/Security upgrade for county EMS bases 

Security upgrade for county EMS bases 

By Chad Ingram

Published Aug. 16 2016

Haliburton County will be updating the locking system at its three EMS bases.

Councillors on the municipality’s EMS advisory committee received a report from EMS director and paramedic chief Craig Jones during an Aug. 10 meeting.

“The current mechanical door access code has been the same since the county assumed responsibility for ambulance service in the year 2000” a report from Jones reads.

“These mechanical systems are prone to failure and unable to be changed without contacting a locksmith. Recently one of the systems failed and the contractor had difficultly obtaining parts due to the age of the mechanism. Another significant concern is that it is not practical to change the code when staff leave the employ of the county given the level of turnover of staff and the amount of administrative effort (and cost) of making and communicating the change.

“Given that any individual with knowledge of the code could access our facilities staff vehicles and drugs etc. it poses a security concern. It is a recommended health and safety best practice that each time an employee leaves the employment of the county access codes should be changed immediately.”

Jones’s recommendation was to upgrade the system to accommodate electronic key FOBs that county paramedics already use to check into work.

“The system is managed by a web-based access control system software” Jones’s report continues.

“This software would allow us to manage the doors and key FOBs remotely in real time from anywhere with an Internet connection. The system provides multiple reports on system access. A benefit of the software is that it is scalable. This would allow for the possibility of future additional county-owned buildings to be controlled by the software for no additional cost.”

The price tag for upgrading the entranceways at the Minden Haliburton and Tory Hills EMS is estimated at about $9000.

Jones told councillors an additional benefit would be the ability to track who is coming and going from the building in real time another security precaution.

“It definitely makes for a more accountable system” he said.

“It’s shocking that we don’t have any security” said Highlands East Deputy-reeve Suzanne Partridge.

“They are locked. I want to emphasize that” Jones said.

The committee supported the recommendation. Motions from the county’s advisory committees are taken to county council for final approval where they typically pass.