Study Proves Fire Response Time Savings

A new protocol called e-DTF can shave up to 2 minutes off the time it takes fire fighters to respond to an emergency. Results prompt Canadian Fire Chiefs to call for changes to existing building and fire codes.

Toronto, Ontario. October 25, 2001

A study released today shows that fire fighters can get to the scene of a fire as much as 114.7 seconds faster than conventional notification methods with a new protocol called e-DTF.

e-DTF or electronic direct to the fire department notification, enables a fire signal to be transmitted electronically to the fire department's computer dispatch system as it simultaneously reaches an alarm monitoring station.

Kevin Duffy, the Assistant Deputy Chief - Communications & Operations for the Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services, the city where the study was conducted, said that "there is no doubt that e-DTF is the way of the future in emergency response. This new protocol not only has the potential to save lives, but to reduce damage in the event of a fire. It also provides a safer environment for our fire fighters."

Fire prevention authorities and the fire engineering consulting firm Leber Rubes Inc. actually conducted the tests. The Insurers' Advisory Organization [IAO] audited the study.

Prompted by the study findings, both the Ontario and the Canadian Associations of Fire Chiefs have passed resolutions calling for building and fire code changes to mandate the use of e-DTF.

The current application of e-DTF is called OPEN ACCESS™, which is provided by Fire Monitoring Technologies International Inc. [FMTI]. OPEN ACCESS™ can be used by UL/ULC listed alarm monitoring stations. Several cities in Ontario utilize the technology today including Mississauga, Windsor and Ottawa.

"The advantage of electronic notification", said Cyril Hare of Leber Rubes Inc., the study's project director, "is that the fire signal is sent electronically, once it arrives at a monitoring station, directly into the fire department's computer dispatch system. Time savings result from eliminating certain manual steps when the call details are being processed by the monitoring station and the fire department."

"114 seconds may not sound like a great deal of time," said Norman Cheesman, the Director of Communications for FMTI, the company that sponsored the study. "Fire grows exponentially in its early stages. Saving even a few seconds could make the difference between life and death".

Savings in fire response time from OPEN ACCESS™ is similar to using a banking machine. Certain manual steps are eliminated, and the result is faster.

"We consistently found that the use of electronic dispatch shortened the time required to process a fire signal," Mr. Hare stated. "While valuable seconds can be saved with this new technology, alarm station operators and fire dispatchers are still vital to the emergency response process."

The tests were undertaken at 'coded' premises, that is, premises that are required to be monitored for fire in accordance with building and fire code regulations. Such premises include schools, hospitals, large apartment buildings, nursing homes and high occupancy office structures. All test premises were selected at random.

Approximately 20% of the sample were properties monitored using OPEN ACCESS™. The balance was properties monitored by conventional means, i.e., the signal was processed manually by operators at the monitoring station and in the fire department.

"These results have tremendous implications for property managers and builders as well as insurers", commented Jim Asselstine, the President and CEO of Fire Monitoring. "Fire chiefs have endorsed e-DTF because they recognize its potential to save lives and minimize property damage."

Fire Monitoring Technologies International Inc., or FMTI, is a leading e-based fire response technology supplier with offices in Toronto and St. Catharines, Ontario. More information on OPEN ACCESS™ and e-DTF can be found at www.openaccess.ca.

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