Fire Alarm Communication Technology (FACT)

FACT Truck

1. Overview

The Fire Alarm Communication & Technology (FACT) Division supports the Fire Department’s Emergency Services and Support Services Divisions through state-of-the-art technology. The Division is a critical component of the Department’s ability to maintain its Class 1 rating to achieve its next goal: to obtain the coveted status as an accredited agency from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

The Division has evolved from its early days as linemen running fire alarm cable, to maintaining fire alarm circuits that protect hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings. The Division maintains all department computers including mobile data computers in the apparatus. The Division maintains the department’s automatic vehicle-locating programs (AVL) with GPS, and the Firehouse® Software records management system. The Division is staffed by 3 people: a Superintendent, and 2 technicians to maintain Fire Suppression Equipment, Fire Alarm Radio Master Boxes, Traffic Signals, and Computer Support.

2. Fire Alarm Maintenance

The Fire Alarm portion of the Division’s duties include: 166 buildings with Radio Master Boxes that we supervise, assisting with installation, repair and testing of the Radio Master Box System. We provide administrative, supervision, installation, repair, and testing of emergency dispatch alarm transmission and reception systems, which include primary fire house alert systems, and printers. The Division interfaces with Emergency Services & Telecommunications to maintain department radios. The Division supports the KNOX-BOX® Rapid Entry System providing non-destructive emergency access to commercial and residential property.

3. Traffic Signal Maintenance

The Division’s duties include; administration, supervision, installation, programming, repair, and testing of traffic systems: 270 traffic intersections containing traffic signal controllers and traffic signals, pedestrian signals, video vehicle- detection cameras, microwave vehicle detectors, in-pavement vehicle detectors, and underground and aerial traffic interconnection cables between each traffic intersection and the central computer. The Division is responsible for Hartford's traffic systems by marking the location of underground utilities for contractors using the "Call Before You Dig" Program. Over 3,300 “Call Before You Dig” requests were reviewed in 2016.

4. Computer Systems

The maintenance of computer systems has many elements, from the traditional desktop and laptop service, to Mobile Data Computers (MDC.). In each fire apparatus is a mobile data computer with a preloaded map of the city. The map will automatically identify the exact building as soon as a call is generated to dispatch, displaying an aerial image of the building, building number, hazardous materials, hydrants, water mains, and speed bumps. Furthermore, since 2016, firefighters have the capability to access Firehouse® Software.