Using Personal Digital Assistant Technology to Conduct Fire Prevention Inspections [open pdf - 251KB]
"This research paper incorporated the use of personal digital assistant (PDA) technology with conducting fire prevention inspections. A lack of staffing to perform consistent inspections necessitated the consideration of the use of PDA and computer technology to increase the rate and effectiveness of facility inspections. The purpose of the project was to create (a) a PDA fire inspection application to be used for field inspections in lieu of the paper forms, and (b) a PC [Personal Computer] mail merge inspection report and cover letter that will use data collected from the PDA. This research paper employed action research to (a) determine if there are any fire departments or other public service agencies using PDA technology to provide services, (b) ascertain if there are any private sector agencies using PDA technology to increase their efficiency and profitability, (c) assess the importance of reevaluating programs that are not having the desired results, and (d) determine the technical options that must be considered before implementing a procedure based on PDA technology. The primary modality employed was reviewing literature and previous studies on this technology in terms of increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability of organizations that have adopted this technology. For the literature review, extensive use of the World Wide Web was incorporated. The primary findings of this research paper were that both the public and private sectors are successfully employing PDA's with both improvements in efficiency and cost savings. Options on various PDAS, operating systems, PDA to PC data synchronization, and form letter generation were also explored."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/