Every five years the City of Highland Park must be renew their accreditation with the Commission of Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). This involves gathering a lot of information regarding Fire Department resources such as station response times and resource deployment. It also includes gathering demographic information about the community such as age and population density. The goal of the accreditation review is to assess the City’s Fire Department ability to properly deploy resources.
One report required by CFAI is a breakdown of the types of structures per fire grid. Essentially they are looking for primary structures such as a house or shopping center versus a secondary structure such as a garage or shed. They also want a breakdown of the use for each structure such as residential, commercial, or school. Creating this report requires classifying each structure with a type classification derived from address point information and then assigning it a Zoning District designation as well as a Fire Grid designation to each structure.
The address classification, Zoning District classification, building areas, and Fire Grids were combined into one summary table by using GIS. This table was then summarized by Fire Grid to create a final report of the types of structures for each Fire Grid. Without the availability of GIS, this report would have taken many more man hours and involved several Departments to create an estimate of structures per Fire Grid.