Florida's Manatee County Emergency Medical Services (MCEMS) announced its decision to sign on with Lytx for a full-fleet deployment of the Lytx DriveCam safety program. Lytx designs, manufactures and sells video telematics driver safety programs for commercial fleets.
MCEMS evaluated the DriveCam safety program as a solution to reduce preventable collisions and costs, as well as a driver-training tool that would reinforce driver and public safety as a top priority within the agency. During its three-month trial, MCEMS experienced significant improvements, including:
- 100% reduction in near collisions
- 60% reduction in both frequency and severity of risk
- 58% reduction in cell phone violations
- 65% reduction in following distance violations
- 49% in traffic violations
- 87% coaching effectiveness, which shows drivers are not repeating behaviors for at least 60 days after being coached
“Safety is in our name—the Department of Public Safety is who we work for—and it’s our job to use every tool we can to provide safety for our staff and those we serve,” says MCEMS Chief Paul DiCicco. “We want to be the safest division in Manatee County, and Lytx has helped us make remarkable steps toward achieving that goal.”
Since implementing the program in April 2018, MCEMS has experienced three separate incidents where video clips from the Lytx DriveCam safety program have led to the exoneration of EMS drivers and uncovering the cause of mystery damages. Most recently, a Manatee County vehicle was involved in an incident that police initially perceived to be the fault of the MCEMS driver. With the DriveCam footage, however, the driver was shown to not be at fault.
In another instance, an outside vendor damaged a Manatee County vehicle while conducting service work. The DriveCam event recorder was triggered by the incident, allowing management to easily prove their driver was not the cause of the damage and receive full compensation from those at fault.
Rewarding Good Behavior and Coaching the Rest
Chief DiCicco credits the program’s success to management’s non-punitive approach and heavy focus on driver coaching. Since implementing the program, the department has given out numerous driver recognition awards for good driving habits, including collision avoidance. MCEMS has seen its driver training and coaching processes transformed with the use of current, real-life video.
“Much of our success stems from not tying our program to discipline. We made coaching our first-line approach and regularly reward good driving,” DiCicco says. “We’ve found there’s a lot more value in correcting behaviors than there is in taking disciplinary action or waiting for something to happen first. If there’s no corrective action or coaching aspect to a program, then there’s no value in it.”
MCEMS has used captured footage for department-wide training programs and onboarding, including the unexpected benefit of using the videos in training for how to navigate the county’s gated communities. Coaches are able to show exactly how different gates operate and provide strategies and examples for dealing with malfunctioning gates, saving time in emergencies.
“Lytx has allowed us to use real-life examples that have happened here at our agency with our ambulances,” says DiCicco. “Reviewing events helps reveal what’s happening in our fleet. It really captures the attention of our drivers and trainees and helps us save a lot of time and be more productive compared to the outdated PowerPoint we’ve used for the past 20 years.”
Awareness Throughout MCEMS
Not only is the DriveCam event recorder installed in each of Manatee County's ambulances and emergency warning-equipped SUVs, but also in each officer’s and supervisor’s vehicle as well.
“I’m not exempt, I have a boss who reviews my clips,” says Chief DiCicco. “A few times I’ve had the urge to pick up my cell phone and look at email, but I know I’ll be held accountable and I rethink it. That’s the positive impact Lytx has brought to Manatee County across all of our drivers.”
DiCicco continued: “Since adopting Lytx, there’s been a huge improvement in our overall safety culture. Our local government was so encouraged by our pilot that our risk manager is going to recommend we adopt this solution county-wide to all government vehicles.”