Steve Pollackov

Served as the Commanding Officer of the Fire Department City of New York’s (FDNY) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit for the last 12 years of my career before retiring. Under my leadership, I have increased the integration of Geospatial Technology within the FDNY.
Began my Public Safety career in my hometown as a member  the Lynbrook, NY Volunteer Fire Department as a firefighter.  During my time in the local Volunteer Fire Department, I obtained my New York State Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).   My passion for the Fire Service led me to the FDNY where I served as an EMT.  My FDNY career enabled me to attend the FDNY Bureau of Training to become a New York State Certified Paramedic.

Through my hard work and dedication, I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and then Captain.  During my career with the FDNY and with the Volunteer Fire Department, I have been exposed to several large scale emergency situations, such as the terror attacks at the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001, the 1989 Con Edison Gas Plant explosion, the 1993 Golden Venture ship accident and the 1995 Suffolk County Pine Barren Wildfires. All have given me valuable experience and leadership skills with various types of Multiple Casualty Incidents.

After many years of working in the field and with the tragic events that unfolded on 9/11/01, I decided to pursue a position at FDNY Headquarters. Because of my success in the field and my computer skills, I was appointed to the position of Executive Officer to the Chief of Strategy and Planning Unit.  While in this position at Headquarters, I was introduced to and learned the basics of GIS.  While becoming more skilled with GIS and performing spatial analysis, such as creating monthly response time maps, it was clear how these maps facilitated decision making within the department and I knew I wanted to use GIS in my Public Safety career.  To become more familiar and skilled with GIS technology, I took advantage of attending GIS conferences, training seminars and workshops. With my advanced GIS knowledge, I applied for and was awarded with the position of Commanding Officer for the FDNY GIS Unit.  After initiating and accomplishing several GIS projects, I was determined to have GIS as the focus of my career path within the FDNY. I continued on an educational path to prepare me for a second career in GIS upon my retirement from the FDNY. Under my leadership, GIS within the FDNY has expanded to include the development of an enterprise level geodatabase, mobile technology for data collection and a web based map for the Common Operational Picture for Situational Awareness application.

After the September 11, 2001 Terrorist attacks, President George Bush signed a Presidential Executive Order stating the Emergency Response Agencies will follow the National Incident Management System.  Since the adoption of the Presidential Order, the FDNY had adopted the National Incident Management System and also created an Incident Management Team which can be deployed nationally for any major incidents.  Proudly served as a member of the FDNY Incident Management Team (IMT) as a GIS Team Leader.  I had implemented GIS for the IMT on the FDNY Planning Vehicle and have served on several deployments and large scale drills performing GIS work for the specific incidents.

Within the GIS community, I had represented the FDNY by serving on several committees including;

  • New York State Global Positioning Systems Standards Committee
  • New York State Address Standards Committee
  • New York State Data and Standards Committee
  • New York City Dept of Information and Telecommunications Steering Committee
  • New York City Citywide Street Centerline Governance Committee
  • New York City Dept of Information and Telecommunications GIS Evaluation Committee
  • New York City GIS & Mapping Operations User Group
  • National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Standard Symbology Working Group

I have presented the GIS accomplishments of the FDNY at the following conferences; ESRI International User Conference, ESRI Homeland Security Summit, Microsoft Public Safety Symposium, NAPSG Northeast Regional Seminar, Long Island GIS User Group, Maryland Public Safety GIS Workshop and the Connecticut GIS User Group.  In addition to presenting at these various conferences, I received an ESRI Special Achievement GIS Award (2010 and 2014), the NAPSG GIS Excellence Award (2011), and the NYS GIS Champion Award (2014).

GeoComm is a private company that works with Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) 911 centers to upgrade there GIS data for Next Generation 911 systems. Currently, I am a GIS Project Manager for GeoComm. With the assistance of GeoComm, I successfully completed my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2018.