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City of Ottawa Endorsement Letter

Memo from the Office of the Fire Chief
Fire Department — City of Ottawa


By Gary R. Richardson

The modern Fire service is becoming more reliant on technology to facilitate effective mitigation of Emergency Incidents. One of the key criteria that Fire Chiefs all over North America rely upon for a benchmark is response time.

Since a fire grows exponentially in the first minutes, it is crucial for the fire department to arrive as soon as possible if lives are to be saved and property damage is to be minimized. The Fire and Building Codes are in place to ensure this happens.

The Ottawa Fire Department is very proud to have been the first Fire service in Canada to take advantage of the latest technology in Fire Alarm Monitoring. Open Access is a new initiative that combines the public and private sectors in a life-saving partnership. Now the people in any building that has a fire alarm system can be better protected through earlier detection and notification of Fire Alarms.

This new technology instantly notifies the local Fire Department when an alarm condition is identified. Mechanical problems and system malfunctions are screened and handled in the normal way. There is no additional work load, alarms that would have been received anyway are now transmitted directly to the Fire Communications centre with no delays.

In this way false alarms are reduced, no alarm is lost or misdirected, and true emergency calls are handled in a more timely manner. In short everyone in the system benefits.

The Ottawa Fire Department endorses Open Access and urges that you contact your Fire Alarm Monitoring company to discuss involvement in the program. The Fire Prevention Division of the Ottawa Fire Department would be happy to provide a list of participating companies.

Sincerely,
Gary R. Richardson
Fire Chief