Feeds

EADS wins fire contract

£200m system upgrade

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Communities and Local Government (CLG) has awarded the contract to supply the Fire and Rescue Service with the infrastructure for nine regional control centres to EADS Defence & Security Systems.

Announcing the contract, fire minister Angela Smith said it is worth £200m over eight years, and that it marks a major step in the delivery of CLG's Fire Control project.

The project is aimed at increasing the resilience of the fire and rescue services and their capacity to handle major emergencies by providing a state of the art call handling and management system.

The regional control centres will relay information to firefighting crews and deploy the nearest appropriate equipment, such as high volume pumping equipment. They will also be able to automatically back up one another during major incidents and in the event that one centre fails.

Fire Control services will provide include:

  • Caller location so the location of a member of the public calling by telephone for help (whether mobile or landline) will be identified automatically, saving time.
  • Satellite positioning to tell control operators which fire appliances, with the correct equipment on board, have the shortest travel time to an incident.
  • Computer aided systems to enable staff to locate and directly mobilise the nearest available appropriate resources automatically, using data transmission, not voice messages.
  • In-cab displays so firefighters going to an incident will have constantly updated information, such as a route map, details of known risks and hazards in the locality, floor plans and access details, and the location of the nearest hydrants and water supplies.

EADS will be responsible for building and running the systems that will relay data around the fire service.

"This is a major step forward for the Fire Control project," Smith said. "The government's first duty is to protect the public. At the heart of this project is the ability for the control centres to back each other up and to provide information direct to firefighters on the ground.

"The technology provided under this contract will help to identify the location of incidents more quickly and precisely, ensure that the correct equipment is mobilised as quickly as possible, and provide firefighters with information on the incident location. Ultimately this will help to further reduce the number of lives lost to fire."

The current system relies on 46 control rooms which are not networked, operating on different systems and standards, and with differing levels of equipment and technology. They are unable to deploy firefighting equipment across authority boundaries.

The cost of networking all the existing control rooms and supplying them with the new technology has been estimated at more than twice that of the Fire Control project.

The project is being procured to allow for it to be phased in and to avoid a single "big bang" handover day. This is intended to ensure the system is reliable and that it will inspire the confidence of firefighters.

On the day of the contract announcement CLG began to recruit the regional control centre directors. They will be responsible for leading operations and will play a pivotal role preparing the centres to go live from 2008.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.