Accenture Helps Develop New Dispatch System for Fire Department of New York City

Originally published at Accenture ranked No. 2 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


Accenture and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) have developed a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system – FireCAD – replacing the now-retired STARFIRE system, and marking the most significant operational upgrade to the FDNY’s dispatch operations in 45 years.

FireCAD supports the dispatch and response of FDNY firefighters to fires and other public-safety-related incidents throughout the city’s five boroughs. It is a core platform underpinning the work of FDNY’s critical emergency services, which respond to more than 1.5 million 911 calls annually, serving more than 8.5 million residents in a 302-square-mile area.

Selected for the project through a competitive procurement process in 2017, Accenture designed, developed and custom-built FireCAD’s platform. Accenture led an interactive design process and workshops with FDNY dispatchers and the department’s subject matter experts to create the new system. Accenture then provided technology and functional implementation services, systems integration and project management.

FireCAD’s flexible architecture will enable further customization and expansion to meet the FDNY’s future needs. FireCAD replaces the 45-year-old STARFIRE system, which had become increasingly challenging to maintain due to its age and was no longer adequate to meet the expanding needs of the FDNY. Along with fire protection and rescue, FDNY provides the primary response within NYC to biological, chemical and radioactive hazards and emergency medical services.

“Ensuring that our technology can meet the demands of an evolving city is essential to the safety of our members and the public they bravely serve,” said New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “This is a significant step forward for technology for the department, and it has taken exceptional dedication from a team of technologists and fire alarm dispatchers. I know this new system will continue to support FDNY operations for a generation.”

“FDNY members respond to more types of emergencies than ever before,” said Jon Paul Augier, FDNY deputy commissioner for Public Safety Technology and Dispatch Operations. “The FDNY is this city’s only all-hazards response agency, and our members require a robust CAD system with high-speed processing, 24×7 availability, and a highly intuitive dispatcher interface. FireCAD is that CAD system and it is the most reliable system of its kind.”

“This is a big step. The first real enhancement to our dispatch technology in decades. Also, the first time that actual, active Fire Alarm Dispatchers have been on the development team that produced this system. We look forward to working with the new CAD to protect the lives of all New Yorkers,” said Faye Smyth, president of the Uniformed Fire Alarm Dispatchers Benevolent Association.

“We are proud to be working side-by-side with the FDNY to help build the world-class dispatch system New York City deserves,” said Deborah Snyder, a managing director at Accenture who leads its business for the State of New York. “The new system is intended to enable a more effective emergency response, designed to be interoperable with existing FDNY technology investments, and supports department efforts to plan, prioritize and track emergency personnel as they respond to incidents.”

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