Blue Marble Geographics have announced that the Boston Globe and Boston.com used the BeyondGeo Mapserver Service to map fire department response time in Massachusetts, US. The Globe investigation featured 351 online maps, allowing readers to see response times to fires in every community in the state. The Boston Globe studied building fires reported from 1986 through 2002 across the US, and mapped those for 1990 through 2002 in Massachusetts. The articles and maps are online at www.boston.com/fires.
The Globe found that while cities and towns are closing fire stations and laying off firefighters, America’s firefighters are taking longer to get to fires, costing lives and property damage. The newspaper studied public records of fires reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), a database kept by the U.S. Fire Administration. To focus only on true emergencies, the Globe included only building fires in each fire department’s territory, not false alarms, mutual aid calls or other alarms. That left 3.3 million building fires, reported by 20,000 fire departments.