The Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and ESRI, the world leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, have entered into a strategic relationship to facilitate broader adoption of GIS technology to support all aspects of fire service. The CPSE-ESRI relationship will assist decision makers across the emergency services spectrum by improving access to critical spatial and tabular information about their communities including data related to buildings, streets, utility assets, and infrastructure. “CPSE provides an important service to review, analyze, and substantiate fire department capability to provide public service officials with a blueprint for fire service,” says Russ Johnson, public safety manager, ESRI. “By collaborating with CPSE, we’re able to supply different technology and data programs for continuous improvement to protect communities and fire department personnel.”
Both organizations are collaborating to improve capabilities for different projects. The first is the development of a comprehensive software package to measure community risk. This package will be a standards-based program designed to integrate seamlessly into existing records management systems (RMS) or available as a Web service for departments without existing records management systems. The project will result in fire departments having a standard approach across the country to analyze and better understand their local risk problems. In addition, the results of these risk analysis assessments can be displayed in a geospatial framework, making the information easy to understand and act on.
This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through a grant partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST).
The second initiative involves CPSE now operating as an authorized reseller of ESRI’s ArcGIS and extensions software to eligible CPSE members at reduced costs. CPSE and ESRI have assembled a set of GIS bundles to give the fire service community less expensive access to GIS software and data.
These software bundles and services programs will be designed specifically to help fire departments better carry out preplanning activities, measure their service delivery, and understand how they can improve their performance. ESRI’s GIS software will enable local fire departments to access, analyze, and visualize vital information through a digital map interface. The analysis capabilities give commanders, first responders, and other fire service decision makers a better understanding of their workload, staffing requirements, and actions required to provide high-quality levels of service.
“The relationship will encourage the utilization of GIS in the fire service that will result in increased safety and prevention program effectiveness,” says Randy Bruegman, president, CPSE Board of Directors. “We want data and information about our communities to be made available to the fire service to assist them in their decision-making processes. As such, it needs to be readily accessible in a format that is useful to a wide range of users. By combining ESRI’s expertise in GIS and CPSE’s mission to improve the strategic direction of the fire service, we will have a far greater and more efficient reach with critical audiences that interact with the natural and built worlds and our mission to protect them.”
For more information on the packages, visit the CPSE Web site at www.publicsafetyexcellence.org.