Through a TIIAP grant to the City of Winston-Salem, fire department vehicles responding to emergencies in Winston-Salem and surrounding communities will have access to graphic information about the emergency sites as they respond. The project will serve 17 fire stations, 254 fire fighters and 12 support personnel, and the population of 162,000 persons in a 100 square mile area. Detailed images of all city buildings will be created and made accessible in the fire department vehicles by using various technologies, such as document imaging, graphic information systems (GIS), CD-ROM, mobile computers, global positioning technology, and computer networking.
As fire inspections of buildings are conducted, inspectors will note locations of sprinkler systems, fire hose connections, hazardous materials, disabled persons and any other pertinent information that could aid in a rescue operation. This information will be transmitted weekly from each fire inspection station over a high-speed transmission line to a central location. From that point, a CD-ROM will be created and regularly updated for each emergency vehicle.
Citizens in Winston-Salem and surrounding counties will be the major beneficiaries of this new system. The system will enable fire fighters to fight and contain fires more effectively, to save lives and property, and, in some cases, prevent fires from spreading to other locations. The system will give fire fighters better decision-making options during emergency responses. The system will demonstrate how having detailed information about buildings in advance can reduce loss of life, injuries, and property damage.