The Versatility of the Label

By Dan Curran on September 08, 2014

The label tool allows you to place text anywhere on your fire or incident maps. There is a lot of hidden potential in the label tool. We are going to show you how to use the label tool, a couple of basic uses of the label, and then a few advanced techniques that will improve the quality of your maps.

Using the label

The label tool is accessed by click on the Labels button and then selecting the Label tool.

Steps to add a label

This action brings up a dialog menu. Enter the your label's text and press the Add Label button.

The label dialog menu

Getting a label onto your map is quick and easy. You can then click-and-drag your label to move in map. Double-click the label, and a dialog menu will appear allowing you to rotate, duplicate or delete your label.

Unit designations

We recommend putting unit designations on or near all fire apparatus. This allows those viewing your map to immediately know where specific units where located.

In the image below we show two examples of how a label can be used to show the unit designation. Now you know which of your where your specific fire apparatus was.

Example of using the label for unit designations

Big fire hook-up or fire department connection

It is often tempting to show complex hose configuration such as a big fire hookup or the apparatus connecting to a fire department connection.

In the example below, you see a big fire hookup being made using three separate hose lines.

Using hose lines to show a big fire hookup

It is often easier to read, and understand the map if you were to use a label instead. In the image below you see how we used a label to show that a big fire hookup was made to the hydrant.

Using label tool to show a big fire hookup

Address your buildings

Putting addresses on buildings is a great way to differentiate your structures. This is especially important when you have multiple exposures. In the image below we show the addresses of 127 and 129 placed on the buildings.

Using the label tool to show building addresses

Instead of using the building's address you can use the exposure designation, as shown below. It will depend on how you refer to structures in your narrative as to which format you should use in your maps.

Using the label tool to show exposures

Label your lines, or make a legend

Labeling your attack lines is a great way to assist in show how the fire attack progressed. When you only have a handful of lines in operations placing a label indicating how the line was used is best.

Using the label tool to identify hose lines

If you have a complex scene attack lines, backup lines, exposure lines, and different diameter supply lines you can use the label tool to make a legend to assist with map clarity. The legend below is a combination of the hose tool and the label tool, it can be placed in the corner and really helps when there is a lot of hose on the ground.

Using a legend to identify hose lines


We have shown you the ins and outs of the label tool. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The label tool can be used in many different ways to give your fire department an in depth view of your incident, more clarity in a pre-incident plan, or help convey more information on your training scenarios.

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