Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service Wins Award for Enhancing Public Safety Using GIS

New web mapping application provides a complete picture of emergencies, improving response times

EDMONTON, Esri Canada User Conference – September 20, 2016 – The use of geographic information systems (GIS) at the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service ( STARS) has evolved significantly over the years. Previously, the non-profit air ambulance service provider primarily used GIS to identify where emergencies occurred so that it could dispatch resources to the site. Today, STARS relies on GIS to achieve situational awareness and provides its staff with a comprehensive, real-time view of incidents to better respond to the needs of the critically ill and injured. For its outstanding use of GIS, Esri Canada today presented STARS with an Award of Excellence.

“Every piece of information counts in public safety,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “In using GIS to establish a common operating picture of emergencies and available resources, STARS has equipped its staff with a powerful decision-making tool to improve response times. Their application is transforming emergency management and plays a critical role in saving lives.”

STARS replaced its legacy public safety dispatch software with Esri’s ArcGIS system in 2015 to enhance operations at its Emergency Link Centre (ELC). They selected the system for its flexibility, comprehensive functionality and ease of use. With assistance from Esri Canada’s Professional Services consultants, they developed a dynamic web mapping application that displays information on incidents, health care facilities and emergency transport resources from various systems. About 40 ELC dispatchers use the new application to monitor missions in real time, retrieve and relay information to first responders, brief executives about unfolding events and notify stakeholders of emergency situations and response plans.

“Having up-to-date and complete information about an emergency helps us to direct resources more effectively,” notes Kevin Hatch, telecommunications manager, STARS ELC. “Each patient’s treatment is different based on their geographic area. Being able to see their exact location in relation to nearby resources on a map allows us to better address their needs, increasing their chances of survival.”

STARS also selected ArcGIS because it provides several applications that allow GIS functionality to be extended into the field. The organization has implemented Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS to monitor its field operations and is developing a work-alone application using ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension for Server to ensure the safety of field staff. Soon, staff will also have the ability to create incidents right within the web mapping application, integrating even more functionality into their common operating platform.

To learn more about ArcGIS, visit: esri.ca/arcgis.

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, Schneider Electric, Cityworks–Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2012 and became a Gold Standard winner in 2015. The company has also been named to the Branham300. More information can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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