Fire is a tragedy that will forever change one's life. Every year, there are too many fire fatalities. One of our missions at the fire department is to ensure that we honor victims by learning from their tragedy and working to make sure that it doesn't happen in the future.
Aiming for "Zero Fire Incidents" by Analyzing and Publishing Fire Incident Data
Koriyama Fire Department is responsible for fire suppression, rescue, and fire prevention for Koriyama City, Tamura City, Miharu Town, and Ono Town in Fukushima Prefecture of Japan. The fire department operates 18 fire stations and key branch fire stations to ensure swift response times in these communities.
The Prevention Division/Fire Investigation Team is responsible for investigating the causes of fire to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. It has a goal of "Zero Fire Incidents" by providing guidance and feedback about fire prevention policy planning.
The team implemented ArcGIS Dashboards and ArcGIS Online, which were essential for publishing fire incident data in a new web map called Fire Log on the fire department's website. The team also created the Fire Analysis Dashboard, where users can quickly analyse data and contribute their findings to the fire prevention policy planning process.
The Fire Investigation Team's main purpose is fire prevention in the Koriyama region by providing fire incident information through publications and workshops for members of the Koriyama Region Fire Department Disaster Prevention Association. This association consists of more than 1,100 public and private sector members. One of the challenges was finding new ways to communicate fire prevention strategies to a wider audience, including those who aren't reading publications or attending the workshops. Another major challenge was the lack of tools to analyse the fire incident data. Prior to using ArcGIS, users evaluated historical fire data using only Excel.
Industry — Emergency Management and Mitigation
Koriyama Fire Department, Prevention Division, Fire Investigation Team
The team had to find new ways to communicate fire prevention strategies to external stakeholders, made up of more than 1,100 public and private sector members, through a platform beyond print publications and workshops. The department also lacked tools to analyse historical fire incident data.
The Koriyama Fire Department implemented ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, and ArcGIS Dashboards to quickly solve these challenges.
The Fire Log app was positively received by the public and stakeholders. It is used in disaster prevention workshops to increase fire safety and awareness. Team members were also able to reduce the time needed to analyse data with the Fire Analysis Dashboard, bringing them closer to their goal of "Zero Fire Incidents".
"A firefighter's job is not just to respond to fires but also to investigate the cause of the incident. By determining the cause, we can prevent future fires from occurring. Additionally, the results of the investigations are used for research and for judicial proceedings", said the Fire Captain of Koriyama Fire Department Prevention Section.
Following the example of Fukushima Police Headquarters' "Traffic Accident Public Information System", the team theorized that having a similar public web map would enable it to show data analysis and visualization on a dynamic map, which would then allow easy public sharing. This would have a big impact on fire prevention.
When publishing incident data on the web apps, the exact location of fire incidents was protected. ArcGIS was able to deliver these requirements based on the following capabilities of the platform:
- Data can be easily and quickly updated by fire department staff.
- There are numerous ways to symbolize and represent data on the map.
- The fire department has the option to make the anonymized and generalized location of each fire incident public or private.
- The solution is flexible and allows the functionality to easily be changed.
Preparing the Data
To analyse and publish 10 years of historical fire incident data, the team exported the data and used ArcGIS Desktop to convert block-level address data to latitude-longitude coordinates. This enabled fire incidents to be visualized on the map. The data was then published to ArcGIS Online so that it could be used in other applications like Fire Log and the Fire Analysis Dashboard.
The Fire Investigation team embedded Fire Log into the department's website to more effectively communicate fire incident data to residents and organizations. By using the easily customizable ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, team members easily implemented a filter widget so that users could filter data by fire type, area where fire has occurred, as well as date and time. In addition, to protect the exact location of the fire and the victims, they deliberately configured the symbology so that the user cannot identify the center point of the incident.
Fire Analysis Dashboard
The Fire Analysis Dashboard was built using ArcGIS Dashboards, which is easily configurable through a wizard-driven interface. This allows the team to easily use necessary tools like graphs and charts with the dashboard. The data analysis is done by fire department personnel with a few simple mouse clicks.
The decision to publish fire incident data through Fire Log was positively received. The local newspaper recognized the fire department by publishing the article "First Ever Attempt in Fukushima Prefecture and a Unique Effort within the Country." The data about the 2019 wildfire in Koriyama City was published through Fire Log, and as a result, researchers were able to utilize that data. Fire Log is also being used in disaster prevention workshops to increase fire safety and awareness.
Fire Analysis Dashboard
The fire department was able to reduce the time necessary to analyse data with the Fire Analysis Dashboard. Before the dashboard, analysis was shown only in numbers. Now the data analysis can be visualized on maps, charts, and graphs, which has provided decision-makers with a much better understanding of the data when considering fire prevention policy planning.
To further increase fire prevention awareness and work toward "Zero Fire Incidents", the department plans to enhance Fire Log and Fire Analysis Dashboard. For example, the fire department wants to create new map products to accommodate the local residents' requests. It plans to implement newer releases of the dashboard and promote it to a larger audience in the fire prevention policy planning community.