Analyzing Fire Department Response with PostGIS

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Analyzing Fire Department Response with PostGIS

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Analyzing Fire Department Response with PostGIS
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Local government fire departments always face scrutiny of their performance and efficiency. They are continuously asked to do a better job with fewer resources. In this highly technical session we will show how PostGIS is being used to analyze and measure performance throughout the city and plan for future resource requirements. Every city we work with is unique in some way. Some fire departments act as the local ambulance service while other cities contract with private ambulance companies. Emergency “911” response centers are often managed by police/law enforcement departments but not always! Many cities also have “mutual aid” agreements with neighboring cities to assist them when needed. For our customers PostGIS stores and manages the geo-located events (fires, hazardous spills, etc.) and provides details about the departments and individual emergency vehicle performance. It is most interestingly used to create statistical reports about things such as “Effecive Response Force” and “Resource Drawdown”, which are used to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the department. Please come to learn how PostGIS is used to analyze things such as primary response areas and fire hazard severity zones, allowing our customers to ask more advanced, geographically based questions.
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it was
very good morning and so on as my partner just described I would like to talk to you a little bit about and analysing fire department responses with pose GIS spatial database so I just want I acknowledge a little bit that originally this presentation was intended to be a very technical very highly detailed in what exact sequel command we ran in post GIS to analyze these results and how we used a database cursors to summarize the information but ever after attending so many presentations this week an extremely highly detailed no information where there was JavaScript examples on the screen and big tables of numbers and such I decided I was really just going to take a different a little bit different approach and just give it to a bit more of an overview on to really explain what they were doing and why we're doing this so if you do 1 of learn more about the mechanics the specific details of post GIS and how we employed it to get some of this hard to get some of these answers I'm more than happy to discuss any that with you today you can reach out to me via e-mail via Twitter on and I will tell you everything absolutely that I can I'm
just to put a little bit is in context I wanna tell you a couple of things on May of 2015 just earlier this year into the number 2 0 5 0 0 4 7 3 8 4 in the San Diego north county and the 9 1 1 dispatch system there was a vegetation fires that started out as a truck that caught on fire and over the course of the day evolved into 100 acres of fire that were responded to by 17 different fire engines 3 different fire departments 13 support vehicles and in the end cause 18 million dollars worth of damage in March of
2003 there was a medical emergency and 3 ambulances responded there were 4 fatalities so 3 ambulances medical emergency is is a pretty significant medical emergency they tell you this
but just again to put this in context to remind you that this this isn't about data this isn't about databases isn't even about technology it's really about people's lives it's about people's property it's about people's livelihood I minutes ago by the government's ability to productive protect its citizens and of course the technology is the means to an end to do this but we should always keep in mind especially at events like this where it's a lot of technical stuff that were not here to service each other we're here to the to provide this technology to those needed to answer questions so
our clients our municipal fire departments and largely in California but also in the eastern coast of the United States and it may become apparent to you that you do have to have a mustache in order to be a fire chief in the United States so that that's a line of work that interest you start start now I on a few key
concepts that we just wanna go over I'm sure somebody very familiar to you in general I but I just like to touch on that by the United States the phone number we call a to get emergency services whether that be police medical assistance a fire is 9 1 1 on the phone and ultimately all those calls end up back at a computer-aided dispatch system manned by someone like this I would takes those calls takes down the information in an incredibly rapid manner and this probably 1 of the most cool-headed collected people you could ever meet and her job is to make sure the service that you need to get out of this emergency comes as quickly as possible but
now these people deal with a variety of questions on people call in their 1st responses so 9 1 1 what is your emergency I but sometimes it's a medical emergency in this case the gentleman but it doesn't know what to do was white has gone into labor and and he doesn't know how to respond and she asks him she says is this your 1st son is this your 1st born this is no longer husband the so this is you know maybe a little humorous but um but again the calls they get range from this to the most extreme related to that example we gave at the beginning so so the just take a minute if you ever have a chance to come across any 9 1 operator and give them a hug or at least on given the thumbs up
and this guy that's probably how is the so computer-aided
dispatch systems are pretty complex they involve working with the power company to make sure the system the uninterrupted involves working with the phone companies to make sure these calls can get through land cell phone lines and increasingly involve involves of course GPS location and so they can find a where you are calling from them and it involves getting this information in connecting to the fire police and medical emergency services and call waiting this information sorting it out arranging it in such a way that it can be used later by people but but to most of us this is what
exactly that sort of system looks like it's it's chaotic but it's incredibly valuable and immeasurably useful but but it's completely insane and there really are only a handful of vendors at least in the US that provide of Computer Aided Dispatch systems particularly for E 9 1 1 the so I job and a slot you
graphics is to take that type of information and presented and produce and things like this so that the fire chiefs for example can see in these 3 surrounding communities where the hot hotspots where do they receive most the calls for most of the types of incidents most of the time at different times of the year or producing travel time information stations 1 and 3 the information kind of trying to be displayed there and is the room darker the lines the longer it takes them to respond to calls in that area I another key concept is the notion of mutual a mutual aid is an agreement among emergency responders to lend assistance across jurisdictional boundaries so you help me I'll help you at any given time the city's fire department resources may be stretched beyond their ability to provide New services of another call comes in and they would not be able to respond in the time that they need to be so they establish mutual relationships with nearby cities again in this case a lot of the work we do is in around the San Diego area and these communities and in through through an organization called North County Fire Joint Powers agreement they agree to provide assistance to 1 another so when bad but has resources available and this the fire department needs some help provide them and this Oceanside et cetera so they form this relationship to really be able to provide services region and
all of this action occurs over a particular time line from when you pick up that phone to when that fire truck leaves the station and that's what this CAD system in large Marge is keeping track of it is when the call comes in all which fire department that should give get dispatched to and how they're going to respond I so in in it's some other more
complex very detailed CAD systems we even have information available from when the phone was picked up when the 9 were not operator 1st touched a key on the keyboard when that call entered the queuing system In order in in other words to be assigned to an available responded when the operator hung up and when that call was dispatched in other words when that call rang the alarm at the fire station but most of the time we don't have this level of detail but in some cases we do on and that's actually a whole nother process this analyzing the effectiveness of the dispatch service themselves typically this is the information that the fire service itself is concerned with once they get the call what happens how they respond they get dispatched other words they received the call you they are in a rout in other words they leave the station and go to the incident they arrive on scene and after the incident His finished or at least after their role in that incident is finished they again become available to duration turn out at that time it took for them to get that truck out the door duration travel how long it's taken to get their duration and seeing how long were they responding Bacall before they became available again to respond other incidents and have that really to high-level key metrics and come up duration response general words from when we got the call the when we got there how long did it take and duration committed from when we got the call until that truck became available again what's the duration committed that roles in the higher level metrics like resource drawdown which gives you an idea of as more and more of our resources are committed our ability to respond to new incidents diminishes and therefore we may need to rely on a mutual aid agreements the 1 of the higher level metrics and that kind of bubbles up from all this information is something called the effective response force I sir effective response force is the minimum complement of resources needed to effectively respond to a particular type of incidents yeah and if you
the so for example large structure fire and it could be that in order to respond to a large structure fire where the building is larger than a certain size were gonna need to fire engines 1 ambulance in 1 fire chief at a minimum that's what we need in order to effectively handle that incident and so this is really where the higher level analysis with something like post crescent post GIS comes into play is taking that individual data on and some arising in sorting through it in such a way that we can determine this information that the simple metrics are are exactly that they're easy to compute the or average amount of time it takes to respond to an incident this past month or average utilization of a specific ambulance those those things are easy on this higher-level information becomes a little more difficult to compute especially when you consider things like fire trucks move around from station to station so there might be a fire engine and this is a vehicle that cost upward of a million dollars so fire department that has 3 stations isn't gonna by 3 of these trucks but they're gonna buy 1 and position it at different places throughout the day and to best serve what they expect might happen so they wanna be able answer questions on a question that just came out recently Carlsbad that was station Amber 6 has been running over time staff for 2 and a half years in other words the staff that they've got there have been working more than full time in order to satisfy the number of calls to think you and so what they wanna know is what per cent of the time was their effective response force on scene within 8 minutes let's 8 minutes is a very common metric for a maximum on a time that they want it to take to respond at any given instant and so what percentage of the time had they effectively been able to deal with these calls and so that in that involves over some period of time looking at the incidents that they've responded to the type of incidence those are what the effective response force is for each of those different types of incidents I fiddling with that data in a tool like post post grass and to come up with that information and ultimately they wanna know how might adding 3 new staff members help improve our response to so if they decide and or determine that 12 per cent of the time it takes the more than 8 minutes I How theoretically is adding 3 new Fire Fighters can to help them reduce that time that it takes I as you may expect and there's been a lot of presentations that touched on this this week and it all comes down to the data and the data coming in from this CAD system and and a lot of times the data is far from perfect and in fact a lot of times that data is complete rubbish and you can't use it you shouldn't use it you have to go back and tell them for whatever reason the information we got last nite is not usable and so I know you wanna know what the average response time is but i is a professional can't give you that answer because the data is not reliable they don't wanna hear that on and they call you in the yell at you and but that's that's the way it is that's our job on and so the last couple of slides I just wanted to show here kind of illustrate exactly that I that challenge that we have again when it comes to the data they're saying before the CAD systems tend to be complex probably often overly complex too complex and what we've got a showing here is these CAD codes so in other words these these codes that 2 generated by the CAD computer system as the operator is entering in this information so we've got these code called the S S T Ds P and D E I have no earthly idea what these codes mean on exactly what they relate to what I know is any time I see an incident or 4 an entry in the CAD system with the code a s-st really that's a timestamp for when a unit was dispatched to the call likewise these 6 or so different codes in the system ultimately all indicate when did that unit again become available unseen enRoute call received so these go back to the time line that I was describing earlier on a couple of things in there that we didn't really touch on but were also transport departing transporter right so transporters an ambulance service so what time did the ambulance leave the scene what time to that end we want to get to the heart I some of this is further complicated by the fact that are very typically in the United States the ambulance service is run out of the fire department and so rather than out of a particle hospital rather than as a separate service run and managed by the fire department I other in other communities those use private ambulance service and they have their own systems they have their own CAD system that may or may not interoperate well with the county wider than the the mutual-aid wide CAD systems and even though the in the regulations and laws stipulate that these private ambulance services need to provide us the information that we
want it doesn't say that they have to give it to us the next day or the next week or the next month on and so we're often operating with incomplete information again when it comes back to saying what's the effective response forces that is to include an ambulance we don't have information from that ambulance again we have to tell our customer and we can't really reliably give you that information and he calls us and yells at us and we tell him go yell at your and service so just a couple of examples here and they can illustrate some of this data on unit 1398 arm which I happen to know always an ambulance Carl's bed are in the in this mutual a group that we've been kind using for examples so here's a series of stamps you can see people pointer here you can see we've got our series of timestamps 1 1315 etc. so that all seems very nice we've got that series of codes and that came from the original CAD system and then we've got that collapsed code that really relates that to a specific point in the timeline the the got a nice sequentially ordered series of times these different dispatch and unseen it but the problem we have here is we've got to use time stamps for unseen so if enRoute scanner to see here but if this ambulance left the station at 1 15 and I got on sign on scene at 119 for did it get on-site didn't get on seeing that 1 38 so that's what is that that's 19 minutes of difference now based on our experience I know it did not take from 1 13 to 138 for that ambulance to get and we suspect happen in this case is that this item was incorrectly entered as on seeing what it should have been listed as transport arrive so it is on scene in a sense but it's really when the ambulance got to the hospital right and so from the effective response force metric this would be an item that we would discard but again in this case we only know that because you're familiar with the environment and the resources there's another fun example 19 different time stamps for unseen arrival and about 4 seconds of part 1 2nd apart 10 seconds apart I don't know maybe gone got stuck in the some 100 some keyboard and by some operator and so we look at this so we say aaai I will left the station at 1747 it became available again approximately a half an hour later and we don't really know when did this thing actually arrive on scene the fire chief calls us and he yells at us and we say we're sorry but I'd rather give you know answering get yelled at than give you something wrong so so hopefully that gives you just a good idea again avoided making this extremely highly technical I thought it would be more interesting more useful just to describe what kind of what this processes are so and just a little bit of thanks fire stats and Paul Rosenberg is a statistical analysis company that we work with they operate specifically with the fire service Carlsbad California fire departments in the North County Dispatch which was this mutual aid and organization that I mentioned a lot of these images I frankly just took off of google which I suspect happens a lot this week so all those images are copyrighted accordingly to where I acquired them so but that's that's what I've got to say if there are any questions at all yeah so the how is the process of that intrigue in the database it's a manner processes it in on the fire trucks opposite the dispatch for the operator side like on C is it so it it it depends on the it can it depends on the equipment available in a in a sort of more modern outfitted in equipment where you've got trucks that have say GPS that've 18 in you know where they are at all times there's a little bit more automation to that on the a lot of times from the point of dispatch to the point of available and there's literally like a big red button in the fire truck where the driver gets in the truck at the station the it's the button which basically sends a timestamp back to the CAD system saying I have left the station he gets unseen the it's about which as I have arrived on scene their their role in that response is completed the it's a button and says I am now available so those 3 manual steps right there you can see how that might relate to this type of activity and torrent well thank you very much the