OSWEGO – The Oswego County Planning Office has joined forces with the Oswego City Fire Department to assist with emergency planning by using its Geographic Information System.
This mapping technology allows users to input, analyze, and organize data based on geographic location.
“The backbone of this technology is centered on partnerships,” said David Turner, director of the Oswego County Community Development, Tourism and Planning Department. “Chief (Randy) Griffin understood the potential for GIS in emergency situations and reached out to us for assistance in developing maps to help first responders. Through shared information and open communication channels, we’ve been able to create a new perspective for emergency response.”
GIS software layers a wide variety of data to build digital maps that show ‘the big picture.’
Users can learn specifics about a geographic area such as population or hazards; see patterns, threats or other issues; and ultimately make better, more informed decisions.
“GIS technology is changing the way fire departments work to keep the public safe,” said Oswego City Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management Griffin. “With this software, we can access reliable information when we need it in real-time. Knowing about area hazards, specific equipment and supplies needed, or the area’s call history all helps us to better direct our resources in handling emergencies.”
He added, “Working with the county planning office, we are creating a vast geographic database which includes information about everything from schools, commercial buildings, and high-risk occupant residential buildings to utilities, pipes and cables, and hydrants.”
Oswego County Associate Planner Martin Weiss said, “We can display a lot of data with computerized mapping. Many things can be shown aerially, but we focused on the more dense population areas of the city, such as campuses and high-occupancy buildings to places where people gather for events.”
GIS is a common operating platform that helps first responders navigate a variety of environments and emergency situations quickly and more efficiently, making it a key component in public safety.
For more information about GIS, call the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning at 315-349-8292.