High-tech mapping units OK’d for fire department|[6/21/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Two new global positioning satellite mapping units for the Vicksburg Fire Department will put more information at firefighters’ fingertips and increase safety, city officials said Monday in approving the purchase.

The GIS cameras will use satellite positioning systems to map details of buildings on a graphic information system. That information will then be accessible on laptop computers during emergencies.

“The more you plan, the safer the community will be,” said Fire Chief Keith Rogers. “I can see this being a large safety factor for the firefighters as well.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Although they are called “cameras,” the backpack-type units don’t take pictures. Instead they allow the operator to link with satellites to map buildings, water lines, exit doors and other information.

Rogers said that data will be added to the city’s existing GIS system with road maps and street addresses to make more information available to firefighters in the field.

Each unit costs $8,000 and is being paid for through a Homeland Security grant. Rogers said the department also plans to receive additional software that will allow the department to rehearse disasters from chemical spills to explosions, mapping out evacuation routes.

In other matters the city board: