Contributed by Andy Poore
Andy Poore, Curator of Special Collections at the Mooresville Public Library, has begun a great collaboration with the fire department. The project started out of a need for the fire department to have more detailed information at their fingertips regarding constructions and additions to buildings. This was mainly necessary for the fire marshals during fire inspections. The idea was to create an online database that would house all the blueprints, inspection reports, citations, etc. (They had been doing something similar to this with ArcGIS maps of fire hydrants.) Once the idea took off, they formed a committee to decide how this information should be arranged and cataloged. Poore helped develop the cataloging system and file system for them to use and taught basic cataloging skills to the two people who would be entering the data. They set up a workflow for approved blueprints to come to Poore for scanning; he then filed the hard copy and sent the digital copy to the fire department to upload to the system.
This project has provided wonderful assistance to the fire department by speeding up the inspection process and by keeping disputes to a minimum. It has also helped in fire-fighting situations because they can now see a complete layout of the building---including fire suppression systems, access points, etc.---faster and more efficiently than before. The project has been a great learning experience for all involved.