Aug. 20, 2004
With the new technology of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and new map-based methods, fire, police and EMS personnel in emergency situations can improve their response time, effectiveness, and personal safety in emergency situations.

The enormous and unprecedented amount of data that can assist officials and technicians in homeland security, law enforcement and emergency services will be presented at The Future of Map-Based Tools for Emergency Services at HACC. The free conference is at the Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center on HACC's Harrisburg Campus from 8am to 4:30pm on Wednesday, August 25. Nationally recognized leaders in the application of GIS to homeland security and emergency services are featured.

"The use of GIS in emergency services is the wave of the future" says Steve Hietsch, executive director of the Shumaker Public Safety Training Center at HACC. "GIS gives emergency services personnel access to extraordinary amounts of information right at their fingertips. And, through computerized technology, the information is available in the rapid-access format that is mandatory for emergency response situations."

GIS blends information technology with geography. Layers of geographic information like topographic, demographic, crime statistics, utility, facility, image and other resource data are combined for analysis. The layers used depends on the purpose of a project.

Conference attendees will observe case studies about the use of GIS and how it is implemented for effective emergency response. The day's activities include:

8-9am - Registration and continental breakfast9-10am - Keynote Speaker: David Sanko, Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)

10-10:15am - PBS&J of Chantilly, VA: An overview of the Hazard Assessment and Modeling System (HAZMUS). Used in metro Washington DC area for emergency shelter location and capacity analysis.

10:15 - 10:30am - break

10:30-11:15am - iMapData of Washington, DC - Overview of Critical Infrastructure Management System (CIMS) used to identify vulnerabilities across urban counties. Federally contracted with the FBI.

11:15am-noon - SmartResponse of Harrisburg - Map-based emergency response system integrated with fire training.

Noon-1pm - lunch

1-1:45pm IDSi of Fort Lee, New Jersey Case study about documenting, reporting and locating hazardous materials in and around Richmond, VA

1:45-2:30pm - ESRI of Philadelphia Geographic Crime Analysis and Mapping Solutions (GeoCAMS) in use at the county level.

3:15-3:30pm - break

3:30-4:30pm - Discussion panel/Q & A Panel of emergency services managers, policy makers and vendors discuss future direction for map-based applications.

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