Like many other Fire Departments, the City of Highland Park Fire
Department finds itself having to maintain current level of converage
with less resources. Determining where to effectively deploy these
resources is an important part of maintaining the expected service
level. The Fire Department approached the GIS Office about using GIS to
evaluate where to locate Department resources and it was decided to
create two series of map products.
The first map product used ESRI’s ArcView with the Network Analysis
Extension to create maps showing response times in one minute increments
from each station to the edge of the community. The response time
routes follow the road network and include impediments such as one way
streets and stop signs. The goal of these maps was to judge the impact
on response times if one of the stations were closed.
The second set of maps displayed Fire Department response data for a
period of one year. Various maps were created and categorized by type
and or time. These maps helped identify hot spots of Fire Department
responses. The goal of these maps was to analyze areas where the Fire
Department mostly frequently responded, so that resources could be
effectively deployed to respond to these areas in a timely manor.
By using GIS the Fire Department had a powerful tool to assist with
adapting to a new reality. They gained the confidence to make difficult
choices because they have the information to judge the impact of these
decisions. Thus they will be able to maintain their current service
level using fewer resources.