Coordinating GIS for EMS and Fire Services

Frandford Mutual Aid Fire Training Assoc

(version 03-2005 prepared by Vicki Schmidt)


Program Goals

*  To create and establish a regional (mutual aid) Fire & EMS Response program that provides situational awareness information for everyday operational needs. This program will also contain an ability to expand and include multi-regional and statewide response variables as needed. 


*  To enable capabilities for rapid emergency decision making on a local, regional, multi-regional and statewide basis. 


*  To design and implement a locally based interactive and non-static GIS and tabular data entry system to maintain and display local, regional, multi-regional and statewide Fire and EMS response variables.


*  The program will also provide spatial information and response logistics for mutual aid training and pre-planning activities. 


The program must contain a user-friendly intuitive interface. In addition to basic functions, the geospatial interface will include status bars for showing information from query results such as station ID or name, name of current incident location, measurement tools results, current scale of map, X/Y coordinates, etc.


Once a site has been selected, data is automatically queried and access to all available information on the location as well as information concerning the type of situation is quickly displayed.  The program will provide response variables for desktop, laptop, and field use and also have functional production mapping capabilities.


Regional Response Programs

            Automatic and mutual aid

            Cooperative planning

                        Station and apparatus locations


                        Annual refreshers

                        New technologies

                        Retention and skills building


Situational Awareness


                        Operational needs

                        Training activities

            Incident response

                        Response logistics

                        Rapid emergency decision-making

            Every day needs vs. WMD & major events


 Program Design


            Intuitive interface

Spatial  (shapefiles, geodatabases, etc)

Tabular (Microsoft Access)

            Ability to:

store, updates & present regional information (3-4 alarm) automatically

                        merge with neighboring regions for mass casualty/large incident response

            Desktop & apparatus laptop, field use (wired & wireless)

            Production mapping capabilities


Process for storing, updating, maintaining, and distributing data.

            Data warehouse:

Web based (off-the-shelf technologies)

                        Regional locations (short term) and/or statewide (long term)

            Database driven –automatic and “real time”

            Accessibility –

                        Data development, updates

                        Automatic notification when mutual aid towns input updates

                        Viewers and user access secure/pwd login


Access to Data (24 hour)

            Unadvertised website / webportal

            Secure Logins



                        Data developers



Prelan Template Information* (ODP, DHS, MEMA guidelines)

            General Information


            Building Information

            Response Plans


Site & Situation Specific Incident Action Plans (fire, bomb scare, toxic fumes, etc)

                        Communication Plans

                        Situation Reports

                        Organizational Chart for responders & incident response


Program for electronic pre-plans (PIPS Software *)

·        Display floor plan or photo for selected building/site

·        Display pre-plan and intelligence data on location

·        Incident and pre-plan drive time analyses

·        Identify response zone (alarm) characteristics

·        Automatic links to CAD (computer aided dispatch) data

·        Immediate notice of hazmat / hazardous conditions (known & seek out)

·        Incident location and routing from station and other state and regional locations

·        Inspection / occupancy information

·        Exposure & evacuation information

·        Hydrography, hydrants, water resource location & staging

·        Remove added graphics/points from screen

·        Identify locations and items on map, measure distances, etc

·        Create a distance buffer/circular area & identify features within the area

·        Pan across the geospatial database

·        Zoom in/out a fixed amount; full extent; or previous

·         Print quality maps and information reports

·         Coordination with ODP, DHS, MEMA, FMO programs (MFIRS, Cameo, etc)

·         Coordination with others (Lifeflight, etc)

Data needs:

Base Data for region:


            Transportation routes, railroads, remote access

            Political boundaries

            Contours  (>15% slope)

            High Voltage Transmission Lines

            Floodplain & impoundment hazards

Land use, impervious, etc

            Remotely sensed data (raster)


Pre – Plans

            Major facilities /critical infrastructure

                        Scaled maps

                        Facility structure, components, etc

                                    Machinery / Lockout – tagout


                        Staging Areas

                        IC posts - viewsheds


Inventory of Response Assets


                        1-4 alarm (based on local districts)


                                    Capacity values

                        Appliances, etc

                        Staff (FF's, fire police, HazMat, etc)


Resource Typing (local / regional)


            WMD Decon / Response

            Low-High-Steep Angle

            Confined Space

            Cold-Swift Water

            Animal Rescue



Ancillary Data: (E911 incident / facility specific)

            Fire /EMS locations

            Hydrants (dry, pressurized, etc)

Fire ponds, drafting sites (seasonal accessibility variables)

            HazMat facilities

            FF Hazards

                        Residential oxygen (medical)

                        Confided spaces

                        Others ?

            Lock out / tag out



            Landing Zones

            Alarm response region data

                        Fire Districts

                                    Interface Risk Zones

                        Tankers, Engines, Forestry,

                        Cascade systems, HazMat vehicles


* derived from ODP, DHS, FEMA & NFPA guidelines


Keys to success:

            Multidisciplinary (fire, ems, business owners, school administrators, etc)

            Common goal

                        Promoting awareness and preparedness

                        Local, regional, mulit-regional, statewide response variables

            One system to work with – regional & state basis


Acronyms and ID’s

DHS Department of Homeland Security

EMS Emergency Medical Services

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

FMO Fire Marshall’s Office (Maine)

MEMA Maine Emergency Management Agency

NFPA National Fire Protection Agency

ODP Office of Domestic Prepardness


Quick link summary

Universal application for response protocols for Mutual Aid throughout the State of Maine


* automatic service to State and County computer-aided dispatch data;

* incident drive time directions and analyses (networked roadway)

* highlights known hazmat & hazard locations;

* inspection/occupancy tracking;

* link pre-plans

* incident analysis

* station location coverage / response analysis

* customized reports

* hydrography coverage

* locations of railways, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.;

* compare incident data with demographic information

* urban & rural water resources mapping