Making it Work From Behind the Scenes

Kyle-BreischaftMost people don’t think twice about what it takes to make emergency services run smoothly. In dire times, you make a 911 call and you get help. End of story.

Kyle Breischaft is one of those people behind the scenes that helps make this process an orderly one.  He is the President and CEO of Emergency Technologies, Inc., a company that provides vertical software solutions for Fire and EMS professionals.  The company’s record management systems ensure easy access to critical data and are used by medium and large Fire Departments and EMS Agencies around the country.

Emergency Technologies was founded in 1995 by Gar Keaton.  Breischaft joined the company in 2003 as Sales & Marketing Director and later went on to become COO and then CEO in 2008.  His background is a varied one, serving him well in his present role.  Breischaft holds degrees in Fire Science, Fire Fighting, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and has over ten years of public safety experience working as a certified Fire Fighter, licensed EMT, a sworn Police Officer, Detective and as a fully cross-trained Public Safety Officer.

Emergency Technologies Inc. works within a highly specialized niche, providing systems that help track, maintain, and automate the processes behind emergency services.

“When a fire truck turns a wheel to go out on a call, they have to do a report that goes to the state and federal government, and we automate that process,” explains Breischaft. “If they go out on an EMS call where there is actual patient care taking place, they fill out an EPCR, or electronic patient care report, which is automated, and then a copy is left at the hospital and another copy is sent to the state.”

The company also provides a host of modules that focus more on the operational needs of a fire department, such as hydrant management, fire inspections and educational training.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize all the backend operations that go on in public safety and that don’t make the glitz and glamour on TV,” says Breischaft.  “There’s a lot of reporting, there’s a lot of training, there’s a lot of certifications that are involved, and we automate that.”

Breischaft explains that the business started around the fire inspections module at a time when founder Gar Keaton was working at IBM.  He was doing sales in the government public sector and business with other software vendors that partnered with IBM to provide law enforcement systems.  Keaton observed that there weren’t similar systems in place for fire services, and so he ran with the idea, building it into its present comprehensive offering.

“With a lot of the systems that are at medium to large fire department level, the bigger metropolitan areas buy systems like ours in combination with the entire public safety technology suites,” says Breischaft.  “They’re buying a 911 system, a computerized dispatch system, a law enforcement record system, and a fire records system all at the same time.  We partner with the vendors that provide those other services, and then we’re bundled together for a best of breed approach on larger deals.”

Today, Emergency Technologies, Inc. has twenty-two employees and continues to grow. “It’s been all organic growth and boot-strapped, so we haven’t taken any outside funding,” explains Breischaft.  “It’s been ups and downs with the economic situation but we are aggressively growing now, since 2006.  We really started to grow significantly with some large contracts that we’d won, and this year alone we’ll probably add six new people to payroll, so we will be expanding pretty significantly over the next eighteen months.”

The company’s typical client is larger metropolitan or county-wide solutions.  “The city of San Antonio fire departments are one example, with over 1,500 personnel,” says Breischaft. “But then, we also have all of  Bear County which surrounds San Antonio, so there are actually twenty-five fire departments utilizing our system in one single database, which gives them the ability to share mission-critical information.”

Emergency Technologies Inc.’s record management systems are also used to help collect and organize data that is needed to apply for government funding grants.

Breischaft says his company’s focus has been on delivering the best product and service to the customer.  He maintains that in his field, in which most of the business is reference driven, it’s extremely important to maintain high service standards.

As a leader, Breischaft says that one of his principles is to surround himself with experts in their respective fields on whom he can rely. He passes this advice on to others. “Surround yourself with good people that can give you unfiltered and candid advice and share their experiences, because everybody has had successes and failures and you can learn a lot from both of those.”

He is also a big believer in communication and cites Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish as having a strong influence on him.“We have two different agile teams and everybody communicates on a daily basis,” Breischaft says. “I’m involved with those when I’m in the office, and then at least twice a week I’m getting briefed at an executive level with what’s going on with the business.  So we have that constant communication, that constant pulse on the overall operation, both internally and with a customer base.”

While keeping a finger on the current pulse, Breischaft is also busy looking ahead. He says an important plan for Emergency Technology, Inc.’s future will be to offer a host or SAS-based (Software as a Service) solution.  This addition would allow the company to work with smaller to medium size departments.  The hosted model provides a more economical solution for the smaller client, as well as a better way of doing business with reduced overhead for Emergency Technology, Inc.

“That will really answer the need for more efficient, cost effective solutions for public safety and local government.  There’s been a bigger demand to consider a hosted option because not only do they not need to maintain the software locally, they don’t need to maintain all the hardware and all the IT infrastructure.  So there’s definitely a return on investment when you start looking at that proposition.”

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