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City of Frisco GIS Team receives International Award for Developing S.A.F.E.R. Program 

(October 5, 2010)  The City of Frisco’s GIS Division has received an international award for its role in developing Situational Awareness For Emergency Response – or S.A.F.E.R. – which is a unique program giving Frisco firefighters, EMTs and police officers immediate access to school building information, including real time video, while heading to school emergencies at any of the Frisco Independent School District’s 52 campuses. 

“The project makes the schools, students, and first responders safer,” said Susan Olson, GIS Manager, City of Frisco.  “It enables our first responders to better serve the school district and will eventually help all commercial business owners when phase two is developed. Implementing this system has allowed the departments to reduce operations costs by having all the relevant information in one place.  It lowers risk and better prepares responders on the way to an emergency.”  

Olson and Curt Balogh, Director of Information Technology Services, along with other members of the GIS staff, were honored by Mayor Maher Maso and members of the Frisco City Council on Tuesday, October 5, during a Frisco Council Meeting. 

“We’re incredibly proud of our IT staff members and their achievement,” said Mayor Maher Maso.  “It’s an honor to be recognized internationally.  We appreciate their vision and leadership. More importantly, we applaud the GIS division for its dedication to working with our Fire and Police Departments, as well as FISD, to develop such an innovative system.  Such teamwork is Frisco’s brand.  As the fastest growing city in the country, Frisco is committed to being a leader when it comes to technology and public safety.” 

The GIS division was first honored in July, when it was announced the City of Frisco’s GIS division received the ESRI President’s Award for outstanding GIS work.  The award announcement was made at the 30th Annual ESRI International User Conference, held in San Diego, California.  The event is reportedly the world’s largest dedicated to GIS technology.  The City of Frisco was selected from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide.

“We created the Special Achievement in GIS Award to recognize our users’ extraordinary contributions to global society,” said Jack Dangermond, ESRI President. “The City of Frisco’s GIS, and the S.A.F.E.R project in particular, is an example of how smaller local government agencies can do important work cost effectively,” said Russ Johnson, public safety manager, ESRI.

ESRI, which was founded as Environmental Systems Research Institute, is a software development and services company providing Geographic Information System (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications.  To watch the ESRI award presentation, go to www.friscotexas.gov/video


(Pictured from left to right)
Meg Adaya, GIS Technician; Bud Videan, GIS Technician; Brian Macke, GIS Analyst; Amy Rose, GIS Analyst; Mayor Maher Maso; Steve Foster, GIS Programmer; John Morley, Sr GIS Analyst; Susan Olson, IS & GIS Manager; Curt Balogh, Director of IT

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