The City of Highland Park Fire Department is considering relocating
one of their three fire stations where they can build a larger station.
Moving this fire station will affect the response times within the
community. In order to help understand the extent to which the new fire
department will alter the response times, the city enlisted the help of
the Geographic Information System (GIS) Department.
The Fire Department contacted the GIS department in order to evaluate
the response time network covered by five-minute response areas. The
base layer for the response time network consists of a road centerline
feature. Information added to this feature including speed limits and
one-way restrictions allowed response times to be calculated. Using the
formula of 60*length of segment/speed limit, a response time was
populated for each segment. The response time is the cost of travelling
that segment of road. Placing other restrictions including, turns,
stop signs, and prohibited u-turns to model intersections, increased the
accuracy of the network.
The next step involved using the response time network to create a
series of maps. The first group of maps showed the five-minute response
area of the current configuration of fire stations. The second group
of maps showed the five-minute response area of the southern fire
station to one of two proposed locations. These proposed location maps
also showed which properties were no longer within a five-minute
response area as well as the new properties added to the five-minute
response area of the proposed station location. The final series of
maps showed five minute, twenty second, and five minute thirty second
response times. These maps demonstrated that many properties removed
from the five-minute response areas are still within a reasonable
response area from one of the fire stations.
With the creation of the road response network and the related map
products, the Fire Department had valuable information for assessing the
impact of moving the location of an existing fire station. With this
information, the Fire Department is able to show interested parties the
impact of relocating one of the fire stations.