Directions with Stan Grant

Flashpoint: Chief Kim Zagaris on disaster management

June 23, 2021

How can leaders use technological innovation to mitigate and respond to a crisis?

Kim Zagaris spent the first part of his career serving in the army, but a twist of fate saw him switch from army tanks to fire trucks. 

As he drove home from a night out with his mates, he was confronted by a fire out of control. Pulling up, a firefighter directed him to grab a hose. It was a sliding door moment.

Decades on, Chief Kim Zagaris was named California’s Fire Chief of the Year. He’s been involved in every catastrophic emergency in California over a distinguished 40-year career and has placed technological innovation at the heart of modern-day firefighting – completely changing the way agencies respond to crises. 

“We're actually looking at real-time vehicle location, or where resources are, and how quickly we'll get to an incident, and matching up those resources with a database… and we're using geographic information and technology to do it”.

Next episode: Brian Boulmay, global digital transformation leader.


Directions is a podcast hosted by award-winning journalist Stan Grant about how leaders use technology and innovation to solve problems and to shape our increasingly complex world. 

This is a BGT Production created in partnership with Esri Australia.

Esri Australia is the nation's leading GIS technology and services provider and part of the BGT group.

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