Let's have a closer look at the Not Linked and the Linked to Incidents/Pub-Ed Linking Types.
We’ll start with the default selection, the Not Linked Linking Type.
|1.||Essentially, the Not Linked Linking Type has the effect of the inventory item being not linked to any other record and it will not be tracked anywhere else in FP2. The limitation of an item being Not Linked is its use will not be recorded. This means its use in training sessions, or any usage history will not be retrievable should you wish to see it.|
You will find that many of your smaller pieces of equipment will fall into the Not Linked Linking Type, as it’s quick to set up and it will track the inventory cost, servicing and etc. just as accurately as any other Linking Type.
|2.||Let’s move on to the Linked to Incidents/Pub-Ed Linking Type. What this Linking Type will do is allow this inventory item to be linked to any Incident, Public Education, Meeting/Training or Daily Log session. As well, this Linking Type will create a use history for this item and there are a few advantages to having this:|
|•||Seeing the inventory item usage. We can think of that third attic ladder that never seems to get used. When was the last time it was used? How is it being used – for training or for incidents?|
|•||Identifying usage patterns and preferences. Say a particular type of chainsaw is used more than the others because it starts quicker and requires less maintenance?|
|•||Justifying current and purchasing new equipment. An example of this could be Jaws-of-Life. How much is this item being used in Incidents and training sessions? This information could give you the report that you need to get council approval of why you need a second one.|
Without linking an inventory item to the ‘Linked to Incidents/Pub-Ed’ Linking Type (or even to any linking type), none of the above would be possible.
|3.||Using this Linking Type, we can link this inventory item to the other modules in FP2. Opening any of these other module records, and clicking on the ‘Inventory Used’ tab, will show you the list of inventory items used at that session.|
|4.||To add an inventory item to the current list in any of these modules, click on the Add Button and you will see the following window appear (see Figure 1) where you may, by expanding the tree, assign this item to this record. Note that only inventory items marked as the ‘Linked to Incidents/Pub-Ed’ Linking Type will show up in this list.|
Double-clicking on this inventory item in this window will add this to the inventory used list for this record.
|5.||Looking at this ladder record below, we can see that it has been used at three incidents, a public education session, a daily log event and a training session and we can now have a look at its full usage history. You may do this by returning to the Inventory Module and opening this ladder’s record and clicking on the ‘Used At’ tab (see Figure 2):|
FP2 Cool Tip: You may double-click on any line in the list to see the details of the record where, when and how an inventory item was used. As well, when viewing the Inventory Used tab in the Incidents, Daily Log and Meeting/Training Modules, you may double-click on an inventory item in the list and the Inventory Information window for that item will be opened.
|6.||You can also generate reports about inventory usage, and one revealing report to see inventory usage history is the Equipment Used report. This report is accessed by clicking on the Print Details button in the Inventory Information window and you may see a sample of it in Figure 3:|
In this summary report, you can see which inventory items have been used in what capacity. You may cross-reference this report by looking up the specific items in the applicable Inventory Information window and clicking on the ‘Used At’ tab for more detailed information.