I’m a fire lieutenant with with 31 years of experience and an unusual fascination with maps. I started my fire service experience as a resident firefighter while going to college for cartography. I eventually achieved a degree in Cartography with a minor in Computer Science. However I realized my professional passion was being a firefighter, however I never lost my excitement for cartography. I became a career firefighter in the Seattle area about 21 years ago. I suspect my department hired me with the idea that “This is the guy that is going to fix our maps”.
After starting our GIS program, I took on the department’s pre-incident planning program. Our department’s preplans were hand drawn and extremely out of date. My department wished to move into computer-designed diagrams and I sought ways to streamline the process. At about the same time, my city was developing a good, accurate map with building and parking lot footprints. Realizing the value of using work that already has been created, I started using GIS for our pre-incident plans back in 1998.
While working on these projects, firefighters from surrounding departments asked about how I created the maps. I realized a need to help other departments so I started my own GIS consulting business. I’ve worked on a range of projects. This has included everything from meeting with fellow firefighters over a cup of coffee for advice, to starting a GIS program at a department, and improving a department’s GIS program.
Currently I work as a technical lead for the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS supporting their efforts in map symbol design. I also work for Intterra as a subject matter expert in pre-incident planning.
- GIS based map design
- Preplan data creation and maintenance using GIS
- Map based data analysis
- Developing GIS based computer applications
1990-1996 University of Idaho Moscow, ID
- Bachelor of Science, Cartography GIS Option
- Minor in Computer Science
In addition to my normal GIS projects I have had the pleasure of doing some unique and challenging work
- Regional Web Portal Leadership Team: Worked with fire chief’s from surrounding jurisdiction to identify and create a workflow for a regional web portal
- National Alliance for Public Safety GIS: I’m the Northwest coordinator for the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS. Some of the successes includes
- Managing the NW Fire User’s Group
- Coordinating the NAPSG booth at the ESRI International User’s Conference
- Technical Lead for Incident Map Symbology Workgroup
- Computer Aided Dispatch: An important component of most newer Computer Aided Dispatch system is a good GIS. I have worked on several committees including GIS technical committee and map build team