Public Safety

One Hundred Feet Helps Keep Structures Safe From California Fires

The ability to gain pre-arrival situational awareness through One Hundred Feet's data allows a crew to form the most effective strategy when responding to emergencies.

Declared California’s Climate Action Day, Governor Newsom and other notable panelists spent Thursday, September 25 discussing how California can fight against climate change — an issue that hits close to home for the Golden State’s residents.

This year, the effects of global warming has left California charred and ashy. Historic wildfires have devoured over 3.6 million acres in California alone, and its burning hand is still outstretched. While yesterday marked a step in the right direction, the solution to climate change won’t happen overnight. And the fact is, firefighters are battling through fumes and soot right now, many without proper mapping data.

Realizing the need for comprehensive maps, One Hundred Feet Inc., a geospatial mapping company based in Palo Alto, CA, decided to help their state and firefighters during California’s wildfire crisis. Thanks to their outreach, firefighters had the data they needed in order to best protect citizen’s homes, properties, and lives.

One Hundred Feet’s Public Safety Department

Even before the fire season began, One Hundred Feet has made serving public safety heroes a priority. One Hundred Feet’s data pinpoints the location of unit numbers, entrances, gates, unmarked private roads, and other pivotal points of interest. This precise information helps to cut down critical response time that otherwise would have been spent searching for the exact location of an incident.

Integrated through a simple API onto CAD dispatch systems, ESRI’s services, or Incident Response Systems, One Hundred Feet enhances a crew’s pre-arrival situational awareness straight on their current response system. This additional pinpoint data has been extremely useful for first responders called to incidents at large complexes or buildings.

“We recently ran a medical call at a very large retirement and skilled nursing facility,” said Captain Justin Stockman from the Santa Clara County Fire Department. “As a company officer, I was able to quickly find the correct building, floor, and room number in what is otherwise a very confusing layout.”

Getting responders to the exact location of an incident is a specialty for One Hundred Feet. But it wasn’t until California’s 2020 wildfires devastated the company’s home state that another initiative sparked: mapping uncharted terrain.

The Oceanside Fire Department’s Story

On Thursday August 27th, 2020, the Oceanside Fire Department traveled up to Northern California to assist with the wildfires. Deployed to an area with numerous unmapped structures and roads, Captain Mark Campbell of the Oceanside Fire Department researched multiple geographic mapping companies that could potentially help provide this information, but did not have success.

It wasn’t until Capt. Campbell happened to get an unrelated call from Tamara Coffey, Director of Government Relations and Emergency Services at One Hundred Feet, that his luck changed. After a quick discussion regarding the reason for her call, the topic switched to the wildfires and the fire department’s predicament. Tamara stated that she knew with their GIS Expert in house, One Hundred Feet could figure out a solution to help.

Within a matter of hours, One Hundred Feet was able to provide Capt. Campbell with a solution that showed precise geographic data detailing locations of roads, cabins, barns, tackle rooms, and other buildings in close proximity to the fire area. The Oceanside Fire Department was able to use the feature service provided by One Hundred Feet, Inc. to develop a collector application for use by Field Observers to reach targeted locations to ascertain structure triage information.

The structure triage created by the Oceanside Fire Department from the data provided by One Hundred Feet.
The structure triage created by the Oceanside Fire Department from the data provided by One Hundred Feet.

“This was critical information that allowed us to protect structures within the fire area,” Capt. Campbell told Tamara in the days that followed. “Due to our limited resources, we would not have been able to obtain this information without [One Hundred Feet’s] assistance. We were also able to put together a detailed structure triage response book that was used by our operations personnel and local agencies.”

Due to One Hundred Feet’s quick response, the Oceanside Fire Department had the data they needed in order to figure out the best course of action.

Moving Forward

As One Hundred Feet continues to observe the effects caused by global warming, like this year’s historic wildfires, the mapping company plans to continue pioneering pinpoint data across the globe. This information is critical for responders heading into remote locations and large complexes alike. The ability to gain pre-arrival situational awareness allows a crew to form the most effective strategy when responding to emergencies.

Until major changes take place, the problems caused from climate change will likely and the need for data, such as One Hundred Feet provides, is critical for responders on the frontline. In the future, One Hundred Feet hopes to make sure emergency personnel are never left in the dark.

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