 2008.
“We were required to have a system of checks and balances in place that would provide an accounting of the handling of all controlled substances. Our narcotics needed to be safely secured in each of our advanced life support engines and rescue vehicles,” says Clark County FD EMS Supervisor Jeff Reagor.
“In order to run EMS calls in Clark County, all fire departments and private ambulance companies are mandated by the Southern Nevada Health District to have the oversight of an independent Medical Director and a QA Director. Dr. Dale Carrison, chief of staff at the University Medical Hospital, oversees the medical direction of Clark County F.D.,” he explains. “Our QA Director, Jo Ellen Hannom, RN, works closely with him in the regulation and management of all our controlled substances. Our controlled substances are obtained under Dr. Carrison’s license so it’s imperative we provide accountability for the drugs we use. Clark County F.D. needed a system that would allow them to know when their narcotic safes were being accessed and by whom.”
After researching available products, they found that CyberLock offered the best solution. Reagor shares the department’s reasons for choosing CyberLock, “With CyberLock, we could gain tight key control and the ability to track how many times and when our narcotic safes were being opened. We saw this as a good way to have accountability with our narcotics handling.”
“Deputy Chief Russ Cameron, chief of the department’s Fire and EMS Training Program, obtained the funding for the CyberLock system and in May, 2008, we began installing CyberLocks on our narcotic safes,” he continues. “We worked closely with A&B Security, a Las Vegas access control and security company. A&B Security is the department’s supplier of narcotic safes. Their people came on site and gave us the support we required to install and manage the CyberLock system.”
Each time Clark County F.D. gets a new rescue unit, its mechanics install a narcotic safe onboard. The safe is secured in the unit with titanium hardware and fitted with a CyberLock in a matter of minutes. The unit number, a unit identifier and the fire station it is assigned to are entered into the CyberLock system software before delivering the rescue unit to the appropriate fire station. Extra electronic keys are stored in a secured centralized location so a key can be activated whenever the department receives a new rescue unit.
To date, Clark County has installed CyberLocks on safes in the fire stations themselves, on rescue unit safes, and on safes in engine company vehicles. The department also has a Reserve Fleet that consists of five rescue vehicles, eight engines, and two ladder trucks. Each of these is equipped with a narcotic safe that has been fitted with a CyberLock. “In the event we need to use one of the Reserve Fleet vehicles, the CyberLock software allows us to quickly program an electronic key on-the-fly to access that particular unit’s safe,” says Reagor.
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