The Secaucus Volunteer Fire Department (SFD) in New Jersey, U.S. recently received several new laptops that provide maps and data for the scene of an emergency. The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) recently presented SFD Chief Raymond Cieciuch along with Moonachie Chief Bill Hunt and Carlstadt Chief Bill Reeves laptop computers that will mix wireless technology and mapping information. The town of Teterboro also received a laptop. With the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf region it was understood how important quick reaction is during an emergency situation.
The staff at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute located at the NJMC in Lyndhurst designed a GIS that creates maps and databases useful to first responders in emergency situations. The laptops allow fire and police departments to access maps and emergency management information from fire trucks and patrol cars. MERI’s Geographic Information System group, known as MERI-GIS, collects, analyzes and manages spatial information of the 14 municipalities in the Meadowlands District. This repository of information is the basis for analysis and spatial representation used by scientists and planners from both the public and private sector. Full-time GIS Specialists utilize state-of-the-art software and hardware to maintain a database of over 90,000 parcels covering these municipalities in Bergen and Hudson counties.