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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Get More Out Of Your Aladtec System with our API (Application Programming Interface)

An API, or application programming interface, is a specification intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other. What does that mean for the rest of us? It means that your EMS Manager, FIRE Manager or Zanager information, can be pulled into an application leveraging data from all kinds of sources. This means that custom applications can be developed to include information from any software with an accessible API. Whether it be software for incident reporting, database, weather, payroll, etc., APIs allow you to take your data to another level of interoperability.


Thanks, eBay, for the nice word cloud!
Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad (SVRS) in Sterling, Virginia is a great example of how our API can be used to increase productivity all around. Having seen a status board at another agency, Chief Byron Andrews wanted something similar at his stations. They had been using whiteboards at each of their stations and he knew it wasn't working - information wasn't updated or was inaccurate...or even illegible. Wanting to get away from this "instrument of disaster," as Chief Andrews called it, he wanted an electronic status board at each station so everyone would be on the same page. Woody Null*, an EMT at SVRS, and founder of Woody Null Technologies*, answered the call and began developing their own electronic status board, or ESB. 

"We went through a couple of versions of the ESB to make sure we had something we liked. Chief Andrews wanted something that people would understand right away from looking at it. The API was incredibly easy to use and the XML data flows nicely. It took me roughly 9 months, part-time, to develop the web app which allows us to access the ESB from home or on our handheld devices as easily as in the station," says Null.



SVRS's electronic status board pulls data from their EMS Manager system along with mechanical data, recent call information and environmental data. Chief Andrews says, "Using 42” television screens and by creating an electronic status board, we have a consistent message throughout the organization. And like EMS Manager, our ESB is web-based so we can make changes or view updates using any computer or smartphone." Chief Andrews is looking forward to incorporating our latest addition to our API, allowing their EMS Manager event calendar data to be merged into their ESB.

Chad Clay, Aladtec Director of Business Development, with Chief Byron Andrews of Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad at the EMS Today 2012 Convention.
Newton County Ambulance District (NCAD) in Neosho, Missouri also makes use of the Aladtec API to share and distribute information. NCAD's billing department needed to access their EMS Manager employee schedule to know who is on live duty. They wanted a simple way to get them this data without requiring them to log in to EMS Manager. Using the API, they were able to quickly create a simple desktop app (.NET) to allow the billing department access to current and future scheduling data. “The API was easy to work with and it let us accomplish a specific need for our service," said Robert White, IT Administrator for NCAD.

For more information on our API, please visit http://www.aladtec.com/vendor_api.php or contact Aladtec Tech Support at (888) 749-5550. 

To read our recent press release about our latest API enhancement, click here.

For more information on Woody Null and Woody Null Technologies, please visit www.woodynull.com or email contact@woodynull.com.

Special thanks to Chief Byron Andrews and Woody Null from Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad and Robert White from Newton County Ambulance District for sharing about their Aladtec API experience!

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