Fire Pre-Plan Development Assistance


Local fire emergency response units are often called to
non-residential locations that can contain potential hazards to both the
responders and the building occupants. A critical asset to ensuring a
successful response is having a drawing of the property, commonly known
as a pre-plan, showing vital locations within the building, including
the gas shutoff valve, exit points, and the layout of the various rooms.
To assist in the development and distribution of these drawing, the
City of Des Plaines, IL Fire Department asked the city’s GIS department
to provide data for the initial drawing of the plans and a means for
viewing the completed plans within a simple mapping environment.

To develop the pre-plan drawings, the Fire Department decided to work
with a local community college that had a pre-plan design class in
developing a curriculum that integrated the department’s drawings into
each assignment. This provided a real world application of the skills
being taught in the class and a final product for the department to use
in emergency response. To assist the class in the initial design of
each plan, the GIS department provided various data layers, including
roads and buildings, to the college. These data layers are used as the
base data for each drawing, making it easier for the students to add in
the critical infrastructure information, such as hydrants and shutoff
valve locations.

As a final product, the finished drawings are distributed to the Fire
Department through an online interactive mapping site used by city
staff. This application is available both in the office to
administrative staff and in the field through laptops setup in all the
department vehicles. By using the existing GIS system as the basis for
the development and distribution of the pre-plans, the city has been
able to save time and money on making a critical resource available to
the necessary emergency response personnel.