New Web-based system integrates computer-aided dispatch, records management, geospatial data and mobile resources.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions, Huntsville, Ala., announced that the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD), Calif., has successfully installed an enterprise Web mapping system, based on Intergraph's geospatial data management solutions, that augments its emergency response process. The SRVFPD worked closely with Farallon Geographics ( (San Francisco, Calif.), an Intergraph Registered Solutions Center, to build the new Web-based system, which links the department's computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, records management system (RMS) and geospatial databases. Geospatial data from the new system will be fed to emergency response units via onboard mobile data computers.

The SRVFPD provides both fire and ambulance service to a 155-square-mile territory of Southern Contra Costa County with a current district population of 140,000 people that is rapidly expanding. The district is extremely diverse with two incorporated cities (San Ramon and Danville); a large area of unincorporated residential properties and urban interface areas; high-tech offices and industrial complexes; and large wild land areas, including a large portion of Mt. Diablo State Park.

Ongoing land development in the district created requirements for integrating and simplifying updates of geospatial data. Specifically, the district's current maps, CAD system and RMS needed to be linked to enable firefighters to quickly locate homes in new subdivisions and confirm that nearby fire hydrants are operational. A 17-year veteran user of geographic information systems (GIS) for emergency response management, the department's CAD system is an Intergraph Public Safety product. Geospatial data is managed using Intergraph's GeoMedia desktop and Web technology. The RMS system runs on a SunPro SQL Server.

The SRVFPD and Farallon built a solution driven by Intergraph's GeoMedia WebMap that uses Web interfaces to connect previously isolated CAD, RMS and geospatial databases, allowing tabular and spatial data to be linked for simultaneous viewing. To maintain data integrity and completeness, new data is entered directly into an Oracle 9i Spatial database using carefully designed interfaces. Updated information is instantly available via the Web, regardless of which system is used to enter new data. Using the new Intergraph solution, dispatchers and firefighters in the station and on their trucks have an enhanced ability to access critical digital information such as fire hydrant locations and water pressure zones. Eventually, users will be able to access additional information on property or parcel ownership.

The new Web-based system is the latest enhancement to a vision Battalion Chief, Boyd Clegg, brought to the SRVPFD 17 years ago with the introduction of a simple, computer-aided drafting and design program. Automated mapping became necessary to support a rapidly growing fire district and formed the beginning of what would become a state-of-the-art, integrated CAD/GIS program. Suter and Clegg have continued to search out and develop beneficial uses for GIS in the emergency arena. Both see the spatially integrated data display and update capabilities developed with Farallon as a tremendous addition to the district's system.

Source: Intergraph, March 29, 2005