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Columbus, OH 43215


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Council Supports Columbus Division of Fire Technology that Reduces Waste

Vending machine concept saves the Division thousands in supply costs


Columbus Firefighter Darren Fuller speaks in front of a storage station.

[COLUMBUS, OH] In 2017, Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown partnered with the Columbus Division of Fire (CFD) to purchase Controlled Medical Supply Dispensing pharmaceutical storage stations, resulting in cost savings for the Division. The units, which resemble vending machines, were installed in 18 of the City’s 34 fire stations.

The Controlled Medical Supply Dispensing system was designed to increase efficiency and reduce waste, providing CFD administrators with the ability to track access to supplies and medications. In addition, the expiration dates and supply of medications are monitored to ensure the inventory is properly maintained. 

Before the implementation of the Controlled Medical Supply Dispensing system, CFD disposed of over $162,000 worth of expired pharmaceuticals and supplies. In the first year, that number was reduced to just over $77,000, reducing waste by nearly $88,000. In 2019, only $42,000 worth of expired medications were destroyed, a $120,000 reduction in two years.    

“I commend the Division of Fire for leveraging technology to increase efficiency and reduce waste,” said Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown, “It is exciting to see such great success so early on in the implementation of the project.” 

“This is a good example of the Division of Fire being a good steward with taxpayer dollars,” said Columbus Division of Fire Deputy Chief Patrick R. Ferguson. “Each day, we look for ways to improve efficiency within the Division, and are thrilled with these initial savings.”

The Division looks to expand the system into additional units in the coming years. Fire Stations 35 and 16, currently under construction, will be equipped with stations upon their opening.