Alamance County, NC Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Office (FMEMO) assists Alamance County citizens to prepare for, survive, and recover from disasters. FMEMO is the steward of the hazardous materials database for the county. Administrators manually receive all Tier 2 reports submitted by businesses storing extremely hazardous chemicals by paper and manually enter each form into their system known as EM 2000. However due to the repeated technical issues which made the database system inaccessible for most of the year, the system was replaced with Hazconnect in 2006.
Old System A Drain on County’s Resources
- Administrators mailed paper compliance packages to each facility (average cost of $4,000 annually on just postage and mailings).
- Most facilities had a manual process for filling the forms each year increasing costs for compliance.
- Administrators had to manually enter each hardcopy they received from their facilities into the EM 2000 program, costing the county more than 600 hours of administrative time per year.
- Facilities mailed 302 and 311 reports to the county, the county made corrections, and then mailed the corrected forms back to the facility for final certification. The facility then sent the final version back to the county for completion of these reports. A revision report could take up to four weeks to process.
- Even though the county spent 6 months annually updating the EM 2000 system, responders were not able to use this data since the system was down for months at a time.
- Because the EM 2000 system was always down, the administrators had to print out all Tier 2 reports for hundreds of facilities and hand deliver them to each of the fire departments annually.
Regaining Public Safety Mojo
- Hazconnect has helped FMEMO identify a dozen non-compliant facilities in the past year alone.
- Responders and Planners throughout the county access all hazmat site information for their jurisdiction 24/7/365 allowing them to have more visibility before walking into the scene of a hazmat incident.
- The Inspections Department uses the system to research each site before conducting the inspection.