DSPS launches online dashboard to help fire departments assess risk, identify vulnerable groups
For the Tomahawk Leader
WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), on Sunday, Oct. 8, launched a new dashboard aimed at helping state fire departments better identify risks and vulnerable groups in their communities.
In a release, DSPS said the Fire Safety Dashboards-Risk Reduction Tool expands on the department’s commitment to safety.
DSPS explained that the data is put together in a product called CRAIG 1300, which stands for Community Risk Assessment Insight Generator. It is a risk-reduction tool that uses publicly available data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) to help fire departments and other agencies develop data-driven public safety programs.
“In addition to data on fire calls, EMS calls and other incidents, the dashboards provide data on housing conditions and demographic information for different communities, like age, number of people with disabilities or number living in poverty,” DSPS stated.
DSPS noted that it has provided state-wide data to fire departments in the past, but this upgrade “allows them to drill down and find data for individual counties, municipalities or even districts/neighborhoods within those municipalities.”
“Fire Prevention is an important part of our department’s overall safety mission,” said DSPS Secretary-designee Dan Hereth. “These Fire Safety Dashboards are going to help fire departments across Wisconsin identify risks in the communities they serve and allocate their resources accordingly, potentially saving lives.”
“Fire departments will be able to more easily analyze incident report data related to public emergencies and gain valuable insights,” said Bradley Johnson, Director of the DSPS Bureau of Field Services. “There are three years’ worth of data, which will also assist in identifying any trends.”
“We know the most common fires in the United States are cooking fires,” Johnson stated. “Using this tool, Wisconsin fire departments can look at the individual communities they serve and see where these incidents are most common, then also check, for example, if that community has a high number of dependent youth or seniors. They can then adjust their education and outreach efforts to target the groups most susceptible, and even apply for grants specific to their needs.”
“The effectiveness of fire prevention and suppression is dependent on the risks identified through community demographics and emergency responses in our jurisdictions,” said Joe Pulvermacher, Fitchburg Fire Department Chief and President of the Wisconsin Fire Chiefs Association, which advocated for the new product. “This new community risk assessment tool allows us to thoughtfully provide response and prevention programs – and share insight for practical staffing plans. If fire departments and EMS agencies are going to plan appropriately, it will be driven by conditions that we know have the likelihood of impacting those that reside in and visit our state. DSPS’s commitment to data-driven preparedness is a crucial component to this effort.”
Hereth noted that the dashboard “gives us the opportunity to organize and look at data in ways we’ve never been able to before, helping us understand how demographics, economics, housing and other factors are influencing incident trends.”
“This tool really has the potential to make a tremendous impact,” he stated.
DSPS said it will be demonstrating some of the uses of the Fire Safety Dashboards in a series of trainings with state fire departments over the next month.
To view the dashboard, visit www.tinyurl.com/yacvwpbs.
DSPS issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing.
A fee-based agency, DSPS is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations.
With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.