This project pilots a wayfinding approach to help Emergency Services locate the scene of an emergency/incident within larger parks and on park trails. It includes installation and mapping of location identification signs, called Park Location Points, in parks. The geospatial location data for Park Location Points is shared with Emergency Services - Toronto Police Service, Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Fire Services, through the City's Geospatial Competency Centre.
Park Location Point (PLP) signs are highly visible and easy to read. Each sign includes instructions to call 911 and a unique Park Location ID number. When an emergency or incident occurs near a Park Location Point, the unique Park Location ID number can be relayed to 911. With this information, Emergency Services can more accurately locate a scene. Park Location ID numbers can also be used to pinpoint the location for 311-related service requests. PLP signs will be installed in high use areas and along trails at intervals no greater than 500m.
High Park and Centennial Park in Etobicoke were selected for the pilot based on volume of emergency calls, park size, usage, and geography. Morningside Park in Scarborough has also been added as a pilot park location. A total of 88 Park Location Point (PLP) signs will be installed at the pilot park locations with a possible seven additional signs:
- High Park (40 PLPs with one possible addition)
- Centennial Park - Etobicoke (32 PLPs with six possible additions)
- Morningside Park (16 PLPs)
The pilot project by City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division in partnership with Toronto Police Service, Toronto Paramedic Services, and Toronto Fire Services was officially kicked off in July 2014 and will end in September 2016. A pilot assessment and recommendations report will be presented to the Parks and Environment Committee in late 2016.
This project contributes to the City’s strategic goal of improving capacity to prevent and respond to emergencies to ensure that Toronto residents and communities are safe with a focus on Toronto’s vulnerable communities.
The Parks and Environment Committee directed PFR to look at the feasibility of using numbered life saving stations and GPS data to improve safety in parks. After a scan of other similar municipal initiatives, this pilot project was launched to implement emergency services wayfinding through the use of existing mapped assets (including the Life Saving Stations), a sign system and shared geospatial data to improve the ability of Emergency Services to locate and respond to incidents in larger parks and on trails.
During an emergency situation, especially in larger parks, individuals may find it difficult to describe a location or provide directions to the scene of an incident. Emergency Services currently uses a variety of methods to help determine a caller's location. The Emergency Services Wayfinding system will provide another method to assist emergency services in pinpointing the scene of an incident or emergency.
Scope of Project
The pilot project has four stages:
- Installation of two types of highly visible, reflective yellow PLP signs on existing park assets including waste bin posts, life saving stations, light poles and one picnic area:
- updated version of the life saving station sign which includes a Park Location ID number
- stand-alone 8" diameter round sign incorporating a Park Location ID number and instructions to call 911 in an emergency
Park Location ID numbers and map coordinates of PLPs, along with the park name and asset category, are shared with Emergency Services Divisions. This information will be available in the emergency dispatch and response systems when responding to calls in the pilot parks.
Emergency dispatch and response staff will be trained to include a question about the PLP sign and Park Location ID number when taking calls in the pilot parks.
|July 2014||Project kick off|
|September 2014||Develop Emergency Services Wayfinding Guidelines / Processes|
|October 2014||Site Selection; Data & Visits|
|November 2014||Park Location Points identified, mapped & numbered|
|December 2014||Sign Design|
|January 2015||Pilot Sites approved|
|February 2015||Mapped coordinates of Parks Location Points shared with Emergency Services|
|March 2015||Emergency Services Systems prepared; Sign Production|
|April 2015||Training & Communication|
|April / May 2015||Park Location Point sign installation; Field Testing|
|September 2016||Pilot period ends|
|Q4 2016||Pilot assessment and recommendations report to Parks and Environment Committee|