Travis County Fire Rescue

Texas fire department to the rescue with fast vaccinations.


Healthcare services


Quickly developed a custom app to eliminate paper forms and expedite vaccine distribution.


Custom app reduced time waiting in line and improved registration and vaccination administration.

Chief Ken Bailey with Travis County Fire Rescue in Texas had a mission: vaccinate as many of the county’s 1.3M residents against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. But long wait times and slow registration processes at current clinics were standing in the way. A long-time Claris FileMaker user, the Chief set out to create a custom app to expedite vaccine distribution and mobilize teams that would increase reach.

Claris FileMaker, of course.

As the son of a firefighter and nurse, taking care of people through public service runs deep in Chief Bailey’s family. So, when asked to assist with local vaccination efforts, he jumped at the chance.

With demand for the vaccine running high this spring, Chief Bailey recognized an opportunity to augment current public health efforts by introducing much-needed efficiency to the vaccination process — aiming to reduce wait times from hours to minutes. No stranger to FileMaker, he knew just where to turn.

“Everything within our fire department, from electronic care records and inventory to maintenance and employee tracking, is done through FileMaker,” says Bailey. “We knew we could create an application through the platform to support our vaccination efforts, so we reached out to iSolutions, our technology partner, to help make it happen.”

From vision to reality in just eight days.

Time was of the essence as Travis County Fire Rescue planned to soon launch drive-through vaccination events, followed by larger scale on-site clinics. The vision was to easily capture personal registration information via a custom app on an iPad, while meeting reporting requirements from the US Department of Health & Human Services.

“FileMaker allows me to quickly develop a solution, make modifications based on client feedback, and go from concept to deployment very rapidly,” states Kristen Hudgens, FileMaker developer with iSolutions. “Eight days after Chief Bailey called me with his idea, the Vax Tracker app was ready to go.”

Immediate efficiency and on-the-go agility.

As the county’s vaccination efforts ramped up, so did the functionality of the Vax Tracker app. The flexibility of FileMaker allowed Kristen to go home after a vaccine clinic, make changes based on user feedback, and show up the next morning with a new feature to further reduce registration times.

“At first, we were capturing personal information verbally, a challenge with everyone wearing masks. We then easily modified the app and added the ability to scan a driver’s license, shaving valuable minutes off registration,” shares Kristen.

Simple to use, monumental impact.

Another benefit of the Vax Tracker app is its ease of use and intuitive interface, a must-have as volunteers run the clinics and some only sign up for one daily shift. At the start of each clinic, each volunteer receives an iPad, followed by a quick tutorial, and they’re off and running with registrations.

“We’ve reduced the registration process to a matter of minutes — monumental improvements because as word gets out about certain clinic locations being faster, more people register for that site,” says Chief Bailey.

Mobilizing to close the gap.

Travis County Fire Rescue soon realized there were barriers for certain subsets within the county to get vaccinated. In addition to running multiple large clinics daily, the organization sent smaller strike teams into vulnerable communities, providing mobile vaccines at churches and parks, reaching upwards of 200 additional residents per day.

“We have an obligation as an organization to be efficient, timely, and use our resources wisely. Having Vax Tracker on an iPad made it easily deployable, allowing us to leverage FileMaker technology to administer more vaccines across a shorter period of time — achieving more with less,” adds Chief Baily.

Solutions customized to your organization.

For organizations in another state or county trying to solve a similar problem, Chief Bailey recommends looking beyond out-of-the-box technology solutions, which may only cover a portion of your organization’s needs.

According to Chief Bailey, “You shouldn’t have to adapt your business to fit within a solution. FileMaker gives you the flexibility to achieve your long-term goals on your terms and customized to your business. How many more people did we vaccinate today versus if we’d gone with a standard solution? There’s great satisfaction in that answer.”

Ready to create a custom app like a boss (or a chief) and tackle pressing business tasks? Get started today with a 45-day Claris FileMaker free trial.

Or if you prefer for someone else to build an application for your organization, find a Claris Partner near you who can help.