The Savannah Fire Department is one of 250 firefighting forces nationwide selected to participate in a pilot program to build a digital community risk assessment tool, which could help pinpoint where fires and accidents are probable to occur, according to a Savannah Fire spokesperson. The National Fire Protection Association chose Savannah Fire to take part in the second phase of developing the high-tech risk assessment tool, called a “dashboard” that works to help fire departments aggregate and disseminate data that identifies where blazes and other emergencies are most likely to transpire. According to the agency’s Jan. 22 announcement, Savannah Fire will be given free access to the dashboard prototype that includes customized maps, charts, and graphs that illustrate community risks. Hazards are identified in varied categories such as demographics, geography, building stock, infrastructure, and event-loss history. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Savannah Fire to help with the development of an important risk reduction tool, and at the same time, gain insight into the areas of greatest need in our community,” stated Savannah Fire Department Research and Planning Chief Jack McCutchen, Jr. According to National Fire Protection Association officials, the dashboard will also provide an overview of local capacity for risk-reduction activities with information about public-safety response agencies and community-service organizations, giving Savannah Fire an advantage in planning future strategies. “Access to accurate data will allow [community risk reduction] leaders to use insights and make informed decisions about where to focus efforts and resources,” stated Karen Berard-Reed, a National Fire Protection Association strategist. “Participation in this project allows each fire department to provide important feedback that will be used to improve future versions of the dashboard.” Participating in this program also provides local firefighters a chance to network with other agencies selected by the National Fire Protection Association for this dashboard trial, according to the Savannah Fire announcement.