Jack J. Murphy,
Chief Operation Officer
Jack is a Fire Marshal (ret.), a former Deputy Chief and has served as a Deputy Fire Coordinator for the N.J. Division of Fire Safety (Bergen County). He is a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) principal committee member for the: 1660 emergency, Continuity, and Crisis Management:
Preparedness, Response, and Recovery; 1082 Facilities Fire and Life Director Professional Qualification, 2800 Facility Emergency Action Plans as well
as the High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Board committee. He is the Past Chairman of the New York City Fire and Life Safety Directors Association
In 2002 after the September 11th World Trade Center incident, Jack was the task force leader to develop the first version of the building intelligence card
for the Fire Department of the City of New York. Over the years, he has been involved with national, state and local building and fire codes to advocate
building intelligence for First Responders and building owners for an emergency event.
Chief Murphy has lectured both at national and international fire/life safety forums, and published various articles in fire service and security publications.
He has authored the Pre-Incident Planning Chapter in the Fire Engineering Handbook – Firefighter I and II; “RICS – Rapid Incident Command System”
Field Handbooks; and co-authored High-Rise Buildings – Understanding the Vertical Challenges and Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety and Green Buildings.
He is a contributing editor with Fire Engineering Magazine and a Clarion Fire and Rescue Group Advisory Board Member. In 2012 he was the recipient of
the “Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by Fire Engineering for his extraordinary contributions to the fire service.
James has been working in technology since 1994 he started of working with the Maquiladoras Manufacturing in Mexico. He designed and implemented a JIT inventory system for many of the control environment manufacturing facilities across the border. In 1999 he designed and created his first of many SAS model solutions for the financial services industry that is still in use. Since then he has have founded several companies and sits on the boards of both commercial and nonprofits companies. Prior to his technology career James was a Marine Officer serving 8 years active duty, holding various command billets to include Commanding Officer in the First Gulf War. He sends his free time volunteering for boy scouts, youth athletics and toys for tots.
Jack Murphy: Know Before You Go Campaign
Being a Commander requires knowledge and understanding of many things; one item at the top of the list is an ability to have a clear picture of the fire problem, building construction and layout, including: the access points, the obvious and often hidden travel routes within the building, the passive and active fire and smoke control systems, the communications systems, the current use or “type” facilities within the structure, as well as the types of hazards in these areas. The Commander must be able to direct and control the evacuation, direct responding fire services to the locations where needed.
eBICard is the best tool for an Incident Commander to effectively and efficiently accomplish this. It provides Commanders, at all levels of the command process, with clear relevant information about the buildings structure and services, laid out in a fashion that enables the user to focus on areas of immediate and long term concerns; directing information to the fire services and other forces to locations where needed, as well as giving information of about hazards, routes to take, alternatives when necessary, the locations of building system control points or areas. eBuilding Intelligence Group Solutions (eBISG) systems are a great tool; easy to use, easy to keep up to date, a Fireground Aid as well as a Battle Plan Development Tool.
As a fire officer, few things take me outside my comfort zone faster than responding to a fire in a building particularly a high-rise structure that I’m not familiar with. In a perfect world, firefighters would be intimately familiar with every building they respond to; but that’s hardly the case. Fire companies may find themselves not too familiar with some high-rise buildings in their response district or first due at a high-rise fire several miles outside of their response district or even a mutual-aid call to another municipality.
For firefighters to sensibly operate at a high-rise building fire they need building intelligence for: fire protection systems, type of occupancy, building systems, floor plans, etc. Clearly, the best way to obtain this information is by pre-fire planning as to what do I need to know when first-due at a high-rise building that I’m not familiar with?
A few “Know Before You Go (KbgG)” examples:
- First, where do we arrive? It is not uncommon to find the main entrance or best entrance for fire fighters is not on the side of the building corresponding street address. There are some high-rise buildings in jurisdictions where the most direct entrance for firefighters maybe through a parking garage.
- One essential thing that a first-arriving officer is going to need to know is the building’s fire alarm annunciation panel location which is frequently located in a fire command/control room. Additionally, know the locations of: FDC connections, hydrants, and standpipe system demand pressures; especially if the building is divided into multi-zones or has pressure-reducing outlet valves.
- Fire officers and firefighters needs to know the elevator car locations, how to control elevators and occupant’s accountability.
- Pre-incident planning stairwells knowledge is critical, especially when a building has scissor stairs or when access stairs have the potential to contaminate more floors with smoke. Firefighters need to know the floor plans, especially in commercial high-rise buildings where each floor division may vary from an open floor layout or corridors with office suites to meet tenant needs.
- Does the building have a smoke tower adjacent to some stairwells? This can be an asset to direct evacuating occupants, but a can create an undesirable flow path for firefighters advancing a hose line.
In my experience, one of the most common consequences of lacking building familiarity is a delay in locating floor control valves to isolate a sprinkler branch line once the fire is controlled. When building staff are not present, firefighters need building intelligence information in a concise and user-friendly manner under emergency conditions.
eBuilding Intelligence Group Solutions will provide “KbyG” building intelligence and support an incident through mitigation for a high-rise or other structure types within your response districts.
Much has been said about the wisdom of engaging in planning efforts in the field of fire protection. An ancient proverb indicates that if you know about something before it happens, you can be better prepared to cope with it. The phrase is “forewarned is forearmed”.
It’s common sense that if you can predict something, you should be better prepared to cope with it. Fire departments today have a greater need for pre-fire planning tools than at any time in the past. The reason is simple. Any given fire agency faces thousands of combinations of building contents, construction and physical configuration. Simultaneously many fire agencies are impacted by their role in emergency medical services which keeps them from conducting extensive pre-fire planning.
The solution is technology. At one time, pre-plans had to be sketched manually on graph paper and were incredibly difficult to keep up to date. The eBICard is revolutionizing how this information can be collected and stored. eBIS is a web-based tool that can provide first responders with much needed information with a minimum of difficulty. Many fire departments for years have hauled around large notebooks containing pre-fire planning information. They were hard to keep up to date and were often damaged after exposure to fire ground conditions. This methodology is maintained on mobile applications and at the local dispatch, so they are readily available to the command team upon arrival.
As stated, this system in Appendix1 will provide firefighters with building intelligence that is current, relevant and consistent with smart firefighting.
In summary, the eBuilding Intelligence Group Solutions system puts information into the hands of the incident commander that promotes more rapid and accurate decision making both tactically and strategically.