In an effort to ensure the emergency preparedness of all the schools in the region, the North Central Texas 9-1-1 service agency recently recognized the Kaufman County Emergency Management Office for being ahead of the curve by providing them with two-dimensional floorplans of every public school inside the County.
In a letter sent by Christy Williams to County Judge Hal Richards, Williams said, “The ability to include this information in 9-1-1 dispatch mapping is invaluable.” Williams continued, “Once in the system, floor plan data will provide additional situational awareness for first responders. They will now have more detailed information about the facilities including indoor context and the ability to see caller location within a room or indoor location. This data will also become increasingly important as mapping systems are able to capture elevation data which will allow a caller to be located within multi-floor buildings.”
Kaufman County was the first county in the fourteen county region to provide this information to NCT 9-1-1, putting Kaufman County “on the leading edge of improving emergency response services for its citizens,” Williams said. “This data has been difficult to obtain using other methods and your staff demonstrated immense initiative, quickly responding to our request for assistance. We cannot thank you enough for partnering with us on this endeavor.”
Steve Howie, Kaufman County Emergency Management Coordinator, said these floor plans were provided almost seven years ago and are updated as schools have changes and additions to their floor plans.
“We want 9-1-1 dispatch to be able to pinpoint exactly where students and teachers are when an emergency is underway at their school,” Howie said. “When 9-1-1 dispatch is able to quickly pinpoint the origin of a call within a school and know exactly what room it is, first responders save valuable time in locating the victims.”
Howie said he and his office are more than willing to assist other counties in the NCT 9-1-1 region in gathering two-dimensional floorplans for their schools. “We would be honored to help our neighboring counties to do what we’ve done,” Howie said. “We are one team in Kaufman County, and one team in the NCT region, and if one needs help, we all come running.”