New York Fire Department

An analysis of the New York State firefighting history as a microcosm for early and modern disaster preparedness.

This paper examines the firefighting department of New York City, which is generally considered to be the first of organized efforts to combat community disasters. The paper discusses how the NYFD can be seen as a microcosm of the country, reflecting the impact that information technology has had on disaster recovery and contingency plans. The paper provides an outline of the history of firefighters and disasters. The importance of efficient communication is conveyed, and the technological advancements which promote this, are portrayed in this paper.

Table of Contents
Thesis statement
Definition of Disaster in the Historic and Modern eras
Early Historical Facts
The Need for Uninterrupted Communication
Response to Needs
Advent of the Internet
New Needs, New Responses
Worthiness of Disaster Recovery and Communication Contingency Plans Conclusion: The Overall Importance of Communication

“Because disasters – whether confined to a single individual or felt by an entire community – are by definition chaotic and confusing, the timely transmittal of pertinent information is of key importance. Three types of disaster are generally recognized: natural disasters such as floods, fires and earthquakes, human-caused disasters, and political disasters including riots. Constant review and improvement of not only the collection of input, but also the response following a crisis have been important methods of monitoring disasters and improving response measures and recovery efforts. With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, a new and different area of concern has come about in the face of disasters.”