Digitally Upgrading Hamilton Fire Department Equipment

What new digital tools can Hamilton Fire Department add to their toolbox to help them identify and fight fires?

Project Description: Firefighting is a critical and long-standing municipal service. We know that the Hamilton Fire Department would benefit from using new tools and technology in their service delivery. This is expected to be a multi-pronged initiative. 1. When there is a fire in the city, firefighters enter buildings with limited knowledge of the building's layout and no way to accurately articulate their precise location in the event they lose their way. The Hamilton Fire Department would benefit from way-finding assistance, such as 3D mapping of major buildings and industrial complexes in the city that could be available on scene. 2. Sometimes smoke alarms are disabled or not working effectively, the Hamilton Fire Department would like to test early detection of fire using IoT technology that would assist when smoke alarms don't function effectively in large buildings. 3. It's difficult for firefighters at times to tell when a fire is starting to become too hot, the Hamilton Fire Department would like research related to best practices and proposed approaches related to situational awareness (including personnel location, temperature/humidity sensors on equipment and health status).

City Staff: Helen Klumpp, Executive Officer, Hamilton Fire Department


Tom Wanyama - McMaster University

Zen Gao - McMaster University

Projects: Project #1: Digital Reality Based Navigation, Project #2: Fire Detection, Project #3 Enhance Situational Literacy

Students: 3 per project

Department: Master of Engineering Design, Master of Engineering in Public Policy, Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering

Deliverable(s): Primary and secondary research as agreed upon by the community partner and the faculty-leads. Primary research may include students’ time spent with the community partner, training, job shadowing, etc. Mandatory reports and presentations. Prototype/Proof-of-Concept, as agreed up by the community partner and faculty-leads; budget approved and funded by the community partner. The work will be submitted to the Hamilton Fire Department for consideration towards Smart City initiative.

Location: City wide

City Strategy Priority: Healthy and Safe Communities