Fire, Rescue, and EMS

IAFC Technology Summit International 2023 Focuses on Data Collection and Location Intelligence

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Technology Summit International (TSI) 2023 was a successful event that brought together fire and emergency service professionals, technology experts, and researchers to explore the latest innovations and best practices in the field of fire and emergency response. The event was held December 5–7, 2023, at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas, and featured keynote speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities.

Highlights of IAFC TSI

One of the highlights of IAFC TSI was the overview of the National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS), a new interoperable fire information and analytics platform that will replace the legacy National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). NERIS was developed by the US Fire Administration (USFA) in collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), and UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI). NERIS will provide the fire and emergency services community with fire data collection capabilities. It will also provide reliable predictive analytics to support enhanced preparedness and response to all-hazard incidents; and information on wildland urban interface events, community risk-reduction efforts, climate change threats, and future pandemic emergency response resource preparedness.

A key theme of the event was the importance of geographic information system (GIS) technology and geospatial data for the fire service. GIS is a powerful information management system that can collect, analyze, and visualize information based on location. GIS can also help fire departments reduce risk; increase efficiency; and improve outcomes by integrating data from various sources, such as remote and field sensors, computer-aided dispatch systems, machine learning, biometrics, and application programming interfaces from other relevant systems and data services. Additionally, it can support planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, and incident management by providing near real-time information and insights on fire and emergency incidents across the US.

TSI 2023 was a valuable opportunity for learning, sharing, and networking amid the fire and emergency service community and the technology sector. The event showcased the current and emerging technologies that can enhance the fire service mission and the public’s safety. It also highlighted the challenges of and opportunities for implementing and adopting these technologies in fire and emergency service organizations. TSI 2023 was a testament to the vision and leadership of the IAFC and its Technology Council, which aim to serve as a knowledge center for technological developments that affect the fire service.

How to get involved

You can get involved with the Fire Data Analyst Working Group (FireDAWG) and the IAFC Technology Council by following these steps:

If you need assistance with your GIS or technology deployment, please contact us or visit our Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services website.

About the author

Mike Cox is the Director of Fire and EMS Solutions at Esri, where he advocates for geospatial technology in public safety and works collaboratively with GIS professionals to promote the broad use of Esri’s ArcGIS platform within fire and EMS. He has 27 years of experience in the Henrico County Fire Department and served on the Central Virginia All Hazard Incident Management Team.

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