Two trucks from Richmond rescue squad, viewed from their right angle.

Paramedics get the job done with Axis.

Organization: Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad
Location: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Customer need: Access management, Property and asset protection, Loss prevention and theft
Richmond, Virginia, United States, 

The Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad utilizes an Axis solution to control access to its medical facility.


Considering its outdated security platform charged with monitoring highly restrictive areas, the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad (RVRS) sought out a better security solution to help protect its building and create a higher level of organization to those who could access the facility. Highly valuable equipment and medical items are kept on-site and an outdated push button combination lock system was not keeping the area as secure as it needed to be.


Utilizing a pair of AXIS A1001 Network Door Controllers, the RVRS took total control over their two key entryways. Considering the foot traffic through the facility between volunteers, staff and students for on-site classes, the new access control system allows the organization to manage who is allowed to come and go and at what times.


Considering the 100-plus individuals that access the building in any given month, the access control system has paid dividends to the organization when it comes to securing the facility and giving peace of mind to administrators. AXIS Entry Manager allows supervisors to properly grant access to proper individuals as needed, an important feature considering the vast number of both full-time staff and temporary students that need to access different areas at varying times.

AXIS Entry Manager software is pretty intuitive. It has been really rock solid for our needs. There is very little configuration needed; it is very much drag and drop, which makes it easy for non-technical members to use. It has been very useful, especially with the schedule so each instructor can log in to schedule people for their class slots.
Jeff Jackson, Volunteer Paramedic, Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Healthy level of accountability

Serving as the sole volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) unit in Richmond, Virginia, the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad (RVRS) is a growing organization with high-reaching goals and a group of individuals committed to its mission. The RSRS’ facility not only consists of bay areas with large emergency vehicles but also classrooms and rest areas for paramedics. The organization thus serves as an ambulance dispatch and a learning environment where people can take classes to gain skills as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

The building has an outdated camera system but more importantly, no way to know who comes in and goes out of the building at any time. There were previously push button combination locks on doors. The trouble with those was that a pin number was set and then it could work at any time of day, any day of the week and could be shared with anybody.

“All we wanted was to establish some accountability for who was in our facility,” commented Jeff Jackson, Volunteer Paramedic with the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad. “We didn’t know if it was staff using the code, nobody had to go through a background check. There was no schedule and no organization to it.”

Learning lessons through organized access

The clear-cut solution for the organization was to implement a pair of AXIS A1001 Network Door Controllers with card readers at both the front and back entry points to the building. The front door gives access to main bay areas with vehicles and equipment, often in excess of half a million dollars in value. The back door is utilized for classes where students can enter and exit during scheduled periods.

Richmond rescue squad ambulance viewed from its right angle.

With those classes, the RVRS now tracks who is coming and going at any given time when they can now be held responsible. With medical items such as narcotics, drugs, equipment and other pricey tools in the area, there is now a sense of control of the space.

Jackson, who also serves functions on the maintenance and facilities side of the organization, implemented another card reader on a main drug cabinet that now requires an access credential and logs who gains and requests access to the container.

Keeping priorities straight

AXIS Entry Manager serves a primary role for RVRS, especially since upwards of 40 people may possess access cards at any given time with another 80-plus maintaining temporary pin numbers.

“AXIS Entry Manager software is pretty intuitive,” Jackson noted. “It has been really rock solid for our needs. We are pleasantly surprised at the strong database backup of controllers. There is very little configuration needed; it is very much drag and drop, which makes it easy for non-technical members to use. It has been very useful, especially with the schedule so each instructor can log in to schedule people for their class slots.”

Richmond rescue squad car viewed from its right angle, ambulance in background.

Though the cameras on-site could still use an upgrade, the network access control system has boosted security and made many members and administrators more mindful of situations at hand and how they can improve things in the future. “This whole system has made us much more aware of our need for greater security, which this is providing us,” Jackson concluded.

“It has been interesting to watch what people try to access until they realize that it is now logged and they may have restricted access. It even sends emails to me and other administrators if a door is forced open or another incident occurs, which again has boosted our security by a large margin compared to before.”

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