The Control Room system that Telent sourced integrates with each Fire Service’s resource availability systems ensuring that the nearest available skilled resources are mobilised to incidents regardless of service boundaries.
The regional fire authorities of Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire had to make difficult financial savings in order to achieve government spending targets. In order to keep stations open and pumps running that might otherwise have had to be withdrawn, they decided to combine their control rooms and move onto a single centralised command and control system.
This resulted in the formation of the North West Fire Control Centre which is responsible for handling all 999 emergency calls to the North West Fire Services, it also has the responsibility of mobilising fire fighters and fire engines to incidents across the four counties.
Following a rigorous tender process, Telent was awarded the four year contract to provide its Control Room service. Telent combined the command and control systems of four of the UK’s regional fire authorities into one central command and control system. It did this by integrating the latest technology from Hexagon and Frequentis, which now allows the four Fire Services to share the infrastructure required to route 999 calls, mobilise resources and communicate with crews.
The system integrates with each Fire Service’s resource availability systems ensuring that the nearest available skilled resources are mobilised to incidents regardless of service boundaries. A key benefit of the mobilising solution is its multi-agency configurability, allowing staff to follow a single workflow in the control room, regardless of the call’s location, confident in the knowledge that the system will propose an appropriate response for each incident type based on the demographics and risk profiles of the local community area.
This shared infrastructure regional model was the first of its kind to be used in the Blue Light sector, and has led to improved responsiveness and greater efficiency allowing the Fire Services to achieve government prescribed savings whilst protecting front line services.
Of all of the companies that competed to provide this solution, Telent demonstrated the most comprehensive Control Room service, optimal service level agreements and value for money. Telent was also appointed to lead the implementation of the project and provide on-going support services.
Multi-agency configurability: The Telent solution has enabled the Fire and Rescue Service to respond more efficiently, especially across borders which enables a much faster response particularly to life critical incidents
Efficient control room dispatch: The new system ensures that the nearest available skilled resources are mobilised to incidents regardless of service boundaries. Sarah Wilson, Head of North West Fire Control, said “The public [now] receives a much quicker and co-ordinated response to critical and life risk incidents”
Cost effective: Access to commercial off-the-shelf software provides an innovative solution whilst delivering value for money. North West Fire Control has made over £15m savings in its initial years of operation
Improved front line response: All resources attending an incident,
whether they are from the same Fire and Rescue Service or not can now communicate with each other while on route to the incident. This means the public receives a much quicker and co-ordinated response to critical and life risk incidents
Better use of staff: By creating a single North West Fire Control Centre, the four Fire Services were able to achieve government prescribed savings whilst protecting front line services
Easy to deal with: Telent managed all interactions with third party equipment providers to make the process seamless
“North West Fire Control is a single Fire Control Centre where four Fire and Rescue Services’ assets are mobilised from a single mobilising system. [The system Telent provides us with has] enhanced caller location information and an extensive premises based gazetteer [which] enables the Control Room Operator to quickly and accurately pinpoint not only the location of an incident but also the location of the caller. Assisted by Automatic Vehicle Locating Systems and road routing software within the mobilising system, the Operator can then identify and alert the quickest response to the incident.”
Chief Fire Officer of Cheshire and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Services Former President of the Chief Fire Officers Association