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Memorial Grant Aims to Keep First Responders Safe
Bentley Systems, Inc. has awarded a research grant to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Scientific and Educational Foundation named in memory of FDNY Assistant Chief Donald J. Burns. Chief Burns died in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, while setting up his command post to direct the evacuation.
Through its partnership with SFPE, Bentley Systems is awarding $25,000 annually in grant funds over a period of five years. The purpose of the Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant is to integrate information modeling as a means of improving infrastructure safety and first-responder preparedness.
“The goal is to promote research and education in fire protection engineering using information modeling to minimize the impact of fire and other catastrophic events on life and property – including providing our first responders with the infrastructure knowledge they need to do their jobs safely,” said Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley.
“Because of this grant we have the opportunity to improve the science and technology that is used to keep firefighters safer during building emergencies,” said SFPE Engineering Program Manager Chris Jelenewicz. “Specifically, this grant will incorporate the principles of fire protection engineering into building information management to provide tools that can be used by first responders.”
Boston Gets New Chief
Steve E. Abraira is the new Chief of the Boston Fire Department. He succeeds Ronald Keating, who retired in October after 41 years of service. Chief Abraira will report to Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser and will serve as the highest ranking uniformed officer in the 1,439 member Boston Fire Department, the oldest professional fire service organization in the nation.
“I am thrilled and humbled to become a part of the distinctive and proud history of the men and women of the Boston Fire Department,” said Chief Abraira. “I pledge to work with the Commissioner’s office, the staff of the department and the public to provide the highest quality services possible to the citizens of Boston.”
Chief Abraira previously served the Miami, FL, Fire-Rescue Department for more than 26 years, retiring as an Assistant Fire Chief in 2000 when he was appointed Fire Chief of the City of Dallas, TX, Fire-Rescue Department. He served the City of Dallas for more than five years before retiring and returning to Florida. In 2007, Abraira came out of retirement to assume the position of Fire Chief in Palm Bay, FL. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University and recently graduated with a dual Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Management and Leadership from Webster University. Abraira also holds the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Commission on Professional Credentialing and is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.
Nigeria Comes to Newark
On Monday, November 21, 2011, a delegation from the Lagos Fire Service, of Lagos, Nigeria, toured the Newark Fire Department and City Hall. Newark was one of five cities nationwide that the Nigerians were visiting to study best American fire practices and establish mutual collaboration between Nigerian and American fire departments. “We have a Fire Department that goes above and beyond every day,” said Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement Margarita Muñiz. “Newark is a great place for learning and gaining experience, and we hope to combine our strength to make both Lagos and Newark safer cities.”
Ambulance Crash Data Report
Motor vehicle crashes involving ambulances pose a serious risk to both crew and patients. Recognizing the magnitude and severity of this risk, the Fire Protection Research Foundation recently released a report, “Analysis of Ambulance Crash Data.” The foundation is the research affiliate for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).