The Departmental Service of Fire and Rescue of the Var (SDIS 83) chose GEOCONCEPT, leader designer of mapping optimization technologies, to coordinate and optimize all of its strategic and operational resources involved in processing emergency alerts.

 

The problems of the SDIS 83

Setting up and updating an operational geographic database and centralizing all operations of crisis management.

SDIS 83 has the main task to support the activities of fight against the fire and rescue of the Var department. As part of its activities, it has therefore looked for a comprehensive and proven mapping tool to optimize the operational management of these emergencies. SDIS 83 has launched a triple challenge :

  • To set up and update an operational digital and paper database for the Emergency Calls Reception Centre. This database now contains two types of atlases :

    - A FDAF Atlas (Forest Defence Against Fire), listing over a hundred pages the FDAF forest trails, water points and tanks. Published with 600 copies each year, it allows giving a consistent level of knowledge to the fire-fighters teams on the ground and the organizations of the department (ONF, DDTM, General Council, Prefecture ...);

    - An Urban Atlas, listing over 15,000 pages on the entire urban network, natural water points and hydrants. Intended for better handling of rescue requests of 153 towns of the Var, this atlas is highly scalable and thus requires regular updates using the information collected in the field.

 

  • Optimizing the management of all water points of the department by refining their inventory and by establishing a regular flow / pressure check on each device. The centralized management of water points allows optimizing their distribution and alerting the municipality concerned in case of failure.
     
  • Implementing a consistent and unifying crisis management system, which implies for the SDIS three key developments:

    - All multimedia data should be centralized in the APIS 83 Repository (Permanent Fire and Rescue Atlas);
    - The operation of APIS data at both the CSP level (remote sites) and centrally (Top Management Level) requires building a Departmental Distributed Architecture;
    - It is essential to reach users on the field and to encourage nomadisation of the access to data and feedback, by implementing an intranet in particular.
 

The appropriate reply from GEOCONCEPT: interoperability, web platform and latest generation GIS engine.

In March 2002, following a call for tenders, the SDIS 83 has accepted the proposal of GEOCONCEPT which combined the performance of its mapping engine with its modular solutions to best suit the needs expressed :

  • THE GIS Geoconcept Enterprise (GCE). This client / server solution allows SDIS 83 to benefit from a high flexibility implementation and multiple opportunities to create the architecture adapted to its requirements. In terms of features, GCE allows developing and modifying the atlas to identify areas at risk, optimize the allocation of resources, monitor developments or also simulate an emergency situation.
     
  • Geoconcept WebGeoconcept Web is the GEOCONCEPT web solution that provides remote access to the atlas for the people operating in the field, through simple viewing or update / creation. In addition to the Geoconcept GIS engine a complementary management module (access rights, change management, metadata) was developed by Générale d’Infographie, GEOCONCEPT’s partner.

 

The ease of use was a key criterion in the selection of the Geoconcept GIS by the SDIS 83. The Fire Department, whose job is in the field, needed only one week of training of the tool and were operational in a month. This easy user’s access to GEOCONCEPT solutions has allowed the SDIS 83 to employ only two GIS specialists, as administrators.

The GEOCONCEPT solutions were chosen because:
- Their object-oriented engine, easier to grasp for field staff;
- The possibility of provision of all the functions sought by the SDIS (querry, draw an object, change it);
- The SmartLabel tool, inside the GEOCONCEPT engine, and allowing customizing and optimizing the display of maps for better readability.
 

An optimized management uniting all the forces of the SDIS

After a one year period of deployment across the network, GEOCONCEPT solutions were fully operational in September 2004.

The data update phase of the hydrants can then begin, executed directly on the field by the Fire-fighters themselves. While 3000 water points were previously mapped with an accuracy of 150 meters, the GEOCONCEPT tools today helped to identify 20,000 water points with an accuracy of 1 meter.

Since July 2005, the SDIS 83 has started the data update of the Urban Atlas. Once the centralization of this data is finalized, the first digital version of the atlas was published in late 2008; the data was then constantly updated through Geoconcept Web. «Without Geoconcept tool, we would not have been able to ensure a centralized database needed for optimal management of alert processing” says Commander Poppi, Head of the Mapping and Monitoring Department of water points within the SDIS 83. In total 25 users work with Geoconcept Enterprise within the Top Management level and Main Rescue Centres (MRC). 75 RIC (Rescue Intervention Centres) are connected to the Internet Geoconcept Server and re-update the data on 100 to 150 hydrants daily.

The SDIS 83 today notes a clear improvement in its responsiveness and efficiency of its operations, and a real time saving. The operational teams have also really adopted the GEOCONCEPT tools. Given this success, the SDIS 83 has been able to implement databases necessary for its centralized call handling and to ensure their update.

« GEOCONCEPT has brought together all the forces of the SDIS and put everybody in motion. Today, the operators in the field and the administrative staff are working in the same momentum, on the same mapping repository and get involved with belief in their mission», said Commander Poppi. «Every role is important and the accuracy of the data directly affects the field efficiency ».

The SDIS 83 in figures

6 600 km2 of territory of which 75 % forests - 1 000 000 inhabitants, 1 200 000 estimated in summer - 75 rescue centres, 900 professional firemen and 3 000 volunteers - 150 forest fires gears - 4 water bombers helicopters.