Going High Tech at the Greatest Show on Grass
Located in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, the city of Scottsdale is home to over 246,000 people who live within the 184.5 square-mile city boundary. Scottsdale boasts award-winning resorts and approximately 40 golf courses, including the renowned TPC Scottsdale, home to the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour's annual Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO).
During the week of WMPO festivities, the city's population nearly triples, challenging the Scottsdale Fire Department (SFD) to meet the temporary increase in demand for medical response. With the help of the city's GIS department, new tools were deployed to create a digital map of the event environment and improve the coordination of emergency response units.
Before the WMPO event, the TPC Scottsdale golf course is transformed by the addition of massive temporary structures across its landscape. The absence of a single source of reliable documentation about the as-built environment left situational awareness and response dependent on disparate maps and PDF files. SFD deputy chief Robert Rucker sought a better solution to manage the 2019 event.
City of Scottsdale, Arizona
Improve coordination of emergency medical response units in a complex and crowded event
ArcGIS Online, Workforce for ArcGIS, Survey123 for ArcGIS, Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS
Efficient and effective management of medical responders and real-time situational awareness of the tournament
The city's GIS manager Chris Lechner and GIS analyst Mele Koneya showed Rucker a video explaining how officials in Henrico County, Virginia, use ArcGIS technology for event management at the Richmond International Raceway. After seeing how the technology enabled real-time visibility across all areas of the large-scale race event, Rucker thought it would be a fitting solution to facilitate a more efficient and effective response to incidents at the 2019 WMPO.
GIS staff and SFD personnel turned to ArcGIS to create a more accurate digital map of the event grounds, manage their 25 mobile medical response units, and improve situational awareness. ArcGIS is a complete mapping and analytics platform with a suite of complementary apps, tools, and data.
An authoritative and comprehensive digital map of the event environment was created to improve situational awareness. A map layer of the 500+ corporate venues was created from PDF drawings provided by the event sponsor and added to the existing digital basemap of the event site. Next, using the Survey123 for ArcGIS app, a tool for creating surveys and analyzing survey results, precise location data was collected for the newly added structures and assets (such as concessions, restrooms, and scoreboards) and fed directly into ArcGIS. The precise location of the assets that were already on the map was verified using the app and corrected as necessary.
The map, uploaded to Workforce for ArcGIS, was used to plan where to strategically position the three types of paramedic units—walking, bike, and cart. Workforce for ArcGIS is a mobile solution that supports the planning and coordination of fieldwork. The emergency medical response dispatcher was then able to select the closest unit based on the incident type and to also monitor availability.
Paramedic units used the same digital map in Workforce that was on their iPads to respond to calls. An accurate map of the environment enabled them to better identify where help was needed and to efficiently reach each location. The app also was used to report their real-time status: busy, on break, or available.
At the Scottsdale Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a comprehensive view of the paramedic units, built with Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, was displayed on a large monitor for the benefit of local agency executives managing situational awareness for the tournament. Operations Dashboard enables at-a-glance decision-making using dynamic dashboards for reporting, monitoring, and assessing field activities.
A comprehensive and accurate digital map of the event environment, including all temporary structures, enabled everyone to work from a single source instead of multiple documents and files. For the paramedic dispatcher and response units, the map enabled greater efficiency in getting the nearest unit to each call site, including the ability to identify potential obstacles and plan accordingly. Precise information and reference points for locating any spot within the venue expedited paramedic response times, in addition to showing the availability of each paramedic unit.
Carrying the digital event map on the same iPad devices they already used to reference medical care software made it easy for paramedics to access location information for the entire venue and to zoom in on an area for greater detail if needed. Also, the ability to share their status with the dispatcher ensured that when they were on a call, they could focus fully on the task at hand.
SFD battalion chief Andy McDonald, the dispatcher during the 2019 WMPO, says, "Safety of my emergency management technician (EMT) crews was the number one benefit. Next was the ability to allocate the appropriate resources, sending the nearest crew to a call, and finally, the ability to see in real time where my crews were located."
The dashboard in the EOC displayed real-time information about paramedic activity— identifying areas experiencing the highest volume of activity, the allocation of paramedic units, and the number of each type of emergency call taken and in progress, providing insights never before available in real-time.
Lessons learned during the WMPO have enabled the city to streamline daily workflows and improve event management practices for the future. There are plans to create public-facing maps to engage with golf enthusiasts in 2020. Also, ArcGIS field operations apps will be deployed to better manage events for the major league baseball's San Francisco Giants spring training, also held in Scottsdale.