Fire Fighting in Canada

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Portal connects responders with owners

Nov. 10, 2014 - An Ottawa-based company has developed a portal that allows firefighters and other first responders to communicate with property owners during an emergency.

November 10, 2014
By Maria Church

The company, Emergency Response Portal (ERP), designed the portal to give responders fast and easy access to a building’s secure information remotely, using smartphones, tablets or laptops.

In the event of an emergency, first responders would receive contact information of the building’s security and management personnel, access to floor plans and live cameras, and access to security codes for lock boxes or mechanical controls. For firefighters, ERP would provide them with real-time camera feeds to help locate the source of the fire before entering a building.

“This represents a significant paradigm shift in the way first responders will respond to emergencies,” Brian Roberts, co-developer of ERP, said in a press release.

ERP works by storing secure information provided by property owners, who can pre-authorize access or grant access during an emergency. First responders do not require special training to tap into ERP, and access to the information is made available immediately on wireless devices.

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The ERP was expected to launch at the annual Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group event, scheduled for Dec. 1 in Ottawa and sponsored by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. But the company says demand has forced it to offer the portal earlier.

According to the company’s release, several properties in Ottawa and Montreal are already subscribed to the ERP, and more are expected each week.