Tool to Aid Nevada’s First Responders Wins International Award

Urban Environmental Research (UER), in coordination with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) as well as local, state and federal agencies, developed a state-of-the-art tool for Nevada’s first responders to enhance their ability respond to any threat or emergency situation. This tool will receive a Special Achievement Award at the 30th Annual ESRI International User Conference next month.

Entitled the Critical Infrastructure Protection System (CIPS), the electronic tool utilizes geographic information system (GIS) technology to provide first responders with vital infrastructure information, such as floor plans, locations of hazardous materials and updated 360-degree video of important facilities, including government buildings, schools, major tourist attraction,s and transportation centers. 

“Utilizing GIS technology, we are able to provide Nevada’s first responders detailed information and video of all kinds of facilities before they go inside so they are better prepared in the unlikely event of a threat or emergency,” said Sheila Conway, managing partner of UER.  “We are proud that this new tool received this award from such a prestigious international technology community.”

Winners of the Special Achievement Award were selected from more than 100,000 nominations.  Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., (ESRI), will present the awards on July 14, during the 30th Annual ESRI International User Conference at the San Diego Convention Center. 

According to conference officials, this award recognizes outstanding work with GIS technology around the world.

The tool’s facility information is gathered as part of the state of Nevada’s Silver Shield and Critical Infrastructure Protection Programs.  UER serves as the support contractor to Metro, which is coordinating the statewide efforts along with leading federal, state and local first responder and emergency management agencies.  As part of its work, UER is identifying and cataloguing more than 3,000 government buildings and other critical facilities in Nevada to provide vulnerability assessments and emergency response information.

The electronic CIPS tool was endorsed by the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security, and first responders across Nevada are currently being trained on its use.  Funding for the CIPS tool in Nevada came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

UER is improving the way our communities work and live by providing specific solutions through expert research, innovative products and training services.  Founded in 1998 and based in Las Vegas, Nev., this nationally recognized consulting firm offers the public and private sectors sustainable solutions that enhance community vitality by addressing the complex interactions of social, economic, security and environmental issues.  For more information, visit

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