News

New iPads will help fight fires in Milford

Thursday, February 16, 2012

By KATHY CLEVELAND

Staff Writer

MILFORD – Firefighters have new high-tech tools in their toolbox.

The Milford Fire Department recently acquired two iPads with software that lets them have relevant information about fires before they leave the station.

Geographic Information System, or GIS, is a database and mapping system that is already in place on the town Planning Department’s Web site that allows anyone to access property information.

Last week the iPads, each with an ArcGIS map specially created for the Fire Department, were installed in Engine 2 and in the fire chief’s car. They have all 911 locations, fire hydrant locations and other data that firefighters want to know.

“What’s nice is that we can type the address in before we leave (the station), and I can tell the driver where it is and where all the water supplies are before they get there,” said Capt. Jason Smedick, who has been working on the installation and training for what he says has been a year-long project.

“If we can pull the information up prior to leaving Middle Street,” he said, “we can start decision making well in advance.”

If the department were called to Hitchiner Manufacturing Co., for example, the system would provide maps of the buildings’ exterior and interior, locations of hazardous material, and available water supplies.

With ArcGIS Explorer they can also add photos, reports, videos, and other information to the maps.

Two more iPads will be installed, one in Engine 3 and the other in a vehicle to be determined,.

The project involved several town departments and personnel, including Town Planner Sarah Marchant; Bruce Dickerson, Milford’s director of information technology, and Milford Fire Capt. Ken Flaherty.

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