Making the Work of Fire Fighters Safer with Information Awareness

Bart van Leeuwen (Netage)
Government/Open Data
Location: 212
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

The incidents that firefighters are being dispatched to are by nature unpredictable. This means that their information demand will change from occasion to occasion and is influenced by time as well. started developing and deploying small scale Semantic Technology based solutions at Fire Department Amsterdam-Amstelland. The agile nature of the Semantic Web allowed to create simple solutions to answer the questions that were really asked by the operational personnel.

The amount of data available in public open data sets is growing every day, Fire departments have a hard time keeping up with that. This may result in sending firefighters into for them unknown dangerous situations, where these situations might actually be recorded in public data. is building a platform to connect and match datasets and raise information awareness amongst fire fighters. Started with small operational questions, development is slowly moving towards meeting the requirements of new tactical insights in firefighting.

Today more than 25 Fire Stations in both The Netherlands and Switzerland use real time Linked ‘Open’ Data to supply their firefighters with up to date information in their day to day operations. is convinced that only by using information in day to day operations, we can train firefighters to make use of the information in large scale incidents.
Our solution uses a mix of enterprise grade tools and pure semantic web technologies. We build upon a proven stack of IBM software, and utilize standard vocabularies where ever possible. This approach reflects the pragmatic approach of Innovate where it matters, use proven technology where the reliability is needed.

In this session Bart van Leeuwen takes you through his life as a fire fighter explaining where the problems are. He will outline where current solutions fall short, and shows the potentials of using publicly available data to inform firefighters better. Along the way the pragmatic and self reflective approach on data quality plays a important role in his message.

Photo of Bart van Leeuwen

Bart van Leeuwen


Bart van Leeuwen combines his 15 years firefighting experience with 17 years of ownership.

This combination allows him to highlight a new perspective on operational information delivery. With the ever larger amount of available data and changes in tactical approaches to firefighting new and fresh thinking is needed. As a “outside the box” thinker he helps fire departments to approach their information problems in a different way. In this process technology is not the answer, its an enabler and should be treated as such.

Currently he leads a innovation project where proven information management technology is combined with new paradigms like semantic web technology to deal with information flows in a smarter and agile way.