It’s an integrator’s job to solve problems. Maryland-based security integrator Pro Tech Systems was tasked with solving a rather unique one with the District of Columbia Fire & Emergency Medical Services asked it to develop a technology-secured ‘safe’ to transport DEA Schedule II substances on its fleet of emergency service vehicles.
The integrator turned to Nortek Security & Control’sLinear brand for the key-fob access technology.
Leveraging Linear access control, Pro Tech Systems’ NARCLOK II safe helps securely transport highly addictive drugs, like morphine, that were once banned from being stored on emergency vehicles, according to a Nortek Security & Control press release.
“Seventeen years ago, D.C. Fire & EMS stopped allowing drugs like morphine to be transported after several incidents in which the drugs were stolen and replaced by saline,” explained Pro Tech Systems president Joe Bacarella.
“This actually compromised the emergency response. What the department needed was a truly secure safe, with technology that would allow access to the drugs only to those authorized, while tracking who opened and accessed the drugs. With the Linear access control solution more lives are saved every day because of the timely access to these drugs on board each EMS vehicle.”
How to Transport DEA Schedule II Substances
Bacarella chose a Linear Access Control solution equipped with IP communication for the job because of its ability to comprehensively report who key-fobbed into the cooled safe and at what time. “Management can easily create reports that document who accessed the safe,” he says. “Theft is no longer an issue.”
“Management can easily create reports that document who accessed the safe,” Bacarella says. “Theft is no longer an issue.”
After Bacarella submitted the initial bid to develop the system for secure drug safes, the project leveraged the Linear one-to-many door access system capabilities as it grew to include nearly 400 emergency vehicle installations of every type — engines, ambulances, trucks, and EMS supervisor Tahoes, adds the press release.
“Each one now carries the Linear-enabled NARCLOK II box, which means that every vehicle can go out with a Paramedic on board because each can be Controlled-Medication equipped,” he says.
“With the NARCLOK II on board, the department is now saving as many as 750 lives a year that otherwise might have been lost. This solution is a real life-saver.”
Bacarella says he believes that every single fire department in the country needs the cooled storage system.