The 2nd day of the Esri South Africa User Conference began with the keynote plenary from Jim Higgins of Esri Inc, based America. Highlighting valuable insight into the advancements that Esri has made in the field of GIS software to all users in South Africa – more from Jim a little later.
Working on Fire presented next and are an organisation that all South Africans should know more about.
Formed in 2003 Working on Fire recruits young men and women and trains them to implement a range of integrated fire management products and services which includes fire management planning, fire detection, prevention, suppression and community fire awareness. Making use of Esri software, over the past 16 years they have been able to fight almost 22 000 fires over an area of almost 8 million hectares. The use of technological advances in the Esri suite has allowed for better planning, creating more informed fire block burns and breaks in order to prevent disaster.
The Incident Command Viewer keeps track of the multitude of elements involved in fighting a fire. Including the demographics around a fire to plan such extreme actions as evacuations.
It was great to learn more about how such an important project in South Africa, loved by our President, is making use of the technology available to them in order to be more effective, make better decision (and safer ones) and most importantly…create job opportunities.