The mission of the Fire Service is to protect life, property and natural resources from fire and other emergencies. With increasing demands, the Fire Service must utilize the best tools, techniques and training methods to meet public expectations. Risk management, preparedness and mitigation have taken on new importance with challenges facing the fire service today. Effective response cannot be achieved without adequate planning and preparedness. One of the emerging tools that are helping fire service optimizes its emergency services delivery is Geographic Information System (GIS) Technology. GIS support planning, preparedness, mitigation, response and incident management. GIS extends the capability of maps — intelligent, interactive maps with access to all types of information, analysis and data. More important, GIS provides the required information when, where and how it is needed.
Strategic planning in the fire industry is of utmost importance. There are three location-based questions that need to be answered for effective planning which are :
Geographical Information System is the most apt solution provider as it is specifically designed to answer such queries. GIS based tools for the fire fighting services range from Web based solutions to desktop applications. GIS can provide a framework for organizing data from many sources that relate to the fire strategy development. GIS can improve fire response by integrating and centralizing various data in different formats.