You are in:
Grant for future control room services: Summary 'National Picture' of fire and rescue authority improvement plans
A summary 'national picture' of the improvement plans proposed by the fire and rescue authorities in England has been released by the Department for Communities and Local Government, in response to its invitation to them to submit bids for the future controls room services funding.
Summary of the ‘Summary’
Strengthening control room resilience
The document calls for the following areas of improvement:
- Availability of control room services: to ensure operators will always be available to take emergency calls and systems and technology will always be available to help them handle the call sand mobilise appropriate emergency responses in the shortest possible times.
- Speed and accuracy of call handling and mobilisation: accelerate the time it takes to validate and confirm the location of an incident and its type; determine the most appropriate available response; identify and mobilise the quickest appropriate available resource needed to fulfil the response.
- Improving interoperability: standardising working/operating procedures; implement common systems and technology to keep each other informed automatically with ‘real time intelligence’ and reduce the risk of communication errors.
The Summary outlines key areas of planned improvement, as well as planned progress for each area across the period 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2014.
Improvements listed are:
- Caller line identification (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014; 25 had the feature on 1 July 2011)
- Integrated geographic information system (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014, 31 had it on 1 July 2011)
- Premise based gazetteer (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014, 10 had this on 1 July 2011)
- Automatic vehicle location (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014, 15 had them on 1 July 2011)
- Mobile data terminals (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014, 27 had them in 2009 – most of which were not being used for true data-based mobilising)
- Full voice and data capability (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014, 3 were in use as of 1 July 2011)
- Status messaging (all 45 F&R authorities plan to have this by the end of 2014, 19 in use as of 1 July 2011)
- Partnering with automatic failover (38 of the 45 F&R authorities plan to have entered into a partnership arrangement with another authority by end of 2014, using systems that will automatically failover to a fallback in the case of a system failure. Three had such arrangements on 1 July 2011)
- Reduction in control rooms and/or secondary control rooms (43 of the 45 plan to have implemented either merging, outsourcing or partnering by the end of 2014, compared to two on 1 July 2011)
Excluding London, below are the forecast the collective savings from the planned improvements:
- 2011/12 – 1m
- 2012/13 – 4m
- 2013/14 – 13m
- 2014/15 – 15m
- 2015/16 – 15m
- 2016/17 – 16m
- 2017/18 – 16m
- 2018/19 – 16m
- 2019/20 – 16m
- 2020/21 – 16m
FiReControl – the final word
The Summary comments on the proposed improvements in the context of the FiReControl Project: ‘It is difficult to compare the proposed plans with the theoretical benefits that would have been delivered by FiReControl if the project had not encountered the repeated problems and delays that led to its termination in December 2010. If FiReControl had been successful, it would have provided a single, resilient, national system, underpinned by common ways of working and operating procedures, which would have resulted in significant efficiencies in terms of reduced numbers of control room operators and no local fire and rescue control rooms. However this needs to be weighed up against the running costs of FiReControl and any risks associated with a single national system.
‘In terms of the ‘availability of control room services’ and the ‘speed and accuracy of call handling and mobilisation’ dimensions of resilience, the vast majority of fire and rescue authorities are planning to procure systems and functionality that are likely to equal the resilience that would have been provided by FiReControl. Indeed the technology they have or are intending to install is, in many cases, similar.
‘It is fair to say that many of the benefits FiReControl would have delivered will now be delivered by the fire and rescue authorities themselves by using modern technologies and working in partnership with each other and the communities they serve.’
To see the full summary, click here.
To see the summary of each individual fire and rescue authority, click here.