Fire Departments to Gain GIS Expertise for Developing Safety Programs

Esri and Alchemy Management have selected five of the nation’s leading fire rescue departments to take part in the 2014 National Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Leadership Program.

As part of the program, Esri announced that it will train fire rescue staff on how to use mapping software to identify community risk, establish risk prevention programs and prioritize neighborhood outreach and education.

Twenty fire service leaders and faculty members will come together for the five-day inaugural workshop that will provide staff resources and expert training to build a comprehensive, intelligence-led, integrated risk reduction program,” Esri said. The departments were nominated by national fire service prevention experts and community risk reduction specialists.

"Safe, sustainable communities are the bedrock of our society," said Jim Crawford, program manager, Vision 20/20, the Institution of Fire Engineers’ fire loss prevention project. "This program will advance the goal of fire protection among our nation’s fire service leadership. Our goal is to bring talented fire service innovators together to build relationships that are critical to shaping and advancing the future."

In addition to the inaugural event, Esri said the program will include a second weeklong workshop to be held after a six-month pilot period. Both sessions will include training on the use of GIS for understanding patterns of risk causality and improving resource allocation. Participants will learn how to apply statistical methods to incident data, combine it with demographic lifestyle data, and perform geospatial analysis that identifies high-risk areas. Participants will then develop programs to reduce these risks and prioritize intervention strategies based on location. The program will also examine how embedding CRR into organizations requires a transformational leadership approach.

Each participating department has identified a team of data analysts and executive officers to participate. The teams will attend both workshops to learn, share experience from within and outside the United States, and oversee an individualized pilot project to reduce risk in their community.

The first workshop, to be held May 12–16 at Duke University Fuqua School of Business in Durham, North Carolina, will cover cutting-edge developments in four key components of effective community risk reduction:

  • CRR models, methodologies, strategies, and guiding principles;
  • Using operational intelligence;
  • Designing and implementing effective risk reduction programs; and
  • Managing transformational change;

The fire departments selected to participate in the 2014 Community Risk Reduction Leadership Program are the following:

  • Austin Fire Department, Texas;
  • Fresno Fire Department, California;
  • Richmond Fire Department, Virginia;
  • Rancho Cucamonga Fire District, California;
  • Stockton Fire Department, California;
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