15 Sep 2014
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Chester County Employee Wins National Award

You may have never heard of what he does, but you'll be glad he does it.

Chester County Employee Wins National Award
Dave Sekkes has one of those jobs in County Government that most people spend little time thinking about it... until it's all they think about.

Sekkes is the Emergency Planning Coordinator for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services (DES).  When disaster strikes he is one of the people whose planning-for-the-worst job could save your property or your life.
In this case Sekkes used technology to identify potential problems at the  Marsh Creek State Park dam.. before there are problems.

Sekkes was honored this summer with a first place award for "Best Data Integration at the ESRI Company's conference in California. ESRI is a hi-tech geography mapping company.

According to the Chester County Department of Emergency Services:  

"Dave is the primary user of Geographic Information System (GIS) in DES. He performed an analysis of the Marsh Creek Dam inundation zone using recently acquired building footprint data. The inundation zone on a map shows the area that would be affected by flooding should there be a breach of the dam. The building footprint data outlining existing structures which allowed Dave to show that more structures and people were at risk of being affected by a dam breach than had previously been planned for.

As a part of the ESRI International Conference they offer a Map Gallery. The Map Gallery provides an opportunity to share GIS work by showcasing innovative printed maps. There were 13 categories. The award that Dave received, Best Data Integration, judges entrants on the general quality and effective data integration according to relevance and select variety of chosen data sources (surveying, remote sensing, GPS, etc.) and data formats (raster, vector, text, etc.) to the problem-solving and mapmaking processes; and a cohesive presentation of the integration (explanation, illustration, etc.)

Dave utilizes the GIS to provide analysis and mapping support in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during activations and to the department as a whole during daily operations. Additionally, Dave provides technical support for department IT initiatives. Dave has worked with GIS at Chester County since 2002 beginning with the Health Department; he joined DES in 2008."

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