Vancouver’s fire department will significantly increase the number of building inspections it does this year and impose stiff penalties on owners who don’t comply with the rules....
The plan is being put into place as Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services begins a modernization program that includes training front-line firefighters to do more inspections of premises in addition to their emergency responsibilities.
At the same time, a new computerized fire data-management system is replacing an antiquated record management system that until recently relied on paper files. The old system led to a backlog in fire inspections and made it difficult to pin down the number of problem buildings
Under the new plan, the department will focus more on fire prevention and education, areas McKearney said have tended to be ignored in favour of fire suppression....more.
To battle a blaze, firefighters must co-ordinate countless resources — everything from trucks, hoses, and safety suits to personnel, dispatch, and details on the location in distress. Synchronization is the key. All aspects of the fire safety and rescue mechanism had better work together, or else.
So, when the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services went to implement a lot of new technology, they decided to do it all at once. “It’s like flying an airplane. Everything had to be working at the same time,” says consultant Dave Mitchell, the project manager of Vancouver’s IT upgrade, which would count as the most complex project he’d ever encountered in his 32 years working with the department.
How did Mitchell and his team manage it? The solution would be a matter of combining the organization’s firefighting know-how with a fearless approach to IT....more.