Esri ArcGIS helps firefighters with mutual response

October 23, 2017  - By
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The International Association of Fire Chiefs, Intermedix and Esri have signed an agreement to build the National Mutual Aid System or NMAS.

The NMAS will be the next-generation version of the IAFC’s Mutual Aid Net tool built in 2008. The NMAS will use Esri ArcGIS and Intermedix’s WebEOC, a crisis information management software, to manage and track emergency services resources during mutual-aid responses.

During large-scale emergencies and disasters, it is critical for response personnel to have easy access to a mutual-aid system for managing their resources. WebEOC will allow IAFC to manage information sharing, event reporting and task management in a central, web-based environment that allows IAFC to connect to partner agencies and organizations during response efforts.

The use of spatial data to identify and respond quickly and effectively is also paramount. Esri’s ArcGIS platform brings mutual aid management data into a location context, integrating that information into spatial analysis technology that emergency responders around the world use every day.

The IAFC has long been the leader in supporting state and local fire and emergency management communities in disaster management. The current Mutual Aid Net is used to identify, request and deploy resources for mutual aid support.

The NMAS will use the latest technology to help decision makers accomplish these tasks faster, easier and more accurately.

The use of Intermedix’s WebEOC and Esri’s ArcGIS platforms provides information sharing, decision support and situational awareness capabilities to jurisdictions, regions and countries around the globe.

The foundation of NMAS will be on the WebEOC platform which through the ArcGIS Extension for WebEOC will provide access and integration to Esri online tools and dashboards.

The result of this integration is the near real-time data availability of WebEOC information within ArcGIS Online applications, without the need for any development, middleware or technical expertise.

“The IAFC is extremely pleased to partner with Intermedix and Esri to build the next generation of the National Mutual Aid System,” said Tommy Hicks, IAFC’s Chief Programs & Technology Officer and Assistant Executive Director. “Ensuring that emergency managers and responders have real-time information and resources at their fingertips is an essential to protecting their communities from harm.”

“Identifying the status and availability of resources for mutual aid support has always been challenging,” said Russ Johnson, Esri global director, emergency response. “In today’s environment with increasingly complex multi-jurisdictional incidents, this need is greater than ever. Through the leadership of IAFC and the partnership between Esri and Intermedix, the ability to know the availability of required mutual aid resources and immediately request them will be realized. This will be a major step forward in supporting public safety agencies throughout the country.”

“Intermedix looks forward to our partnership with IAFC and an expansion of our partnership with Esri,” said Bob Watson, Intermedix president of preparedness solutions. “Our mission is to serve those who save lives, and the National Mutual Aid Net project is perfectly aligned with that mission. The only effective way to respond to emergencies is through collaborations and partnerships between public and private organizations. The National Mutual Aid Net takes that principle and puts it into practice. We are honored to be a part of this undertaking.”

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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