January 5, 2007 -- The mission of the fire service is to protect life, property, and natural resources from fire and other emergencies. With increasing demands, the fire service must utilize the best tools, techniques, and training methods to meet public expectations. Risk management, preparedness, and mitigation have taken on new importance with challenges facing fire departments today. One emerging tool that is helping the fire service optimize emergency services delivery is geographic information system (GIS) technology.
GIS supports planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, and incident management.
GIS extends the capability of maps—intelligent, interactive maps—with access to all
types of information, analysis, and data. When a fire occurs, any delay of responding fire
companies can make the difference between the rescue of occupants versus serious injury
or death. The critical time between fire containment and flashover can be measured in
seconds. From the moment an emergency call is received through the deployment of
tactical resources, GIS helps reduce critical time and increases efficiency. GIS
technology brings additional power to the fire personnel whereby hazards are evaluated,
service demands are analyzed, and resources deployed. This white paper will examine
how GIS technology is helping the fire service meet the needs of the community more
efficiently than ever....