Firelink provides a unified communications system across the 57 Fire and Rescue Services of England, Wales and Scotland. Telent installed the equipment to move its vehicle systems onto the digital network.
For the emergency services, communications are vital. Firelink was an initiative to migrate all of the Fire and Rescue Services onto the secure Airwave network, with the same communications systems installed into all the vehicles across the region. This would bring multiple benefits to the fire services, from increased resilience to interoperability with other bluelight services.
Telent won a competitive tender for the national contract for this work, due to its national coverage and high levels of service assurance. This was vital for the Fire and Rescue services, who need to ensure their vehicles are fully operational when they’re needed.
Over the course of 2 years, Telent installed TETRA Mobile Radio and Mobile Data into 4,932 appliances and 4,534 Officers Cars/Support Vehicles across England, Scotland and Wales. Based on its knowledge of the potential equipment solutions, it could select the best vendor for installation across the variety of vehicles present nationwide. Telent liaised with the individual vendors to manage the services and contracts, freeing up time for Fire and Rescue Services.
Telent handled the complexities of in life asset management and logistics for the Fire and Rescue Services and arranged spares storage that was in line with TEA2 requirements. This took the logistical complexities away from the individual areas and provided assurance that the necessary standards were being met.
The Fire and Rescue Services were impressed by Telent’s service levels and the speed of resolution whenever maintenance issues arose. The fire service needs to operate 24/7/365, so Telent provided a 24x7x365 service desk facility and on-site support service covering hardware and software to get vehicles up and running again. To maximise vehicle uptime, Telent carried out preventative maintenance and provided a software, firmware and hardware upgrade service to ensure that the Fire and Rescue Services were benefiting from up-to-date equipment.
As a result, the contract with Telent was extended to December 2019.
Cost effective service: Telent is driven by efficiency, understanding that value is about more than up-front costs, which is why Telent innovated, automated and invested in the Firelink contract to provide long- term returns. Having a single provider nationwide provided economies of scale that lowered the cost of undertaking installations, through Telent’s high staff utilisation and equipment procurement bargaining power.
Consistent installation: Reference designs drawn up for each vehicle type ensured that equipment was consistently installed in vehicles across the fleet. The standardisation of equipment and processes decreased the risk of installation problems and improved maintenance time.
Nationwide provider minimising downtime: Telent has nationwide vehicle centres that operate 24x7, 365 days a year service with flexible response and service level agreements. With specialist engineers providing round- the-clock support and access to centrally held spares, this minimises downtime for Fire and Rescue vehicles.
High quality service: All Telent’s installers are security-cleared and fully audited and regularly trained on the latest technologies. As a measure of this, Telent’s engineers are covered by the Federation of Communication’s industry code of practice for the installation of radio frequency equipment in motor vehicles (FCS1362:2016). As a result, the Fire and Rescue Services are assured of the highest standards of installation.
“We had a complex requirement to de-install and re-install communications equipment into vehicles across my entire Fire and Rescue Service. Telent won the competitive Firelink tender for England, Scotland and Wales. They paid careful attention to our needs from start to finish, and the work was carried out to a high standard and has seamlessly integrated with our current command and control systems. The on-going support and maintenance contract gives us peace of mind and ensures that all our vehicle communications systems are ready and available when we need them. We are very pleased with Telent’s work and would recommend them to others”
Tony McGuirk, CBE
Chief Executive and Chief Fire Officer Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service