Putting out fires with mapping technology

Mapping technology used in last year's Queensland flood disasters is being used to help South Australia’s Country Fire Service (CFS) volunteers.
The CFS has been working with location intelligence vendor Esri Australia to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) solution that uses multi-layered digital maps to provide front-line crews with detailed information as emergency incidents unfold.
CFS Operations Planning Officer, Nick Cundell said GIS technology can offer valuable environmental and historical data during emergencies.
“When encountering an emergency situation, it’s vital that we know exactly what’s occurring at the incident,” Mr Cundell said.
“GIS technology enables us to access previously collated fire, asset, environmental and other data through an easy-to-understand visual context of maps,” he said.
This information can be analysed to derive greater meaning – and our planning team pass on that information to our people on the ground so they can make informed judgements about how to best respond to a situation, Mr Cundell said.
CFS agency-partner, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources uses the same GIS technology, which has proved particularly valuable during several regional fires, including the Woolundunga fire in the Flinders Ranges in January.
Esri Australia's GIS technology was also used to develop Queensland's Flood Map, which provided a real-time picture of water levels, hazards and emergency infrastructure for local authorities and the public.

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