• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Monday, March 27, 2023

MapForsyth and Kernersville PD win state award for Forsyth CARES

MapForsyth and the Town of Kernersville received a state award earlier this month for Forsyth CARES, an innovative program that lets local residents provide vital information for first responders to use in emergencies involving them or their loved ones.

The agencies were honored with the G. Herbert Stout Award for excellence and innovation in GIS (Geographic Information System) in local government at the bi-annual NC GIS Conference, which was held in Winston-Salem earlier this month.

They were recognized for Forsyth CARES, which lets Forsyth County residents provide information on themselves or a loved one at forsyth.cc/forsythcares for first responders to use in an emergency. The information includes cognitive conditions, visual or hearing impairment, health conditions, medications, and emergency contacts. All information is confidential and is only used by emergency dispatchers and first responders.

Kernersville Police Detective Dave Mundy came up with the initial concept for Forsyth CARES as a way to bridge the informational gap between residents and first responders. Kernersville Police Department created a local Beta version of the concept. MapForsyth, the city-county geographic information office, then developed Forsyth CARES into a site that would serve the whole county.

"What an honor it is for MapForsyth to be part of the collaborative effort that created the Forsyth CARES program,” said MapForsyth GIS Coordinator Jason Clodfelter. “Our part of the project demonstrates the power and effective use of GIS across multiple disciplines and technology systems for the greater good of Forsyth County and its municipalities. It is quite humbling to be recognized by peers across the state of NC for our innovative use of GIS."

The team that developed Forsyth CARES included Clodfelter; MapForsyth’s William A. Moore, Emergency Services’ Jessica Lowe; Lt. Michael Hudak and Ashley Conrad with the Sheriff's Office; Detective Mundy and Matias Silvas with Kernersville PD; and Martha Hix with City of Winston-Salem Police Communications.

This is the second time MapForsyth has received the Herb Stout Award. It also received the award in 2017 for its collaborative effort with the County’s Board of Elections and MIS departments for the Early Voting Wait Time Application.

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