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bright sparks

Read Me: Why we've put lifesaving technology in an 1814 lighthouse

Robin Blandford explains why putting his emergency response team software company into another lifesaving location couldn’t be more appropriate.

THE BAILY LIGHTHOUSE off the coastline of Dublin was the last lighthouse in Ireland to be automated.

Today, it was announced that the award-winning Irish company Decisions 4 Heroes has moved its HQ into the lighthouse. As D4H has created specialised software to coordinate emergency response teams, taking on the lease couldn’t be more appropriate, explains founder Robin Blandford.

As a company founder, there are defining decisions which you’re never quite sure if they’re genius or madness… my gut feeling is, this one is genius. The D4H HQ is now occupying the former Light-Keepers Training College, the Baily Lighthouse – positioned way up on rocks with a 134ft high tower and light beaming out into Dublin Bay – the view from every desk is just incredible.

We are based in Howth 25 minutes from the capital of Ireland, Dublin City. Howth is where the Norse Vikings fled to regroup after Brian Ború, the High King of Ireland, defeated them in 1014. The Vikings remained a force here until isolated at the Baily, boarding their long boats and leaving Howth to fall to the Normans in 1177.

Dublin Bay is the main shipping channel between Ireland’s capital and Europe, over hundreds of years many ships including the Dublin Packet Steamer have hit these rocks, and thousands of lives have been lost to the sea in the bay. In 1667 it was decided to build a light signal higher up the hill to warn ships at night – as local historian Jim Kilroy will tell you in the following video, initially just a house with a bright burning torch, but 200 years ago, in 1814 they built the lighthouse tower at the current location as it stands today.

via paulmageetv/Youtube

We’re an Internet software company that saves lives. We develop and operate in-house, the world’s leading emergency response team software that helps organizations better prevent, manage, prepare, and analyze their incidents. We have a team of engineers, customer success personnel, and business professionals who build and export this technology product from the Baily Lighthouse in Dublin Bay to 9 countries around the world.

We have thousands of emergency responders using the system daily, from organizations such as Tier 1 Oil Exploration, Fire Fighters, Hazmat Workers, Chemical Responders, Helicopters, Coast Guard, Heavy Urban SAR, Search & Rescue, State Task Forces, Sheriff Departments, and beyond. If you look closely at the photo below – you can see one of our aviation customers winching onto the deck of a vessel in the background.

Later this week we’ll launch a live webcam from our office, sharing the view with you. There’s a magical view over Dublin City lights at night, 180 degree vistas across the bay in the day, and amazing sunsets in the evening.

So… answers to the two questions everyone wants to know – yes our office now has its own Helipad (but we still haven’t chosen which helicopter to purchase!) – and yes the lighthouse very much still has its rotating beam lit brightly night atop our office. Thankfully the foghorn was suspended in 1995!

Any post sent to our old address will still reach us for another month, but our new postal address is:
“The Baily Lighthouse, Howth, Dublin, Ireland” :-) :-) :-)

All images courtesy of Robin Blandford

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