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Fire Department of New York Selects IBM for Intelligent Fire Safety System


NEW YORK, NY - The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) has selected IBM (NYSE: IBM) to build a state-of-the-art system for collecting and sharing data in real-time that potentially can prevent fires and protect firefighters and other first responders when a fire occurs.

FDNY’s new Coordinated Building Inspection and Data Analysis System (CBIDAS) will use business intelligence technologies, including predictive modeling and advanced data analytics, to anticipate fire exposures, analyze possible impacts, and improve processes that can minimize risks, such as collecting and disseminating data on building inspection, permits and violations.

“This technology will allow us to shift to a risk-based inspection system that will prevent fires and improve public safety,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. “Combining different existing databases, and linking them with those of other city agencies such as the Department of Buildings, will dramatically improve the information available to our firefighters and result in a smarter, more productive inspection program.”

“The FDNY’s strategic shift to a ’smarter’ risk-based inspections and using technology to improve data sharing directly supports its mission to advance public safety through the timely delivery of fire prevention, investigation and education services,” said Charles L. Prow, Government Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services. “IBM is pleased to apply our expertise to this lifesaving work.”

An important element of the project will be enabling better communication, information sharing and coordination of fire inspection and site/building structure information within FDNY bureaus, and between FDNY bureaus and other city agencies such as Department of Buildings, Department of City Planning, and Department of Environmental Protection, and contractors.

The transformational FDNY initiative also will enhance fire prevention capabilities through:

A single, unified view of a property; Improved resource deployment and utilization for inspections; Expanded management analysis and preparedness planning; A risk-based inspection system for field inspections.

In August 2007, two firefighters lost their lives in a fire at the former Deutsche Bank building in New York City, which had been scheduled for demolition. Investigators attributed the loss of life to a lack of timely information available to responding firefighters. Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched an initiative to prevent similar events from happening in the future.

The goal of the CBIDAS is to ensure that firefighters and other first responders have timely access to the information they need for effective fire suppression and for maximum public and personnel safety when a fire occurs.

With the completion of the project, FDNY will also move from a strictly cyclical, schedule-based inspection process to a risk-based assessment methodology.

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