Dallas Fire-Rescue Geographic Information Services Office (GIS) supports the Department (DFR) and the City of Dallas (COD) in many ways, mostly behind the scenes. GIS is responsible for various mapping and analysis tasks. GIS compiles data concerning some of COD infrastructures for use in emergency situations. This data includes data on apartments, recreation centers that can be used as evacuation sites, and ride locations at the State Fair. GIS also assists with providing boundaries to determine annual hydrant maintenance and business inspection responsibilities for the fire station personnel.
GIS, in conjunction with Dallas Parks and Recreation, came up with a way to identify locations along park trails that are recognized by our Computer Automated Dispatch using 911 Pole Markers with associated addresses and directions. This method is now being used in other cities, as well. The DFR and Parks and Recreation are working together in an ongoing project to equip Dallas trails with these 911 Pole Markers. Maps of all parks and park trails may be located on the provided link to "City of Dallas GIS Services" website.
During large events, GIS can assist with the tracking of equipment. GIS can also provide maps of areas involved in these events, by collecting location information of the event layout and staging areas of both uniform and civilian personnel, and plotting the information by computer into usable formats, both electronic and paper.
When DFR is re-evaluating how best to staff fire stations, GIS can assist by providing maps and analysis based on run information and station/equipment locations. During emergencies, GIS can assist by providing safe distance buffer information and run searches to tell what schools or how many homes are located within a danger zone.
GIS also assists with the resolution of hazardous addresses (those that are inaccurate, hard to find, and difficult to access) within the COD by researching the available address information, making recommendations to the COD Address Coordinator, and advocating for Public Safety in addressing. Those with hazardous addresses may contact the City of Dallas department that is responsible for addressing, platting, and permitting, which is Sustainable Development and Construction (Building Inspection) at the link provided.
GIS also acts as a liaison between Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) and DFR, especially in the realm of hydrant maintenance with the COD. DWU maintains the hydrant data and repairs hydrants within the COD, but DFR performs annual maintenance and is also, obviously, the end user. GIS tries to facilitate accurate addresses and mapped locations of hydrants, as well as the reporting hydrants needing repair.
As you can see, while DFR GIS is not the Geographic Information Service (City GIS) used to maintain, coordinate, oversee, or provide public or city-wide departmental maps, DFR GIS is involved in many different projects to help DFR provide the citizens of Dallas with a safer, more enjoyable city.