The Departmental Service of Fire and Rescue of Maritime Alps (SDIS 06) relies on the performance of Geoconcept solutions to enable its agents to access quickly and easily the Geographic Information System of the organization.

 

The challenge of the SDIS 06: materializing a broad vision of its GIS

The Departmental Service of Fire and Rescue of Maritime Alps (SDIS 06) is a public institution responsible for the prevention, protection and the fight against fires in the department. In the framework of its competences, it also has the missions of prevention and risk assessment of public safety, preparation of safeguard measures and organization of the rescue means, protection of persons, property and the environment and emergency relief to victims of accidents, disasters or catastrophes.

In order to manage geographic information, the SDIS 06 has a real GIS unit that is responsible for updating the mapping databases, to produce paper maps (Atlas) for the Fire and Rescue Centres or also to produce maps on request particularly in the context of events.

For nearly 15 years, the SDIS 06 uses Geoconcept solutions to fulfil the various missions of its GIS unit. In 1997, the SDIS acquired two single-user licenses of Geoconcept Enterprise Solution (GCES), mainly for ergonomics and intuitive interface of this solution, which have clearly made the difference with other market offerings. SDIS completes the device with mobile tablets for navigational aid of the water bombers helicopters and the GPS readings. In 2004, the GIS unit set up the CGAN solution (Computerized Geographic Atlas Networking) based on Geoconcept Enterprise Solution (GCES), links between the clients stations and an Oracle database whose objects lifecycle system are developed around the Geoconcept core by the partner of the editor, Générale d’Infographie. Then in 2007, the SDIS acquired Geoconcept Universal GeoCoder, powerful geocoding solution that can process several million addresses per hour.

With a growing number of users and proven remoteness of certain agents located on different Rescue Centres of the department, the issue of accessing the GIS becomes important. How to allow all agents to easily access the GIS of the SDIS without investing heavily in new single-user licenses? An essential solution: developing a project via the intranet of the SDIS to easily share GIS information with all agents.

The SDIS 06 in figures

80 sites spread across the department
Nearly 5 000 agents
10 GIS specialists (including 4 at Top management level)
A geographic base of 300 000 maps on 3000 media
1 million objects displayed for alert processing
First use of Geoconcept in 1997

 
 

The appropriate Geoconcept response: Geoconcept Web and High Traffic Client (HTC)

Once again, SDIS 06 trusted Geoconcept and implemented in 2008 Geoconcept Internet Server, a complete solution dedicated to the distribution of online maps and to the development of geographical web services.

This solution quickly allows SDIS 06 to facilitate the provision and exchange of geographical information between agents of the organization regardless of their location and their department (remote access to Atlas for the people operating in the field, for example).

In March 2009, the GIS unit decided to gradually migrate to the Ajax Client HTC - High Traffic Client, a web 2.0 type client particularly appropriate to the architecture of the information system and the context of heterogeneous use of SDIS and this thanks to an ingenious system of triple cache. Allowing simultaneous and massive consultation of information, this web client is directly accessible from the Geoconcept Web solution and did not require any installation on user’s stations of the SDIS.
 
After a period dedicated to the deployment of the solution and the technical training of users, the overall system has been operational at the end of 2010. The agents of the Departmental Service of Fire and Rescue of Maritime Alps can now access from their intranet portal, to the GIS application of the organization called «SdIsGéo».
 

The « SdIsGéo » application optimises the management of operations

By guaranteeing the centralization and daily update of accurate and comprehensive geographic data (every 10 minutes for hydrants), the «SdIsGéo» application ensures communication of cartographic information to all participants of the SDIS (information used in the analysis of records, training, operational management, etc.). Connections with the Prefecture and other external partners are also made to maximize the effectiveness of decision-making and operations.

Developing this GIS application and making it accessible to all people in the organization has also resulted in a growing involvement of agents in different departments. The Firemen for example, were introduced to this tool until which it was abstract to the operators. The project also helped to promote the activities of the forecasting functional group (gf3) that was involved through mapping in very important projects of implementation in the operational coverage of the department.
 
« SdIsGéo is a real unifying element, which allows our GIS specialists, administrative and operators to work in synergy and in the same dynamic » says Colonel Patrick Bauthéac, Departmental Director of the Fire Services and Rescue of Maritime Alps.
 
Thanks to the ease of use of the Geoconcept solution and appropriation of the application by SDIS agents, the results were fast. Involvement, responsiveness and efficiency are indeed the three watchwords of this Web project, which success obliges, will soon be more widely deployed to the Firemen to enable them to gain a better understanding of their territory and become more involved in to other aspects of SDIS life such as training or also prevention.