When responding to an emergency dispatch call, first responders must be prepared to handle anything that comes their way. For fire response in particular, it is important to have knowledge of the structure that is being responded to in order to effectively put out a fire or prevent one from spreading further. A critical resource for knowing this information is building pre-plans, which are drawings that detail the layout of a building or structure and show the locations of things like utility shut offs (i.e. gas & electric) or where potentially hazardous materials are stored (i.e. oxygen or flammable chemicals). To assist the Fire department with exposing this type of information in a spatial environment, the village asked their Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department to integrate these pre-plans with new dispatch software that was recently implemented.
The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software that was recently purchased has a mapping component that allows dispatch staff and responders to view information related to call locations. Since connections to outside map applications can be consumed by the CAD software, this allowed for the integration of the village’s existing GIS environment and the Fire departments existing pre-plans into the CAD system. The integration of the pre-plans into the CAD system involved manually mapping the utility and storage area locations in GIS from existing PDFs and computer-aided drawings provided by the Fire department. Once this process was complete, the pre-plan GIS layer was published as part of the village’s existing GIS map application that was also being consumed by the CAD system. With these pre-plans now available in CAD, the process of accessing this valuable information has been streamlined so firefighters and other responders can more effectively do their job and be better prepared when arriving on scene.