During a recent interview with the town’s assessor, Suzanne Kogut, she stated, “My hope for the Town of Smithfield is to see Pictometry imagery used in every department and especially in public safety. The police department uses it and now we are very excited to see widespread use of it in the fire department through the leadership of Captain and Fire Marshal James Waterman.”
Captain Waterman is currently using PictometryOnline (POL) more than anyone. “I love it,” raved Waterman. “I use it to capture current and historic views for fire investigations. I use POL to pull all the views including the top down (ortho) and the north, east, west and south views (obliques) to include in my reports.” PictometryOnline has since been replaced by CONNECTExplorer.
“I also extensively use the measuring tools. I measure driveways, distance to hydrants, bodies of water and even distance to the fire houses. Often we have insurance companies or realtors call and want to know the distance from their house to a hydrant or fire station. POL makes it so easy and accurate,” said Waterman.
“For training and fire pre-planning it has also made my job much smoother,” continued Waterman. “I don’t have to drive out to a site to get the information or measurements. I will pull up a building and look at topography, gather measurements and do fire pre-planning for very large buildings for public safety purposes. We can even see what is on the roof and where the hazards may be around the building. We use this data in our trainings from a laptop in the fire stations. It puts the trainees on the scene without actually being there.”
It is evident that Waterman and the Smithfield fire department are big on technology. Waterman also serves as the IT network manager along with his job as captain of the fire department and believes that technology is the right answer for protecting their constituents. In fact, the next technology step is the placement of iPads in all their fire vehicles. They plan on not only using modern public safety technology like Public Eye but they will also have the app for CONNECTMobile that will allow fire personnel in the field to use Pictometry imagery for review purposes.
“The use of this tool is only limited by my imagination,” concluded Waterman. “I am on POL many times a week and it so easy. Working with Sue Kogut, we now have POL in the cloud through the CONNECT platform. Believe me, whenever Sue says it is time to renew or update, we do it. It is invaluable.”