Urban Fire Protection

Studies of the Operations of the New York City Fire Department

by Edward H. Blum

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Description of urban fire protection studies being conducted jointly by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) and The New York City-RAND Institute. Under way now nearly three years, these studies have (1) created the perspectives, methods, approaches, and results of a new analytical field; (2) transformed these research products into policies, helped put the policies into practice, and evaluated results; (3) helped alter the FDNY's fire-fighting technology, the operation of its dispatching system, and the ways it manages and deploys its men and equipment; (4) yielded gains in operational effectiveness valued at many million dollars per year — annual returns more than ten times the studies' cost; and (5) helped the FDNY develop new problem-solving capabilities and improve its bases for future decisions and policies. (Presented at Symposium on Urban Fires, AAAS 137th Annual Meeting.)

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