The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) provides both fire and ambulance service to a population of more than 140,000 residents. SRVFPDwas a pioneer in GIS and its relationship to emergency response. As the district developed, so did the need for additional GIS components. New land development meant that the District’s GIS maps, CAD system, and records management system (RMS) had to be integrated to allow fire fighters to quickly find homes in new subdivisions and confirm that nearby fire hydrants were connected to functional pressure zones. To accomplish this, the District sought Farallon’s help to integrate SunPro RMS with its Intergraph GIS and CAD systems.
Farallon and SRVFPD staff built a web-based system, driven by Intergraph’s GeoMedia, to tie together these three systems. The existing GIS (consisting of Intergraph’s GeoMedia and WebMap software) was linked to Oracle Spatial and SQL Server databases to manage critical layers such as street centerlines, addresses, parcel and fire hydrant data. The Oracle database also powered the Intergraph CAD system and MDC terminals deployed in the fire trucks. The RMS was another independent system.
With the new integrated system, the GIS can feed geospatial data from the GIS and asset maintenance information from RMS. The GIS system manages all relevant information and ensures that all spatial relationships are valid. Farallon’s web interfaces connect the previously isolated databases so that the tabular and the spatial data are linked and can be viewed simultaneously.
Completeness and accuracy of the data was crucial. Data is only entered once, directly into the GIS, and can be entered by staff with minimal training or technical knowledge. Data integrity is maintained through a carefully designed interface that ensures geospatial data can only be entered in a valid fashion. Records are compared to RMS data, at which point an operator can establish a linkage between matching records. The data is now centrally managed across applications and may be accessed directly in the field through the MDCs.
Farallon’s GIS/RMS/CAD integration effort allows a user to click on a feature, such as a hydrant, and receive critical and accurate data from the RMS while simultaneously viewing an accurate spatial representation. Since the two databases are communicating, the fire fighter can feed new or revised data into the RMS data table and it automatically (in real time) feeds into the web display for the user to see. This ensures precise data that can be utilized as soon as it is entered. This increases efficiency and decreases the potential for error.
With this new integrated Farallon-Intergraph solution, the ability of dispatchers in the station and firefighters on their trucks to access critical digital information is greatly enhanced. They can rapidly and easily find hydrant locations, water pressure zones, and will eventually be able to access additional information on the owner of the property or parcel to which they are responding.
As SRVFPD installs GPS-enabled mobile terminals into each fire truck, crews will be able to map exactly where they are in relation to the emergency, automatically determine the best route to arrive, instantly identify the closest and most suitable hydrants, and have information regarding surrounding at-risk buildings. Having all of this information with the click of a button, while in route to a call, will give responders a distinct advantage that will help save lives.