Chris Farrell

GIS and data uses in the fire service

Blog Post created by Chris Farrell Employee on Jun 15, 2015

Consider that for a moment, an all-hazards response. One important aspect of that is the applicability of GIS as an extremely useful tool in the field. An excellent recent article in Fire Engineering used a case study from West Liberty Fire Department in Ohio to assess rural water supply. GIS analysis enables users to have important information at their fingertips with a little bit of planning and organization.


A recent article in Fire Chief provides another great use of GIS, one we may not immediately think of. The Vulnerability Impact Protocol for Environmental Resources, or VIPER, is a tool to help contain and mitigate runoff from fire-suppression efforts. It was developed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs' Environmental Sustainability Committee. It uses GIS to aid in prevention of contamination of the water supply from fire fighting operations.


Take a moment and think about how your department could use GIS to enhance response and provide responders with more information – I bet you can come up with a great idea!