SICE, Bloomington Fire Department partnership earns recognition

 Route Fifty Navigator awards

Project Innovation, a partnership between Indiana University and the Bloomington Fire Department, has been named a finalist in the national 2017 Route Fifty Navigator awards.
The collaboration, which is led by Associate Professor of Informatics and Computing David Wild, uses real-time data to help firefighters determine the location, building material, quickest route to the scene, and more when a call was received at the station house. That information is then fed to a 60-inch display screen in the station and laptop computers in fire trucks to help firefighters work quickly to resolve a call.
Each year, the Route Fifty Navigator awards nominate 50 finalists in five categories:

* State and Local Executive Leadership

* IT and Data Innovators

* Agency and Department Leadership

* The Next Generation

* Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners
The awards honor individuals and teams who work with state, county, or municipal governments in the United States to implement technological ideas that improve public sector services. Project Innovation was nominated in the Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners category. The award is given for demonstrated abilities to implement a great idea that improves public sector services and the communities they serve.
"Project Innovation heightens our awareness of our emergency," said Jayme Washel, deputy fire chief for the Bloomington Fire Department. "We have three or four key pieces of information for the driver and the captain, and the mapping systems are real-time Google Maps. If there is anything that would cause a delay for that response-such as road construction or intersections that are out-it is going to be noted on that TV screen in the station or on the laptop in the truck."
The project allowed the Bloomington Fire Department to bring its previous system-a paper map tacked on the wall and phone calls and emails from 911 dispatchers-into the 21st century. The team includes personnel from IU's tech division, University Information Technology Services; IU graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering; and IT personnel from the city of Bloomington, the Monroe County Consolidated Dispatch, and European public safety company Netage.
"It's impossible to quantify the value of a life saved or a home protected, but we can measure how well we respond in an emergency," said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. "More useful data made available more quickly has given Bloomington first responders the ability to get to a scene faster and better prepared than ever before to save lives and protect property. There are a lot of great things about living in Bloomington, but the ability to partner with the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering on a project that directly impacts public safety every day is a huge benefit to the entire community-both town and gown."
"The collaboration between SICE and the fire department has provided the opportunity to use technology to solve real-world problems, and that's at the heart of the school," said Wild. "The ability to take feedback from the fire department and create a system that not only benefits the community but also can create a wealth of data in other areas shows the power of this partnership."
The Route Fifty Navigator award winners will be announced Nov. 15.


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