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Unified Fire Authority reveals contract with NSA following false alarms

By Mary Richards | Posted - Nov 11th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

BLUFFDALE — The Unified Fire Authority says it is ready to handle any kind of emergency at the NSA's data center in Bluffdale. They confirmed they won a bid to provide fire protection there after the data center has had some false fire alarms recently, but won't confirm or deny if the building is operational yet.

Battalion Chief Brian Anderton said the fire protection system in the building is built to put out any fires quickly, but the bigger picture seems to be something like a disaster or attack.

"Some of the bigger concerns we worry about in that building would be some sort of hazardous material event, some sort of collapse and the needs for technical rescue specialists to go in and intervene," Anderton said.

The NSA is working to keep the building well-protected from wildfire, but UFA also has those resources. The UFA has a five-year contract with the NSA for fire protection, including any hazardous materials situations or technical rescues.

"Probably the bigger need for our services will be employees that are ill or injured on the job, and that will make up the majority of the calls in the future," Anderton said.

The UFA has recently responded to some false alarms there, which prompted the UFA to verify they are authorized to protect the building. The NSA released a statement that said the number of calls and alarms triggered so far is not atypical, and they are going through testing right now. Anderton said that false alarms are normal for new buildings.

"Over time as they start to go in and evaluate those things and improve the system, those numbers will tend to reduce and shouldn't cause any kind of problem in the future," he said.

Both the NSA and UFA would not confirm if the center is operational yet.

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