Over the past few months, we have been working closely with several municipal fire departments across the U.S. to determine how GIS can support fire service personnel. Through this collaborative effort we have been able to determine the business needs of the Fire Service community and define the application priorities. Starting this month, we will be releasing a series of maps and apps to support municipal fire services. The first in the series will be the Fire Station Wall Map, the Fire Run Book, and the Pre-Fire Plan editing maps. Each shares the same Fire Service Basemap optimized for response activities and operational layers to support map editing and production. All three maps are part of a system built on top of the Local Government Information Model. The Fire Station Wall Map and Fire Run Book were published to the ArcGIS for Local Government Resource Center (and cross-referenced in the Public Safety module) last week and the Pre-Fire Plan editing map will be published soon.
The Fire Station Wall Map is designed to support fire personnel in the station by providing an easy way to produce up-to-date wall maps of the station response area. Fire station wall maps are useful to engine drivers for learning the geographic reference of places in their community, identifying obstacles for navigating fire engines, and determining the best route in responding to a call for service. The Data Driven Pages toolbar is provided to create a series of wall maps for the entire fire district or one map at a time. The wall map pages are then exported to PDF for printing.
The Fire Run Book is designed to create hard-copy map books of each fire response area. These Fire Run Books are placed in each fire service vehicle and are used en route for navigation and logistic preparation. Each page provides detailed reference information such as street names and addresses, building footprints, parks, schools, hospitals, and other facilities. Useful information about the response location such as fire hydrants, restricted bridges, gates, turning radii, and raised street medians is also provided.
As with the Station Wall Map, Data Driven Pages are used to create the Fire Run Book. However, in this case, the Fire Map index feature class is used to create a single page for each index grid. Based on feedback received from the Fire Service community, we used the 1:1,000 scale grids from the U.S. National Grid feature class. If you are using another map index you may choose to insert it into the Fire Map Index feature class instead. Once the pages are created they can be exported to PDF.
Two Python scripts are provided in the Create Map Book toolbox. The Create Street Index is used to overlay the Fire Map Index grid with the street centerlines to generate a street index report in PDF format. This script requires a reporting tool from ReportLab.com to generate the report.
The second script combines the title page, map pages, and street index report into a single document in either landscape or portrait page orientation. If changes to your community require an update, you can choose to print a single page and insert it into your existing run book.
The Pre-Fire Plan editing map helps fire departments conduct pre-incident surveys and create plans for any structure in the community including large developments, apartment buildings, schools, universities, shopping centers, office parks, amusement parks, and hotel conference centers. In addition to the fire service basemap and operational layers it shares with the other maps in this series, it comes with pre-configured feature templates for editing. The feature templates use symbology from the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation (NAPSG). This display standard allows fire service personnel to easily identify common features such as building access points, safety hazards, fire suppression devices, alarm and control panels, utility shutoff valves, and detectors. Each pre-fire plan is given an identifier that can be displayed on a Fire Station Wall Map or in a Fire Run Book so that viewers can see that a plan exists for a particular site.
These planning documents can be published through a web service for access on a mobile device or in standards-based in-vehicle applications. You can also create a PDF file for each pre-fire plan and add it to a Fire Run Book.
The ArcGIS for Local Government and Public Safety teams would like to thank the following individuals for their expertise and contributions to the design and development of these maps:
- David Blankinship—Intterra
- Lt. Dave Novotny—Colorado Springs Fire Dept.
- Mark Sperry—Colorado Springs Fire Dept.
- Capt. Mike Wittry—Colorado Springs Fire Dept.
- Chris Rogers—Kirkland (WA) Fire Dept.
- Paul Morgan—Alameda County (CA) Fire Dept.
- Steve Rivero—Orland (IL) Fire Protection District
- Steve Pollackov—New York City Fire Dept. (FDNY)
- Peter Hana—Baltimore City Fire Dept.
- Eric Fisher—Fairfax County (VA) Fire Rescue
- Bay Area Fire User Group
- The NAPSG Foundation Fire User Group participants and regional leadership teams
We encourage you to try the new fire service maps and provide your feedback so we can continue to help fire fighters leverage ArcGIS in their local communities.