What Level of Support Should my Department Have?

One of the things I get asked from other department is “What level of GIS do I need?” While this can be a complex answer in short I would recommend not buying more that you would possibly use. So for example all that you want to do is some simple map book production and pin mapping of calls, you probably don’t need to purchase extra ArcGIS extensions like Network Analyst or 3D Analyst. If you are a larger department you can probably support having a dedicated staff person to do GIS. Below is a table that might help explain what level of help you should have in your department

Volunteer Combination<-> Career 1 Battalion or less Career with more than 1 Battalion
GIS Support Internal Dedicated member Dedicated internal employee willing to take on task or support task Dedicated GIS Employee
GIS Support External Access to data Server Based GIS Server Based GIS

Chris Rogers

I am currently a Lieutenant with the Kirkland fire department in Washington State. I've been in the fire service for over 30 years true I also hold a degree in cartography with a GIS emphasis from the University of Idaho