In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the New York Fire Department (FDNY) was faced with the daunting task of rebuilding in many critical areas, while continuing to fulfill its mission of protecting the life, health and property of the people of the city.
In those few horrible hours, FDNY had lost 343 members with more than 4,400 years of combined fire-fighting experience. With every valiant member lost went years of field experience that were impossible to replace. As a result, training was a critical area that required immediate attention.
Operation FDNY Teambuild, a Texas-based non-profit organization, was created to provide long-term emergency relief efforts for the fire department. The organization supports the department’s efforts to automate and streamline learning and knowledge management for the department’s 17,000 firefighters, response personnel and employees.
Donations of more than $1.25 million in hardware, software and support services – from ATR, Hewlett-Packard and numerous other Houston companies – enable Operation FDNY Teambuild to provide computer-based solutions that help train fire and rescue personnel. By providing 24×7 access to computer-based training at firehouses, these systems reduce the amount of time, travel and expense of training incurred by the fire department. Other benefits include:
- Centralization and standardization of training records management.
- Minimization of administrative overhead costs and resource requirements.
- Enabling fire and rescue workers access to their training records online.
- Centralization and standardization of emergency, safety and normal procedures while decentralizing the access through Web-based delivery.
- Direct linking of procedures for refresher and on-demand refresher training.
All of this adds up to less time in the classroom and more time in the city’s five boroughs fighting fires.
Elliott Lander is CEO and founder of ATR and managing director of Operation FDNY Teambuild.