Fargo HDP5000 Card Printer at Work With Action Ambulance Services

Posted October 2, 2012

Action Ambulance services uses Fargo HDP5000 card printer/encoder with lamination for ID, Security and Marketing

The challenge 

Action Ambulance Services provides 24-hour emergency and non-emergency medical services to the people of Eastern Massachusetts from 13 different locations. The identification cards worn by emergency personnel face challenging conditions, not only from temperature extremes and inclement weather, but also from bodily fluids, including blood, of patients being treated.

Twelve years ago, the organization began using ID cards for employee identification, but its printer was not able to laminate the cards, nor was it fast enough to keep up with the growing business. Mike Woronka, now Chief Executive Officer of Action Ambulance Services, was responsible for bringing the first ID card printer to the organization. He realized it was time for an upgrade of both the hardware and the software.

“The environment in which our staff is working makes lamination a necessity,” he said. “Because I had dealt with the previous printer, I had enough background and technical knowledge to be involved in the selection of a new printer.”

In addition to printing its own ID cards, Action Ambulance Services also prints photo ID cards for other government entities involved in collaborative efforts with the organization. “After 9/11, security became a gigantic issue,” Woronka said. “We work hand-in-hand with agencies north of Boston, including the military, Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, local government agencies and the Massachusetts state police. We issue ID cards to their representatives to give them access in and out of our Emergency Operation Center at events such as the 2004 Democratic National Convention held in Boston.”

In addition, Action Ambulance Services uses its ID cards as a means of marketing itself to the community. “We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, and we are involved with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program,” said Woronka. “We want people to know this.” The cards also carry the organization’s key strategic objectives, as well as phone numbers to hospitals so emergency personnel can talk with physicians en route, if necessary.

Woronka’s challenge was to find a printer that provided lamination, high quality printing and quick turnaround. He also wanted a printer that could run off of the company’s existing computer network. A further requirement was an intuitive user interface that encouraged swift adoption by the ambulance drivers.

Solution Found

An Internet search lead Woronka to the Fargo HDP5000 Card Printer/Encoder. “Mike was looking for a laminating printer with dual-sided printing capabilities,” said Chris Hills. “He also wanted a printer that could grow with Action Ambulance Services’ needs, perhaps including RFID and proximity cards some day.”

“RFID is where we are heading, but not right now,” said Woronka. “With the HDP5000, we can add that feature some day. That was a key factor for us. The printer’s modular design enables easy upgrades to card encoding technologies when Action Ambulance Services is ready.”

“Another important feature was the quality and detail of the printing,” he added. “The HDP5000 was outstanding compared to our previous printer.” Action Ambulance Services originally had 2,500 names in its database. Now, it prints about 5,000 cards every year. “This isn’t real high volume,” said Woronka. “We are never ‘oh my goodness’ crazy, so one printer can easily handle the quantity.”

Woronka also liked the plug-and-play capabilities of the HDP5000. “If the printer had been too technical for us, that might have presented an obstacle,” he said. “As it is, we realize we can grow into its capabilities easily.” The cards are being printed by the organization’s Graphic Arts Department located in central operations.


Action Ambulance Services now laminates its cards to protect them from external elements, as well as from conditions unique to the job of emergency personnel. “With the HDP5000, we are able to process photo ID cards more quickly than in the past,” added Woronka. “The turnaround time has decreased significantly, and we can recreate lost ID cards faster. Internal customer satisfaction has increased as a result.”

Woronka’s background helped him choose the right printer for his applications. “I knew what I was getting into,” he said. “The biggest project was converting our old database. The printer was able to tie into our old database just fine. After that, it was just plug and play.

For more info on the Fargo HDP5000 and the right ID card printing solution for your business, contact us at Barcodes Inc.

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