Being 14 years old can be tough enough for the average teenager. But a 14-year-old computer system? That’s pretty old by many standards.
Jacksonville is in the midst of updating its computer system for the fire department.
"After 14 years using the FireHouse software system, the fire department has found that the software is antiquated (and) is no longer properly supported, and no longer meets the reporting needs of the Department as required by the National Fire Incident Reporting System and the National Emergency Medical Services Information System," reads Ordinance 1513, also known as Ordinance 6-2014.
The Jacksonville City Council adopted the ordinance earlier this month.
According to the ordinance, the importance of efficient collection and distribution of information about emergency activities and services to Jacksonville citizens is vital," according to the ordinance. "To enhance citizens’ safety, the Fire Department has researched and found better software services available with full support services and up to date technology that will assist them in meeting their mandated reporting needs, and has secured grants to assist in the purchase of said system requirements."
One company, ESO Solutions of Austin, Texas, is a firm that can provide the service.
"ESO is a reliable source for said software and has agreed to furnish such software and appropriate training at a reasonable cost," states the ordinance. "As well, the hardware and associated equipment required beyond the Fire Department’s current and useable computers can be purchased through the State Contract with CDW Inc. of Chicago, Ill., at a savings from retail prices."
The fire department recommended the waiving of competitive bidding and allow the fire department to contact with ESO and CDW for necessary services and systems. The fire department also would get necessary hardware, software, insurance, training, support and warranties.
Using the competitive bidding process would be very costly under this circumstance.
"Competitive bidding for the purchase of a new Fire Department Emergency Services reporting software system, related equipment and hardware, insurance, support, training and warranties for the Jacksonville Fire Department would be costly and non-productive, making said competitive bidding unfeasible and impractical."
The council provided the fire department authority to make the purchase from ESO for $22,749.10 along with applicable tax. The fire department was also provided permission to buy associated services from CDW Inc. at a pricetag of $45,123.86.
"Total expenditures for acquisition and improvement of the new Fire Department Emergency Services reporting system as described above shall not exceed $67,872.96."