Healthcare :: Employee mapping aids emergency response

An innovative employee mapping process developed by the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) will help ensure ambulance response is available in times of major emergencies, Health Minister George Abbott announced today.

?Employee mapping uses high-tech databases and location technology to give the BC Ambulance Service the ability to identify precisely where employees live in a given geographic location,? said Abbott. ?This information allows the BC Ambulance Service to proactively contact employees in areas identified as at risk and offer support and information, such as links to the Provincial Emergency Program and resources to monitor the risk.?

Developed as part of the BCAS emergency flood planning in the Lower Mainland, BCAS hopes the new tool can now be utilized for future emergency planning events such as fires, earthquakes or other disasters.

BCAS Superintendent Kevin Urton helped develop the process that utilizes databases and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping as part of the Lower Mainland flood emergency planning and tested in it Chilliwack earlier this spring.

?The idea was that in the event employees were going to be impacted, they would be taken care of first,? said Urton. ?By telling them they?re in the risk zone, we can turn around and help them get their house in order in sufficient time before anything happens. If they?re needed as emergency responders, their mindset will be in the right place because they know things are safe at home. Historically, during large catastrophic events, people are concerned for their families and that?s a natural trait.?

The Employee Mapping process has never been undertaken before by BCAS but, with the help of BCAS GIS technician Derek McClure, a layering system between the geographical area and the human resources database was devised. By merging the two systems, it was possible to plot out exactly where local BCAS employees lived.

BCAS hopes the employee mapping tool developed will be a critical resource for future emergency responses.

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