The Mapleton Fire Department serves a population of approximately 2,000 in rural Pennsylvania. As a volunteer department, Mapleton relies on its five Fire Corps members to assist with the daily operations of the firehouse. Fire Corps volunteers are matched up with tasks based on their skills and interests, allowing them to enjoy their time at the station and make a bigger impact.
Each Fire Corps member brings their unique talents to the department. Fire Corps volunteer Bill Corbin has dedicated his time to making technological improvements throughout the department. Corbin uses his passion for technology to assist volunteer firefighters in responding to emergencies and to help better protect Mapleton residents. His greatest contribution has been to the department’s computer system.
Corbin completely redesigned the department’s web site to be user-friendly and informative for Mapleton residents, with content ranging from the weather to CPR education. He also helped integrate the computer system into the station’s day-to-day operations. It serves as the department’s security system, logs all phone calls, acts as a fax machine to save paper, and uses cameras to monitor the front door and other areas around the station.
In addition, Corbin developed a mapping system using the county’s 911 address information and Google maps. Firefighters can see a route line on the map so they can quickly respond to incidents. The maps include objects such as fire hydrants and other information that would affect emergency response activities. If the department responds to a call outside of Mapleton, Corbin or any department member at the station or that has a compatible cell phone can easily upload the new information. The Mapleton Fire Department hopes to receive funding to equip every emergency response vehicle with a laptop and the mapping program and hopes to share this valuable tool with all of the departments in the county.