President’s Award: City of Frisco, Texas

The City of Frisco, TX, GIS team showcases SAFER: Situational Awareness for Emergency Response, a first responder system. Susan Olson, GIS Manager and members of her team highlight the use of intelligent maps in public safety throughout city departments. Assistant Fire Chief Paul Siebert illustrates how the system is used during a simulated fire at a school, to identify where the fire lanes and hydrants are, handle evacuation planning, and identify hazardous materials inside the building.

Aug 25th, 2010

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00:01It now gives me great pleasure to give the President's Award.

00:03This is an award I get to personally make every year, and it's pretty neat.

00:08This year it's given to a very small town in Texas called Frisco.

00:12I want to show you a quick video about Frisco, and then we'll proceed.

00:26It's one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas and the nation.

00:30The Frisco Independent School District is home to more than 30,000 students attending 42 schools, including three new ones.

00:37In 2009, FISD opened an Early Childhood school, an elementary, and a new high school...

00:43...plus a sixth high school is already on the way.

00:47Given this growth, it's no surprise students' safety is a top priority.

00:52We're always looking for ways to try to keep our schools safe. In this case, FISD didn't look far.

00:58In 2008, the district teamed with the city of Frisco's information technology, police, and fire departments...

01:03...to develop a unique program called SAFER.

01:07Situational Awareness for Emergency Response integrates multiple city and school district information databases...

01:13...and gives Frisco's first responders real-time access to the most up-to-date information from a single screen.

01:21It's the most advanced tool that I'm aware of. It gives us an incredible amount of information almost instantly...

01:28...wherever we are, wherever the responder is. It also gives everyone on the scene the opportunity to have the same view.

01:38SAFER allows Frisco firefighters and police officers to begin their plan of attack even before the first units arrive.

01:44SAFER information is accessible from mobile data computers and squad cars, fire trucks, and ambulances...

01:50...from MDCs inside the fire department's mobile command unit and from the Emergency Operations Center, or EOC.

01:58If I want a unit at this particular location, I can take my finger and draw on the screen a little mark...

02:03...and it pops up on every other police officer's screen, and the ability to pop up on every fireman's screen, and see...

02:09...this is where we're putting the unit and this is where we have an officer.

02:11That's big; that's not something I ever thought I would see in my career.

02:15SAFER was a year in the making. At least a half-dozen city IT staff members, with varying areas of expertise...

02:21...worked to design the tailor-made program both city and school stakeholders envisioned.

02:26From the beginning, the major design criteria was to design in such a way that for our first responders...

02:33...they would access the same way they're accessing other information for other emergencies.

02:38The last thing you need when responding to an emergency is trying to find information that you may not have, or even worse...

02:44...incorrect information.

02:46We believe that it can save lives; we believe that it can save property. Does it live up to its name?

02:51Absolutely. It makes Frisco safer.

03:04We picked this particular one, or I would say I picked this particular one, because it's kind of like the "little city who could."

03:10This is a small city and they have a very small GIS and IT staff.

03:15They were able to blend GIS with their whole IT infrastructure and then come out with this incredible, incredible application.

03:23So I'm very pleased to introduce to you, maybe, Susan Olson and her team! Please.

03:31She's going to talk for a couple minutes and show you some of what she's done. Susan, here we are.

03:40Thank you, good luck. One last thing, this little award has been all around the world...different cities, different places...

03:49...so Susan, it gives me a great pleasure to give you this, and you really deserve it...you and your team.

03:54Thank you. It's a great honor to be here today. We really appreciate the award. It's been an incredible ride.

04:01I want to thank Jack and his team for making this possible and for seeing something special in us.

04:07As it was mentioned, we are a relatively small GIS team of six; we brought two with us here today.

04:13John Morley is our senior analyst, and Brian Mackie, he's our public safety analyst.

04:18And with a little help of technology, you can see the rest of our team back in Frisco are here with us today.

04:34They've been watching along live this morning so they can be a part of this incredible community and experience.

04:41Hi, guys. Hello?

04:45[Greetings] Hi!

04:47Good morning. Susan's GIS team is at the center of our universe here in Frisco.

04:52Thank you, Jack and Esri, for this recognition and award.

04:58I have two thoughts for you. First is that I feel that GIS has been successful at the City of Frisco...

05:05...because it's centralized and an integral part of the IT department.

05:11IT works together to support all the departments...to support all the departments...

05:21...and everyone understands that intelligent maps are a key to the city's success.

05:27And second, we approach all of our projects believing we will make a difference, and we do.

05:34SAFER is one of our many pride and joys that we built on top of ArcGIS with the help of GeoComm and our first responders.

05:43And to help make this point, we brought a special surprise along today...our assistant fire chief Paul Siebert...

05:51...who's going to share with us how the first responders are using SAFER in their vehicles today.

06:00Engine 654, automatic fire alarm. Frisco High School, 6401 Parkwood, 6401 Parkwood.

06:07Your cross streets are Chapel Creek and Stonebrook. That number is Lincoln 1448.

06:12It's 2 a.m. and we've just been dispatched to a smoke investigation at Frisco High School.

06:17We roll out of bed, we rub the sleep out of our eyes, and we climb up into those big half-million-dollar fire trucks.

06:22We've got to make sure that we're the closest unit, because we want to make sure we get a fast response to the high school.

06:27So we look around, make sure we are the closest unit, and we pull out of the station, make a right on the street.

06:33Now we want to be able to give information to our driver. We want to make sure we can get there quickly and safely.

06:39So we look and zoom closer in to the school, and we can see the major roads around the facility...

06:44...and we can see the best way to get there.

06:47Once we've got that information to our driver, now we can zoom closer in to the school; we can see the site plan.

06:53And we're looking for key information on this site plan.

06:55It's going to give us information like where the fire lanes are located, where the fire hydrants are...

07:00...and where that fire department connection is, which is how we connect to the sprinkler system to put water in there.

07:06When we want to get additional information that we've gathered previously out there...

07:09...we can go to the prefire plan information, which is connected to the site detail interface.

07:14And in that information, we're able to look and see how that building's constructed...

07:18...and what unique hazards we've noticed out there before that we want to be on the lookout for.

07:22And we're also able to see a chemical inventory list of all the hazardous materials that are inside the building...

07:28...very important to us.

07:30We also want to make sure we understand who it is we want to talk to at the school district...

07:34...and through a collaboration with the school district, we're able...they're able to update the information through a SharePoint site...

07:40...as that information changes. So if they just changed principals the day before, we get the most updated contact information.

07:48Now we want to take a closer look; we want to look at the floor plan and start to remember the last time we were out there at the school...

07:54...what those hallways looked like and what those rooms...how the rooms were laid out and what those rooms were used for.

08:00When we zoom in, we can see that the color coding underneath the rooms gives us different information...

08:04...green for the administration area and pink for the nurse's office.

08:09But now we really get to see how SAFER works.

08:13We get to see an amazing thing; we get real-time information from inside those schools.

08:16By clicking on one of 1700 different cameras, we're able to get a live video feed from inside the hallway.

08:23And so I can see, three miles before I get to the school that there's smoke inside that hallway, and I can call for additional resources.

08:32I can bring more engines and more ladder trucks and a battalion chief with me.

08:36And now we're able to get this information, put it together, and now I can focus on my job...

08:41...which is to take a hose line inside of that building and put that fire out inside of that room.

08:46We're going to call that plan A. But in our world, we always have to consider plan B and plan C...

08:51...'cause things just don't always work out the way we want them to. So we're going to worry about...

08:55...The plan B and plan C are what the battalion chief is going to worry about.

08:59Their job is going to be consider...how do we create a perimeter around this room so that the fire doesn't spread and take down the whole building.

09:06And we need to consider what kind of resources we need in order to do that.

09:09How many ladder trucks are we going to need and how much water? And water is a key one.

09:14We need to understand what kind of water supply we've got. And we can turn on the water layer...

09:18...and we can see that we've got 8-inch water lines underneath this school. We do some quick math...

09:24...and we're able to know that we can put four ladder trucks on that 8-inch water line before we run the water line dry.

09:30But we can also use other layers. We can use the storm sewers and the contours for hazardous materials incidents.

09:36We can use the parcels for evacuations. We can even use the highway mile markers so that if somebody gets into an accident on the toll way...

09:44...and they just can't see anything else except those highway mile markers...

09:47...that we can find them. This information is incredibly valuable to us, and you've seen how we've just used it on one incident today.

09:55But SAFER is really part of a bigger program.

09:58It includes our Emergency Operations Center, our police dispatch, and our mobile command center.

10:04Firefighters respond to incidents like this every day, and they call us heroes for that.

10:10But now they're armed with the information that GIS professionals just like you are providing to us.

10:17But we come home safer because of that.

10:19And in my book, that makes all of you heroes just as much as anybody that puts on one of these. Thank you very much.

10:31Thank you, sir.

10:40Ladies and gentlemen, the 2010 President's Award winner...the City of Frisco!

Copyright 2014 Esri
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