SEIU Local 721 member Don Taylor (right on photo) received special recognition as the Ventura County Fire Protected District was awarded a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award for creating software that helped develop common tools and mapping standards for emergency incidents, including wildfires.
The Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri) presented the award to Don Taylor and members of the Ventura County Fire Protected District at the 2012 Esri International User Conference.
“I’m honored to receive the award and proud of my earlier achievement. I created the tools to make my job easier and faster. In the business of mapping fires, speed is important,” said Don Taylor, now a Systems Analyst for the City of Ventura.
Taylor worked for the Ventura County Fire Department when he created the initial software. At the time, computers were just beginning to find their way into the field. Although the the methods were somewhat clunky at the time, technical specialists in the field were beginning to replace the hard-drawn approach with large format printing of maps created within GIS software.
“The software tool translated standards that were being used on paper maps. With the aid of the software, now anyone could make use of those same standards and speed up the process of sharing wildfire maps,” Taylor continued.
As we’ve seen this hot summer, communities rely on having the right tools to fight fires. SEIU 721 members are involved in monitoring water levels through the various water districts, others help out with dispatch, and then there are members like Don Taylor who work with data tools to help keep our communities safe.
ESRI award announcement
GIS – Geographic Information Systems (Wikipedia)
WAStateDNR on Flickr