Columbus Fleet Division Earns Fourth Straight National ASE Blue Seal

February 17, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - For the fourth year in a row, the City of Columbus, Ohio Fleet Division has been notified that it has received the top level of certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence – ASE Blue Seal. According to the City, only three other major cities in America have that level of certification. The City of Columbus remains the largest Blue Seal municipality in the USA and ranks among the elite in fleet recognition.
“Our Division of Fleet Management continues to train, test and receive industry recognition in the nation,” Mayor Coleman said. “I am proud of our employees and their dedication to excellence – we are also proud to be the biggest city in the United States to earn the ASE Blue Seal certification for another year.”

The City of Columbus manages more than 3,950 cars, trucks, patrol cruisers and fire trucks, and more than 2,000 off-road vehicles. Under Mayor Coleman’s leadership, there are now 46 Master Certified Technicians with over 83 percent of all technicians holding at least one ASE and there are 33 employees holding 89 EVT Certifications, with 7 Master Fire Apparatus Technicians (EVT) certifications from the nationally recognized Emergency Vehicle Technician (EVT) Commission.

“Achieving ASE Blue Seal again this year is certainly cause for celebration, and we shall recognize our employees with a barbeque at our facility sponsored by upper management,” says Kelly W. Reagan (pictured above), fleet administrator for the City of Columbus. “Our elected officials also take time to come out and congratulate Fleet employees on their accomplishments. We plan to make this an annual summer event to recognize our employees' effort to attain this goal.”

The Blue Seal certification means Columbus’ technicians on the floor are better educated, better trained, more diversified and more knowledgeable in diagnostics related to fire apparatus, articulated loaders, street equipment, patrol cruisers, light duty vehicles and other specialized equipment. By continued education and the renewal of the ASE Blue Seal Certification for the Fleet Division, this results in lower maintenance costs and better service for all city agencies in relation to vehicle and equipment repairs.

To achieve this type of environment, Reagan says collaboration is key. “Several different types of meetings are held that allow staff to brainstorm, share concerns and ideas for improvement and discuss current issues,” he says. “Meetings are held bi-weekly between management and shop supervisors, monthly between management and office administrative staff, and technicians attend bi-monthly ‘tool box’ meetings with supervisors to talk about shop-related issues. Creativity is encouraged at all levels of the operation through open lines of communication and recognition of ideas and achievements.”

The Fleet division also sets operational goals and targets via its performance metrics. “[They] are reported monthly and reviewed quarterly with members of the Mayor's cabinet,” Reagan explains.

“The City of Columbus is committed to investing in its’ employees in an effort to reduce expenses and enhance employee retention for all employees”, said Director Paul Rakosky, Director of the Finance & Management Department. “It is important for our residents to know that the men and women in Fleet Management are a highly trained, nationally recognized group of people who do a tremendous job every day to maintain the investment we have in our equipment.”

To ensure that Division Fleet Management’s technicians are well-trained, Reagan said the organization pays for all testing for mechanics. “If the test falls outside of normal working hours for an employee, the employee is permitted to take overtime to cover the time of the test,” he said. In addition, the City rewards employees for practices that help improve its financial situation.

“In 2010, Fleet Management employees received awards for occupational safety, cost saving suggestions, outstanding job performance, and environmental stewardship. Nine fleet employees were awarded over $22,000 for employee cost saving suggestions that saved the City money or generated revenue. We are very proud of all our employees in the Division.”

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