Dr. William Montgomery Teaches Fire Science Students the Importance of Geoscience as it Relates to the Fire Service
Dr. William Montgomery, Chairperson of the Geoscience Department at NJCU, has worked very closely with a number of our more diligent fire science students through the past six to eight years to create and complete a variety of extremely interesting and rewarding fire service-related projects. Dr. Montgomery has consistently received rave reviews from our fire science students. This is due to his energetic level of enthusiasm in teaching, and the support he provides them with the development and completion of their specialized fire-oriented Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) projects. In the words of Professor Malley, “Dr. Montgomery is clearly one of the finest; most dedicated, capable and committed professors on the campus. He shares his wealth of knowledge with a level of energy and enthusiasm that our students find to be highly motivational. You will not find a professor anywhere who is more committed to the learning and success of their students.” The course most of our students take is, “GIS I: Contemporary Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 250)”. The three earned credits from this course can either be applied toward graduation in Area F or as general electives.
Dr. Montgomery came to NJCU twelve years ago to teach in the Geoscience Department and within seven years became the department chairperson. Dr. Montgomery received his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University and specializes in GIS and GPS. Explaining the potential use of this scientific technology in a variety of services and industries, Dr. Montgomery noted that “it’s use is becoming ubiquitous among fire departments”. The accuracy and information that one can obtain from the use of these systems is tremendous. Critical operational units and system components can be located for use in real-time. This can significantly improve the rate and effectiveness of fire and emergency operations.
One reason Dr. Montgomery decided to go into academia is that, as he stated, “I enjoy the opportunity to help facilitate growth in students and their recognition of how to use this technology.” Dr. Montgomery has worked with the fire science students to develop projects which enhance the students understanding of how geoscience can be used for the betterment of the fire service. Several of the fire science majors have worked on projects encompassing the use of GPS to identify key water supply units (fire hydrants) in their volunteer or career fire company districts to expedite engine company responses and operational capacities. Many older fire hydrant maps need updating. Working with our students and select fire departments, Dr. Montgomery oversees the students as they; formulate their research project and then, collect, transform and utilize the derived information to generate extremely accurate water distribution system maps. The information provided by these high-tech maps can greatly assist firefighters by showing them; whether or not a fire hydrant is functioning, the water volume, and even water pressure that is being provided. Just think about what this information can do for firefighters when they arrive at a building that is fully engulfed in flames! Dr. Montgomery also mentioned that GPS is in the developmental stages of being integrated into firefighter self-contained breathing apparatus (masks). This revolutionary use of the advance technology could markedly improve firefighter operational effectiveness and safety. In the future, broader use of GPS technologies by the fire departments will definitely improve their abilities to save lives and protect property!!!
While Dr. Montgomery enjoys teaching, he also in his spare time enjoys golfing and rock and roll music. Bass player, rockin’ roller Montgomery enjoys getting together with his fraternity brothers and doing a little jammin’. That being said, given that seats in Dr. Montgomery’s classes sell out faster than those at a Bon Jovi concert, I guess you could say that Dr. Montgomery is a rock star in two domains. Not alone in his musical abilities; he is joined by his daughter Katie who is a professional opera singer and his son Evan who is a professional jazz guitarist. Dr. Montgomery also enjoys the time that he spends with his lovely wife Marcia.