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Focus on Efficiency: Making Use of Smaller Mobile Spaces for Law Enforcement

May 16, 2019

Law enforcement vehicles tend to be chosen for speed and durability over equipment storage. The typical police cruiser is a sedan, which offers only a trunk for storage. Other law enforcement vehicle models can range up to the size of a large SUV, which provides more space. Variances in law enforcement vehicle sizes can present both opportunities and challenges for equipment storage and transportation.

Because each vehicle model and need is unique, organizing essential tools can be challenging. This is where Extendobed’s stationary units come in. These units capitalize on every inch of space in a vehicle, utilizing features such as full-extension drawers, storage compartments, worktables, and locking evidence boxes.

Organization is crucial for efficient law enforcement, and Extendobed’s stationary units are up to the task.

CUSTOM UNITS INCREASE SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

Extendobed’s customized units for vehicles create efficiency in the field for municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Radios, pepper spray, stop strips, post-event comfort items for victims, and other equipment must be quick to access and easy to restock. When chain of custody comes into play — such as when handling evidence, controlled substances, or dangerous materials — secure storage within the vehicle is important. Limited budgets in smaller municipalities can present additional concerns, further highlighting the importance of efficiency in day-to-day activities for both city and state police officers.

Necessary equipment such as guns, bulletproof vests, police-issue duty belts, handcuffs, tasers, batons, extra magazines, flashlights, and a host of other gear needs to be on hand and ready for officers to use. Imagine what might happen if an officer had to dig into a bag for a tool, while an active dangerous situation played out around them — the outcome of inefficiency in this scenario could be devastating. Having dedicated, safe, controlled spaces for each type of equipment keeps officers and the surrounding community safer.

Even when situations aren’t actively dangerous, the efficiency built into a well-organized mobile work unit makes a difference. Confiscating evidence, labeling it, and storing it can be optimized through a clear, step-by-step process that ends with materials locked in a secure repository. Extendobed’s custom solutions have built-in efficiency to allow each officer to be as thorough and complete as possible.

Several federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. use Extendobed solutions, including the FBI, U.S. Marshals, and Department of Homeland Security. Knowing that the premier law enforcement agencies of the U.S. government already use Extendobed solutions gives state and municipal agencies the confidence to acquire their own Extendobed units customized to meet their specific needs.

FBI USES

The FBI uses Extendobeds extensively for a variety of specific needs. Some of these include lockable storage for evidence or weapons, Type 3 explosives boxes in various sizes and configurations, and equipment storage for large and small items such as robots, battering rams, and other specialized supplies and accessories. In addition, FBI agents need mobile command centers with working tables, whiteboards, and radios and other telecom equipment — as well as specialized storage containers for this gear. 

The FBI has customized Extendobeds for SUVs and pickup trucks with shells covering the truck beds. Their units include both slideouts and fixed/stationary units with slide-out drawers and worktables.

APPLICATION FOR US MARSHALS

State and municipal police aren’t the only law enforcement officers dedicated to making the population safe. U.S. Marshals have specialized jobs and specific job requirements that demand specialized equipment.

U.S. Marshals are responsible for the personal safety of federal judges. In addition, they are in charge of the Federal Witness Protection Program. U.S. Marshals are also heavily involved in apprehending fugitives and transporting prisoners. In all these cases — whether protecting criminals, civilians, or other law enforcement personnel — Marshals need custom solutions that ensure the safe transportation of equipment.

U.S. Marshals also use specialized electronic surveillance equipment. This equipment must be stored carefully and transported in a safe manner to ensure that it will be accessible when needed and will work as intended.

SOLUTIONS FOR HOMELAND SECURITY

Homeland Security officers have increasingly complex and dangerous jobs. Border Patrol officers and Secret Service agents risk their lives every day to ensure U.S. security.

These law enforcement personnel benefit from access to centralized tools and communication hubs. Standardizing how evidence is collected and reported increases efficiency across many federal departments and sets expectations for the quality and organization of each Homeland Security department.

Hazardous waste is an excellent example of specialized equipment in action. Authorized Homeland Security personnel must be trained to handle specific substances using specialized equipment. They must handle, store, and dispose of those substances responsibly, as well as accurately report what was found, handled, and disposed of.

All types of law enforcement personnel benefit from custom mobile storage solutions. Extendobed’s solutions increase efficiency exponentially, while helping to keep professionals and the public safe.

To learn how a custom Extendobed solution can meet your specific needs, email us at: websales@extendobed.com.

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Organization and Planning Actually Save Lives

April 11, 2019

Firefighting crews are some of the most well-organized, tightly controlled teams in the world. Having a plan, the right tools, a team that backs each other up, and reliable equipment are all essential aspects of an effective firefighting team. The final piece is efficient communication, which is where command centers come in.

A mobile command center brings the power of a brick and mortar command location right to the front lines, where crews can take control of dangerous incidents. Therefore, a mobile command center can help meet the challenges of emergency response more efficiently — here’s how.

COMMAND CENTERS CREATE AND MAINTAIN ACCOUNTABILITY

Commanders are responsible for the lives of their firefighters in addition to control of incidents, so organization is a top priority. Thus, having the necessary tools on-hand and easily accessible helps to respond to changing conditions. Custom command centers allow commanders to control the entire incident site from one location.

Extendobed’s mobile command centers usually consist of:

  • file drawers,
  • bookcase enclosures,
  • map boards,
  • removable magnetic command easels,
  • pencil trays,
  • fold-down work tables,
  • and slideout mounting walls for equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) tanks.

We’ve been building these types of products for the fire service. We know how to build them to withstand the intense rigors required for this industry.

ACCESS CAN MEAN LIFE OR DEATH

An organized custom mobile command center can be the difference between life and death. Taking extra time to find equipment or extract it from a messy vehicle could easily mean rescuers don’t reach victims in time to save their lives.

Every critical incident is unique, which is part of what makes firefighting a dangerous occupation. Wildfires behave differently depending on what grasses, trees, and other plants are burning — and depending on the constantly shifting weather conditions. Homes are built from various materials, and some homes contain more explosive hazards than others; thus fire will behave differently for each structure. Extraction tools and firefighter gear differ from incident to incident, so quick and reliable access to gear and tools is critical.

FIRE, FATALITIES, AND SUCCESS STORIES

Fighting fires and responding to other dangerous incidents will always involve risk. However, firefighters can take a variety of precautions, from improved equipment to well-planned executable strategies, to reduce danger and keep crews and the public safer.

Back in 2004, the “Everyone Goes Home” Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives were developed to better protect and prepare firefighting crews. In 2004, 107 firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty. In 2017, according to FEMA, the number was down to 86. Because of the implementation of Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, the number of lives lost has reduced, and the continued advancements in equipment, planning, and accountability strategies has increased.

EXAMPLE IMPLEMENTATIONS

In Clinton, Michigan, the Clinton Township Fire Department’s custom Extendobed solution allows access to equipment, coolers, air tanks, and other tools from every angle. Easy access means not wasting seconds running around the vehicle or having to park in a specific orientation. Access from all angles also improves efficiency during organization, stocking, cleaning, and repacking.

Another of our customers benefits from a custom Extendobed that helps perform fire pump testing and maintenance. Their 2,000-pound capacity slideout unit, built into their Ford F-250 Service Body truck, makes it easier to access hoses, pipes, and other equipment.

It’s clear from feedback we get from real firefighting crews that good organization for equipment and supplies is a real and continuing issue. We provide custom solutions that support firefighters, from the command center all the way to the fire line.

To read more from happy customers, check out our Facebook page. To get started on your own custom solutions, email us at: websales@extendobed.com.

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The Power of an Organized Workspace

April 02, 2019

It’s frustrating to have trouble finding a specific tool when you need it. But in some industries, there’s more at stake than just frustration. If you work in a specialized trade such as law enforcement, fire mitigation, or construction/repair, easily finding your tools could be the difference between life and death.

Maintaining your workspace in an organized and efficient manner has numerous benefits. These include the ability to control costs, increase output, and manage your equipment maintenance and replacement more effectively.

DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS, SIMILAR NEEDS

Extendobed offers a variety of specialized options and accessories for specific applications. These options can be purchased separately or customized to meet customers’ needs and budgets. In either case, these setups help your employees do their jobs more efficiently.

In law enforcement, special equipment can include weapons and ammunition, explosives, materials to gather evidence, and highly trained K-9 dogs. Weapons, ammunition, and explosives can be safely stored in weapons drawers, custom compartments, and day boxes for easy access when needed. Evidence presents its own challenges: it must be collected carefully and stored securely in locking compartments, as chain of custody is crucial. Other specialized equipment must also be safely stored during transport. For example, K-9 dogs should be safely transported in secure kennels during incidents of high-speed travel and over different types of terrain.

In fire mitigation, where minutes are a matter of life and death, specialized equipment must be secure and quickly accessible. Special equipment and storage include:

  • magnetic and/or dry erase accountability boards in stand-alone and drawer pop-up configurations;
  • slide-out walls for fast, easy access to self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) mounts and hand tools;
  • custom structures for easy access to extrication and rescue equipment;
  • file drawers for information organization;
  • and multiple levels of storage for transport of larger equipment including awnings, coolers, stokes baskets, and backboards.

In construction, tools must be secured for both safety and to deter attempted theft. Generators, compressors, and other large portable equipment can be stored on slide-out trays so they are easy to access and remove from the vehicle. Hand tools, fasteners, and other small materials can be organized in locking drawers or tool boxes.

Having quick, reliable access to the correct tools isn’t always a matter of life or death in every industry. However, it’s still essential to effective job performance.

EQUIPMENT VS. SPACE

Any vehicle has a limited amount of space available. For some lines of work, this presents an interesting challenge: balancing the right tools and supplies with enough space to transport them. When you can bring only a certain amount of equipment with you, having a well-organized mobile space becomes even more important.

For example, an HVAC technician must be able to service countless combinations of systems — but a few tools are always useful: a cordless drill (and extra batteries), tape measure, hammer, and step ladder. Secure storage for transport ensures items aren’t damaged en route to a job. And organized storage is key for speed and efficiency once on the job site.

In law enforcement, the work isn’t over when the “bad guy” is in handcuffs. Evidence collection, cleanup, and record-keeping all require specialized supplies with specific storage needs.

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WHAT EFFICIENCY LOOKS LIKE IN PRACTICE

Just as different industries have different needs, so do individual customers. Here are a couple of examples of how Extendobed created custom solutions for specific situations.

An electrician who was working for a municipality was injured lifting a piece of equipment out of his work van. His back injury required time off work to heal, as well as physical therapy, before he could return to his duties. As he healed, the question arose of whether he would be able to use the equipment the municipality owned when he returned to work. The municipality contacted Extendobed for a potential solution. Extendobed created a custom slide-out unit to house all of this electrician’s tools and equipment. Each of his tools are now accessible without risking reinjury. Without Extendobed’s solution, the employee could not have returned to work for the municipality.

A commercial door installer used to load and unload doors from his truck manually. Each set of doors took an hour to load and another hour to unload. So no matter how long an actual installation took, he spent two hours per job loading and unloading. His Extendobed allows him to load a full set of doors using a forklift, which saves two to four hours per day, depending on the number of jobs. This time savings has reduced his labor costs, allowing him to lower his bids. This in turn has resulted in more jobs, thereby increasing his revenue. He can also complete more jobs in a day, further adding to his bottom line.

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GOOD DESIGN IS KEY

A well-designed workspace is crucial to organization and efficiency, especially in specialized industries. Customized solutions exponentially extend the value of an organized and efficient workspace.

To learn how your mobile working environment will benefit from customized organizational solutions, email us at: websales@extendobed.com

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    For nearly 30 years, Extendobed has put our units to work in some of the toughest environments imaginable. From life-threatening situations to everyday job responsibilities, you can count on Extendobed to perform anywhere, any day of the week. Manufactured in the USA and built to last, Extendobed creates high-quality custom-designed truck bed extenders, truck bed organizers and more.

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     208.455.2707

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