Capita to provide software to merged Welsh fire and rescue control centre

Capita Communication and Control Solutions has been awarded a joint contract by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) to provide ‘Command and Control’ software.

The contract, for Capita’s latest ‘VISION ’ software, marks a major milestone in the Joint Public Service Centre (JPSC) project that will see the control teams of MAWWFRS and SWFRS merge and relocate to South Wales Police (SWP) Headquarters in Bridgend alongside the SWP control teams.

‘Command and Control’ software recommends an appropriate response to control room staff when a fire emergency call is made, and automatically locates and alerts the nearest resources using bells and printers on fire stations or alerters for on-call firefighters and officers.

The system can also plot the location of the incident, and the location of the caller, using GPS data onto detailed maps. These include lists of all addresses, details of the road network and even locally used alternative names given to places or landmarks which can be essential for a fire crew to get to an emergency quickly.

Senior Responsible Officer for the JPSC Project, MAWWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Davies, said: “Following a detailed tender process, I am pleased to announce that the Capita VISION software has been chosen to ensure our communities receive the best possible emergency response in the coming years, and in the current financial climate, represents significant long term savings.

“This new control room software also provides improved functionality and efficiency from the current systems in use, and will allow control room teams to effectively manage fire emergency calls across South Wales Fire and Rescue and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service areas. The software provides integration with other systems such as our On-Call Firefighter Availability System as well as providing automated information sharing between other emergency services in the region.”

Paul Eggleton, managing director of Capita Communication and Control Solutions, said: “We already have a strong track record in supplying communications and control solutions in Wales and look forward to implementing this new and exciting innovative solution. The work to deploy VISION will offer the authorities some new opportunities for greater co-operation between agencies which in turn will help to improve the response and service provided to the public and communities of Mid and South Wales.”

Following extensive testing, the new software will be launched in May 2016 once the redevelopment of SWP headquarters in Bridgend is completed and the joint fire control teams move to their new base.