MEMS needed a single scalable solution to capture vehicle data, monitor road and driver events, and help improve driving behaviors. Support for the existing fleet management system was ending, and their cameras were experiencing excessive failure rates.
MEMS partnered with Forward Thinking Systems to equip their fleet of emergency response vehicles with the FleetCam Pro AI-driven dash camera, and implement the IntelliHub connected fleet management platform and DriveShield automated driver coaching app.
The new fleet management system has streamlined MEMS’ operations by providing one scalable, reliable system to manage captured video and driver events, while improving overall driver safety and performance.
In the heart of central Arkansas, Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS), a public, non-profit entity overseen by the Little Rock Ambulance Authority (LRAA), serves as a lifeline to over 400,000 people across 1,800 square miles.
Since 2004, MEMS has proudly held CAAS accreditation, symbolizing the "Gold Standard" in emergency medical services. Their commitment to excellence has established them as a leading ambulance service and trauma network in Arkansas. MEMS is setting a new industry standard with programs including Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD), in-house EMT and Paramedic training with college credits, Swift Water rescue teams, Medical Hazmat Teams, disaster communications units, and advanced cardiac protocols to name a few.
Driven by a core mission to provide the most up-to-date medical care to the communities they serve, it’s no surprise MEMS has harnessed the power of innovation with Forward Thinking Systems’ FleetCam® Pro camera solution. Let’s take a look at how this game-changing technology enhances MEMS' operations and their dedication to the communities they serve.
MEMS had been using multiple systems to capture fleet data and video footage from their vehicles. Because the two systems didn't communicate, additional personnel were required to manage both systems. MEMS dedicated a full-time staffer to monitoring captured video of road incidents and driver behavior events, and then correlated those clips with events in their fleet management system.
Beyond these inefficiencies, MEMS faced additional technical challenges. According to Fleet Operations Manager, Kenneth Ekenseair, “The cameras were failing a lot. Sometimes the cameras would fail to record, and other times they would simply fail after a year of service, and we’d have to purchase a brand-new camera.”
Even in the best of circumstances, the old solution was inefficient and didn’t provide the feedback drivers needed to make tangible improvements. “The system was more of a gotcha’ system,” said Ekenseair. MEMS needed one system to seamlessly manage video footage and driving events, as well as deliver actionable feedback to coach drivers
Kenneth Ekenseair, Fleet Operations Manager.
With over 80 emergency response vehicles in their fleet, MEMS needed a scalable solution to capture vehicle data, monitor road and driver events, and help improve driving behaviors. Together with their Fleet Operations Manage, the FTS team integrated the FleetCam all-in-one vehicle camera system into 40 of MEMS’ fleet vehicles
FTS’ fleet camera solution uses AI and advanced sensors to detect unsafe driver behaviors, capture real-time video footage of both the road and the driver, and log events through the IntelliHub fleet-management software. When FleetCam AI detects an unwanted driver behavior, the event is tagged within IntelliHub and attached to the vehicle’s breadcrumb trail.
In addition to logging events, the system features real-time in-cab alerts to catch a driver’s attention and help prevent crashes. An audiovisual warning from the in-cab device alerts drivers who are falling asleep, texting while driving, following a vehicle too closely, accelerating too quickly, braking too harshly, or making unsafe lane departures.
The final component of the new solution is DriveShield, an automated driver coaching app. DriveShield empowers MEMS drivers to review their driver behavior events (with video) and self-coach all in one easy-to-use scorecard system. With DriveShield, drivers can review events and acknowledge or dispute them, providing the opportunity to self-correct issues and saving managers valuable time.
The new system almost immediately paid dividends. Each year, MEMS’ vehicles respond to over 100,000 calls, and their drivers log over 50 incidents. From minor incidents, such as dinging a pole, to more serious incidents, such as hitting a tire on the freeway, FleetCam Pro has already proven its value.
In the latter case, a tire recently broke free from a car on the opposite side of the freeway, jumped the barrier, and landed directly in the path of a patient-loaded MEMS ambulance. The truck struck the tire, causing approximately $22,000 in damage to the vehicle. The video footage exonerated the driver of fault and proved helpful when submitting an insurance claim.
“We could see he was paying attention and did a good job,” says Ekenseair. “He had nowhere to go, but he slowed down and got off the road. And they were able to move the patient to another unit.”
FleetCam Pro has proven beneficial on a daily basis by monitoring the ambulance’s back door, providing additional accountability when backing up or when taking in patients. “When you’ve got a patient on a cot, that cot is very top heavy,” says Ekenseair. “If they reach out, they'll flip that cot in a heartbeat. Having that video, whether it’s good or bad for us, helps us fix the problem with training or see if the patient was a factor in why it happened.”
Kenneth Ekenseair, Fleet Operations Manager.
From accident investigations to workers’ comp claims, MEMS has found the captured footage invaluable. The biggest benefit of the system, however, has been in driver training. With all of the events and footage captured, MEMS driver training and coaching has improved significantly. “Whether our employees are getting reported or they self-report an incident, we can gather that data and figure out what the problem was so we can either retrain or develop a new procedure,” says Ekenseair.
With FleetCam identifying driver behavior events, MEMS can focus on the key driver habits that need additional coaching. MEMS crews can now watch the video clips of their events and see exactly what they were doing when the event occurred. “This has been a huge benefit for us,” says Ekenseair. “The direct feedback to the crews lets them see what they did and respond.”
Using the DriveShield scorecard, every driver begins the day with a score of 100, and each event throughout the day deducts from that score. According to Ekenseair, the average MEMS drivers are now in the low 90s to upper 80s. “Eighty is our cutoff,” says Ekenseair. “If you're consistently below 80, somebody on the safety team reaches out to the driver with a coaching plan.” With the FleetCam Pro and DriveShield solution in place, only 13 out of 300 drivers have required additional training.
"We've been absolutely impressed with the partnership that's formed," continues Casebere.
"FTS really worked with us to maximize integration to our existing systems so that we could wring out all the relevant data from our operating system and bring it into Forward Thinking Systems. There was a lot of work around customizing the application to meet our needs and how we wanted to use it every day."
“Our reports track the total score for the month, which we post for everybody to see,” says Ekenseair. “So if you're a bad driver, everybody's going to know it! It adds a little peer pressure. We don't try to shame anyone, but we try to have fun with some ribbing. And, of course, we share the praise publicly as well.”
Kenneth Ekenseair, Fleet Operations Manager.
As with any new system, FTS provides the necessary support to ensure a customer is up and running quickly. “The support team does a good job,” says Ekenseair. “They're quick to get back to me and follow up regularly with any outstanding requests.”
Speeding, according to Ekenseair, remains one of the areas for potential improvement. To address this issue, MEMS will be working with the FTS support team to capture and provide in-cab alerts to drivers for speeding events
Going into their 40th year in 2024, MEMS has some big plans, and FTS will be rolling into the future along with MEMS. “We just received approval to outfit the rest of the fleet with FleetCam Pro systems.”
Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services is deeply committed to enhancing emergency services and community well-being through innovation and technology, and integrating FleetCam Pro into their fleet is yet another example of that commitment. By leveraging FTS' suite of fleet management and driver safety tools, MEMS has ushered in a new era of safety and efficiency - empowering MEMS drivers to drive safely, self-coach and improving overall fleet performance. As MEMS continues to innovate and expand, FleetCam will continue to play a pivotal role in their excellence in emergency services.