South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) has become the first public sector customer of a ground-breaking new ‘on-demand’ service from Ordnance Survey. The OS OnDemand Web Map Tile Service (WMTS-like) will enable SYFR to utilise a single web based view of their geographic location data across a range of systems and platforms from fire incident data to the location of fire hydrants to improve the accessibility of its operational information.
The availability of current and accurate geographic information such as the location of fire hydrants and site specific risk information is of fundamental importance to fire and rescue services so that they can plan and respond to incidents.
By linking the OS OnDemand WMTS-like service to back office and web based applications, SYFR will have a single, easy to access view of their own location data plotted on Ordnance Survey maps, and available for staff to view over the intranet.
SYFR also intend to develop the tool to plot actual incidents against other datasets such as community safety activity to inform future prevention work.
With all local authorities and emergency services required to make efficiency savings, reducing the costs of maintaining up-to-date and consistent data across a range of users has become an increasingly important issue. Like many other Fire and Rescue service, SYFR has acquired a range of mapping data and GIS software. All these systems require additional effort to be maintained and kept consistent to be effective.
By using the ‘hosted’ OS OnDemand WMTS-like service, SYFR are able to utilise a large number of the Ordnance Survey products made available under our Public Service Mapping Agreement to a greater level without having to worry about the overhead of storing and keeping mapping data up-to-date and consistent across the organisation.
SYFR have already linked the OS OnDemand WMTS-like service to their Incident Recording System (IRS) and have used it to allow station personnel to query and correct the location of non-addressable incidents. In the future it is hoped that SYFR will be able to utilise the OS OnDemand WMTS-like service to provide an easy to use tool that supports the publication of incident statistics in line with its desire to increase transparency of data.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell said “Advanced mapping techniques are an important way for us to plan how we deliver our services and to analyse and report on our work. This new service will allow us to do that more accurately and efficiently”.
“For the first time, the whole organisation be it fire-fighters on station or community safety officers planning our work to prevent emergencies, will be able to access and use this information to make sure our work is as effective and targeted as it possibly can be”.