DHSEM and State Fire Marshal’s Office Create New Arson Hotline Database

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)In a recent collaborative effort, members of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s (DHSEM) Geographical Information Systems (GIS) section, the Watch Center and the State Fire Marshal’s Office created a new data collection system to replace the outdated Arson Database used by the state to report and collect arson information.

This system was debuted at midnight on April 30 and streamlines the reporting process.

“I am very happy with the new database,” said Jason Baltic, Deputy State Fire Marshal and Chief Investigator. “We were glad to work with DHSEM on this project and appreciate all their hard work. The investigations for the Fire Marshal’s Office start with the hotline.”

Watch Center Associates create detailed reports from each caller for the more than 10 different lines and reporting systems, entering information into various databases to create reports that are transmitted to the responsible agency for action. Each line or communication uses a different system for reporting, and for some systems, allow only one user at a time to enter data into the system, slowing the reporting process.

“As DHSEM moves forward, we are proud to say we can rely upon our staff to create innovative and economical ways to do our jobs,” said DHSEM Director Michael Todorovich. “Having this new system in place will streamline the work of our busy Watch Center staff.”

Once any problems with the new system are worked out, the DHSEM team will create improved systems for other communication lines used by the Watch Center.

DHSEM is dedicated to ensuring the protection of life and property for every person and organization across the state. As the 24/7/365 operational hub of emergency management, the DHSEM Watch Center monitors news, weather, and communications from local emergency managers so DHSEM has a constant situational awareness of potential incidents throughout the entire state.

In addition to round-the-clock monitoring, the Watch Center is responsible for operating emergency reporting lines and communication systems. These include the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Spill Line, Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System (MIARRS), Safe Schools Helpline, Mine and Industrial Tip Line, State Fire Marshal Arson Hotline, Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station (BVPS) Initial Notification Line, Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station Gold Executive Conference Line, National Warning System (NAWAS), Statewide Interoperable Radio Network outages, and the FEMA National Radio System.

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