TriData: 30 Years of Milestone Studies

TriData, internationally known for its consulting and research in public safety, will celebrate its 30th anniversary Nov. 17 in a formal ceremony at its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
The company is best known for its objectivity, technical excellence, integrity, and confronting the most difficult and politically sensitive issues in the public safety arena. Over its 30-year history, TriData has produced many milestone research and statistical reports on a wide variety of public safety issues.
Arlington County (Va.) Fire Chief James Schwartz recently said, “You have done some remarkable work over those years.” 
TriData has consulted for over 250 state and local governments on fire protection, emergency medical services, technical rescue, hazardous materials, and emergency management.
Over 50 metropolitan fire departments have been clients, including Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Houston and  Fort Worth, Texas; Washington, DC; Cincinnati, Ohio; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Sacramento and  Long Beach, California; Jacksonville and Palm Beach County, Florida; Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee; Arlington County, Virginia; and Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Canadian studies include work for the cities of Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and London.
TriData has produced over 100 major incident reports from lessons learned at major disasters, including the interstate bridge collapse in Minneapolis; Hurricane Isabel in Virginia; the alleged anthrax attacks on the Pentagon; the Loma Prieta earthquake in California; the Phillips refinery fire near Houston; both World Trade Center attacks (1993 and 2001); the shootings at Columbine High School, North Illinois University, and Virginia Tech; and many incidents with multiple firefighter fatalities.
To improve fire and arson investigation effectiveness, TriData conducted comprehensive assessments of arson units in over 150 jurisdictions on behalf of the U.S. Fire Administration. The assessments involved not only fire investigators, but also law enforcement officials with ATF and the FBI, as well as prosecutors and judges for juvenile and adult criminal courts.
For 30 years TriData has pioneered international research to identify best practices in fire protection in the United States, and helped promote ideas from the United States throughout the world.
Merseyside, England Fire Brigade Chief Tony McGuirk commented recently on a TriData report that impacted him:
“I remember reading ‘Proving Public Education works’ for the first time in 1995, and I was inspired by the case studies it brought to my attention and the attention of the world.  It prompted me to think differently about how we deliver fire and rescue services.  The resultant initiatives I put in place in Merseyside have saved many, many lives from fire.”
Dr. Frank Field, a noted meteorologist, television science editor and public safety education advocate who was on TV in New York City for five decades, recently spoke about TriData’s contributions to public safety:
“Congratulations to TriData for 30 years of dedicated service to the nation. Your efforts on behalf of fire safety and fire prevention have left an indelible mark on the country’s fire services. Your global studies are invaluable and are playing an important role in directing the nation’s fire services and the health community along a path which will save countless lives in the future.”
TriData, a division of Arlington, Va. based System Planning Corporation (SPC), was founded in 1981 by Philip Schaenman, former Associate Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration, and Dr. Ronald Easley, SPC founder and CEO. 
“TriData’s heritage will hopefully continue to contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public safety organizations,” said Philip Schaenman, Tridata’s founder and president. “As public safety must adapt to the changing environment and new demands so will our research and consulting. It has been an exciting and rewarding 30 years. Our past and present staff can be proud of the many contributions they have made and will continue to make going into the future.”
On the occasion of the anniversary, Dr. Ronald Easley said:
“The technical staff of TriData has proven time and again to be among the crown jewels of excellence at SPC. I’m proud of the outstanding work
TriData has done for its customers and the citizens they represent.”
SPC primarily is engaged in high technology research & development and systems engineering related to national security.
More About TriData’s Studies
The company’s work has ranged over the many aspects of public safety issues, including the following:
Statistics and Economics:
  • Fire in the United States (9 of 15 editions of the U.S. Fire Administration’s statistical overview of the fire problem in the United States)
  • Total Cost of Fire in Canada: An Initial Estimate
  • Economic Impact of NIST Fire Research Program
  • Over 150 statistical reports (for U.S. Fire Administration (USFA))
  • Global Concepts in Residential Fire Safety (with Centers for Disease Control (CDC))
  • Proving Public Fire Education Works
  • Reaching the Hard-to-Reach
  • Overcoming Barriers to Public Fire Education
  • Evaluation of Fire-Safe Cigarettes
Major Incident Investigations:
  • Mass Shootings at Virginia Tech (technical & administrative staff support to the Virginia Tech Review Panel)
  • I-35W Bridge Collapse and Response, Minneapolis, Minnesota (USFA)
  • Loma Prieta Earthquake (USFA)
  • Hurricane Isabel (for the Commonwealth of Virginia)
Volunteer Services:
  • Recruitment and Retention in the Volunteer Fire Service: Problems and Solutions (with National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC))
  • Role of the Volunteer Fire Service in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks (for NVFC).
Firefighter Safety:
  • Wildland Firefighter Safety Awareness Study (federal wildland firefighting agencies)
  • Reports on multiple firefighter fatality incidents (for USFA)
  • Report on causes of injuries to Navy shore-based firefighters (for U.S. Navy)
Navy Shore-Based Fire Safety:
  • Evaluation of Fire & Emergency Services Readiness on U.S. Navy Bases
  • Navy F&ES Significant Saves and Losses (U.S. Navy)
Performance Measurement:
  • How Effective Are Your Community Services? (with Urban Institute and International City/County Management Association)
  • Methodology for estimating property and lives saved by the fire service 
New Technology:
  • Robotics for Reducing Firefighter Injuries
Emergency Medical Services:
  • The State of New Jersey EMS System Review
Law Enforcement Technology Needs Assessment:
  • Electronic Crime Needs Assessment for State and Local Law Enforcement, (National Institute of Justice (NIJ))
  • State and Local Law Enforcement Technology Needs to Combat Terrorism, (NIJ)
  • Counter-IED Technology Evaluation  and Training for Law Enforcement (DoD)
Emergency Management:  
  • Guidance for Developing Regionally Coordinated Airport Emergency Management Planning for CBRNE Events  (Transportation Research Board)
  • Identification of Chemical Incidents from Disparate Sources(Chemical Safety Board)

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