New command and control system for three fire services goes live

A new single command and control system for Devon & Somerset, Dorset & Wiltshire, and Hampshire Fire & Rescue Services, has gone live. The single system, implemented under a programme that is estimated to save the three services £16.91m by 2024, is underpinned by Capita’s latest VisionDS technology and provides enhanced control centre functionality, greater resilience and reduced costs.

Capita has been working with the Fire Services - all members of the Networked Fire Control Services Partnership (NFCSP) – for the past two years. The Partnership was established to provide a collaborative approach to the future provision of fire control services across the region, which covers a population in excess of five million.

Capita’s communications and control technology has enabled a single system networked to serve local control rooms in Exeter, Devizes and Eastleigh. The integrated system allows the three services to work closely together, sharing resources during busy periods or a major incident, helping to enhance service levels while improving public and firefighter safety.

The NFCSP will benefit from increased efficiencies through the deployment of a secure, shared infrastructure for telephony, airwave radio and data centres. In addition, combined training for the region’s call operators will result in standardised working practices and a wide support network of knowledge, skills and experience.

John Aldridge, Chair of the NFCSP strategic board said: “The Partnership will now be using the latest in control and command technology, which provides the platform for an enhanced service across the region. It will provide the three services with an awareness of overall operational activity and resource use across the control rooms.

“This will enable the quickest, most appropriate response to an incident – regardless of geographical boundaries – and provide our communities with better protection. By sharing a technology platform we are able to increase resilience across the region - if one Service is under pressure for whatever reason, the others will be able to provide full support.”

Paul Eggleton, managing director of Capita Communication and Control Solutions, said: “Emergency services across the country are looking at how they can collaborate with their partners to increase efficiencies and improve services to local communities. Dedicated teams from the NFCSP and Capita worked closely throughout the project design and delivery to ensure that those objectives have been met.

“Our solution has helped ensure that the people served by the Partnership, and the firefighters on the front line, are better protected as a result of resilient, mutually supported emergency call handling and mobilising.”