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Pasadena Fire Department Recognized for Use of Tech in 2020 Rose Parade Operations

Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 10:30 am

The Pasadena Fire Department has been recognized by a technology company for its application of the company’s system during the 2020 Rose Parade, representatives announced this month.

Esri, a major player in the Geographic Information System Mapping software business, honored the PFD with a “Special Achievement in GIS Award” during the company’s 41st annual User Conference.

“The Pasadena Fire Department transformed situational awareness and emergency response for the 2020 Rose Parade by replacing bulky map books with accurate and comprehensive digital maps,” Esri said in a written statement. “This real-time common operating picture, powered by Esri’s field applications and event management solutions, delivered critical information that enabled public safety teams and staff to more effectively manage situational awareness and emergency response.”

The agency has used the system at many other major events in the city, as well as in daily operations, Deputy Fire Chief Tim Sell said.

“The tools developed by Esri replaced an antiquated system that was inefficient and ineffective,” Sell said. “The older system did not provide access to real-time data ranging from emergency vehicle locations, Goldline Metro link train locations, drone technology that allowed for up-to-date aerial views, and most importantly, the ability to utilize these tools on any smartphone, smart tablet or desktop computer. We didn’t need to develop tools for every possible user interface.”

When dealing with massive events, such as the Rose Parade, speedy and accurate sharing of data between emergency responders is vital, according to Sell.

“The challenge is coordinating 19 different federal, state and local agencies. How do we get all of us on the same page?” he said. “So in the event that there’s an emergency, fire knows what the police are doing and is able to coordinate with the FBI or the Department of Transportation.

“The whole goal is to improve our situational awareness and response times for the parade,” Sell added.

Fire Chief Chad Augustin said the award highlights the department’s forward-looking attitude.

“It goes back to what makes Pasadena unique,” Augustin said. “Not only is this a fantastic fire department, but we’re constantly striving to be better. We’re looking at technology. Part of what we can do with ESRI is do predictive modeling. And so we’re really trying to be an extremely smart department in how we deploy our resources to best serve the community. And this award is highlighting the fact that we’re well on our way to that achievement.”

More information on Esri is available on the company’s website

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