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GIS system receives honor
Project aids response, recovery in emergencies
Biz brief gis 2904
Forsyth County has been honored for its GIS mobile emergency response system. Here, staff member Allen Hoerle takes part in exercises involving the system. - photo by Submitted
Forsyth County’s geographic information systems department has been honored for its GIS mobile emergency response system.

The recognition came as part of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association 2009 Exemplary Systems in Government awards.

The awards recognize achievements in applying information technology that have improved government services.

The county was one of two award winners internationally in the single-process systems category.

Systems in this category are working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific single process or operation involving one department.

The system application results in extended or improved government services that are more efficient, save money or both.

The county developed its GIS mobile emergency response system in order to enhance its preparedness, response and recovery phase of emergency management.

The system can be used as an emergency support function for the county’s emergency operations center or in the field to provide support to first responders.

The system uses templates for making maps and reports, provides extensive base data and integrates models for analysis in the field.  

John Kilgore, GIS director, said in a statement that staff thought they could help public safety personnel “perform their jobs more efficiently by being able to provide data and map coverage right there on site.”

“This is a system that can provide support throughout all phases of a disaster, from planning through response and recovery operations,” Kilgore said. “It is a powerful platform for complex planning and analysis, and assists with faster decision-making.

“Developing a tool such as this truly takes a team effort. From the data maintenance to the application development, everyone on the GIS team worked hard to make receiving this honor possible.”