Regional County Municipality of Bécancour Fire Department (RCMBFD) Develops Pioneering GIS-Based Fire Risk Assessment Framework for Improved Emergency Response

Québec City, QC – Esri Canada User Conference – April 24, 2013 – In Québec, municipalities are required by law to create a fire safety plan. The Public Safety Ministry in Québec makes a number of tools available to help municipalities calculate fire risk. While the ministry prescribes an assessment method using 15 criteria, the RCMBFD is the first municipality in Québec that has created a resource deployment application with 300 variables. They’ve incorporated it into Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) platform to automatically and efficiently calculate risk, as well as optimize resource deployment. For this pioneering GIS application, Esri Canada today presented the RCM of Bécancour with an Award of Excellence.

“GIS is a powerful platform that can integrate and analyze data quickly to come up with the best course of action,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “The RMCBFD has adopted an innovative framework to automatically calculate the deployment of fire safety resources. It’s a revolutionary way of conducting fire risk assessment that significantly improves public safety.”

“Using GIS has completely changed the way we deploy resources,” notes Sébastien Demers, fire safety preventionist, RCM of Bécancour. “It automatically ranks risks based on all relevant variables and allows our 911 dispatchers to deploy the right resources where they will be most effective depending on the nature of the call. This enables us to deliver higher levels of service and more efficient emergency response.”

The RCMBFD uses Esri’s ArcGIS platform to analyze risk based on the criteria prescribed by the Public Safety Ministry, along with additional criteria including the actual use of the building; type of building (attached or detached); number of floors, units or rooms; importance of the building in the community; number of potential occupants and their ability to evacuate; presence of hazardous materials; and knowledge about the territory. The risks are grouped into four levels: low, medium, high and very high.

To effectively deploy resources, the GIS analyzes various datasets including the location and nature of the call, risk level in the building, parent/child risks, proximity to fire stations, number of staff available by fire department and the different time slots that they are available. It automatically calculates the data and displays the optimum resource deployment options for 911 dispatchers to act more quickly.

Learn more about ArcGIS for Server.

About the Regional County Municipality of Bécancour

The Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Bécancour is located 90 minutes from Montréal and 45 minutes from Québec City. It includes 12 municipalities in addition to Aboriginal Community Abénakise and has a population of over 20,000 people spread over an area of 1,132 sq km. There are twelve stations, divided into two distinct fire services, providing fire safety services for the municipality.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, along with a comprehensive portfolio of complementary GIS products and services. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada is a 2012 winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program and has also been named to the Branham Group’s Top 250 Canadian IT Companies and Top 25 IT Professional Services Providers in Canada, as well as Computer Dealer News’ Top 100 IT Solution Providers in Canada lists. Information about Esri Canada can be found at


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