With the recent decision to join the RED Center, Regional Emergency Dispatch Center, the Des Plaines Fire Department has had to make several changes in order to fit into the RED model. Part of these changes includes a new numbering system for their fire response grid. With all of these changes taking place it seemed to be an ideal time to create new large maps to hang in the fire station garages. The current maps are showing their age, and are now longer accurate because of the RED Center transition.
The process began with the Fire Department reviewing their data (i.e. district boundaries, automatic aid, tollway response areas, and response grid). The GIS Department posted the various datasets to MapOffice in order for the Fire Staff to review them. The Chief and Deputy Chief identified what areas needed to be revised and updated. The GIS department then made the requested changes to the GIS data in the database.
Once the data was made current, the GIS Department and Fire Department worked together to decide what information should be included in the map, how it should be symbolized and determine the most useful layout for their new wall maps. A new design of the street index was requested as well as customized legends for the tollway response index and fire grid response index. These items were then created by the GIS Department and included in the map. The map went through several rounds of review and was finally brought to a RED Center operations meeting for a final review. At this meeting final decisions were made regarding the tollway response areas. Since all of the data was stored locally in the GIS database revisions were quick and easy to make.
By working together the GIS department was able to create the most useful map for the fire department and a new system for updating these maps was put in place, so as not to allow maps to become severely dated in the future.