An Ottawa technology start-up just might change the way first responders deal with emergencies around the world.

Advance Property Exposure has created software that will instantly download information about buildings – entrances, exits, floorplans, utilities, etc. – to multiple smart phones and tablets. It’s invaluable information to any police tactical officer, firefighter, or other first responder who has to enter a strange building.

“So that before they go in they know what they’re dealing with,” says Warren Gallagher, the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

It’s called “Building Tactical Information System.” The project has been in the works for the past few years. Advance Property Exposure was one of a handful of companies chosen by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) for research and development funding.

This past weekend, the system was put to the test by a police tactical team in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They conducted exercises at a local high school both with and without the new technology. Those results should be available in a matter of weeks.

The technology is already proving popular. “We already have partners that are wanting to take our technology global. For example, Mexico City, there's a partner that wants to take us there, in France. We're already speaking to other major cities in Canada,” says Paul Martin, Advance Property Exposure’s President and founder who was in Prince Albert for the test.

“It’s a game-changer,” says veteran Firefighter Michael Sullivan. Sullivan now works for the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG). The agency is dedicated to improving the safety and security of first responders and is an advisory partner on the new software. “It’s going to save lives. It’s going to put us in the correct spot faster,” he says. “The faster we get there the quicker we help.”