Trial by fire

In order to respond to emergencies, firefighters must know where to go. But without an advanced communications system in place to do this, emergency crews are severely hindered in effectively performing their jobs. This article examines how Australia' New South Wales Fire Brigade implemented a project to replace its ages-old paper-based emergency response system with a high-tech system for tracking its 3,500 fighters who serve the state's 6 million residents. In doing so, it describes how the brigade's former system worked and how this system impeded the brigade's management of its personnel; it notes why many in the organization initially resisted the new system, which the brigade dubbed SAM, and how the project's leaders overcame this resistance and engaged the brigade's to accept and use SAM. It then details how the brigade put the system into operation, identifying the advantages that the organization has realized from implementing this project. Accompanying this article is a sidebar listing the project g
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