I've noted the federally funded study to determine the best way to find volunteer firefighters before (APB coverage). Here's how one county involved in the GIS study is doing.
The study is designed to help departments reach that goal [having enough paid and volunteer firefighters]. Of the 20 departments taking part, 10 participated in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Segmentation study, and the other 10 are in a control group engaging in a traditional recruitment campaign, according to a news release.
The Martinsville [VA] department was part of the GIS study, which was based on the premise that studying demographic data about current firefighters will help the department target its recruitment efforts, Shrader said.
“They looked at all demographic data for current employees and volunteers to see what we were made of ... that way they provide us with a plan of targeted areas to explore for volunteers,” he said.
The VFCA enlisted two firms, Esri and Intterra, to perform the detailed analysis, the release said. Shrader said the analysis looked at everything from where firefighters like eat to what they enjoy doing in their free time.
The idea was to identify the types of people who would be the best candidates for volunteer fire service, where they can be found and how best to communicate with them, the release said.
With the GIS study complete, Shrader is planning several recruitment events at local venues that potential volunteers likely visit. An example might be a restaurant the firefighters consider a favorite or a store where many of them shop, he said.
The state of Texas is getting a fire risk GIS app ready for November or December.The Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal will provide the Texas Forest Service "to send risk information and create awareness about wildfires in the state." What's to be in it?
Users can zoom to any place in Texas to ask “What's Your Risk?” They will be able to find their risk level within a two-mile radius, plus information on how to reduce their risk.
Local governments will be able to better plan their wildfire protection with this tool. The highlights include the capability to define a project area, generate a detailed risk summary report, and export and download wildfire risk GIS data.
Fire Occurrence Explorer
Users will be able to analyze historic fire occurrences. This will help them sort out previous causes of fire in their area.
Ventura California now has its GIS data online in several public interactive maps (Esri Flex) and downloadable static maps (pdf). Why now?
The analysts said they are able to offer GIS to the public because of advances in computer browsers, so individual users don't have to invest in expensive mapping software to use the maps.
Greater Greater Washington analyzes the cost of geodata in the counties near DC - and the cost get pretty huge. Great comments to the piece, too.