Following the decision by Government in December 2010 to scrap the Regional Control Centres a project was set up by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to review its call handling requirements.
The review identified that the current command and control system (used to record emergency calls and send fire engines and officers to incidents), Firecat, would need to be replaced by April 2013 as it would no longer be serviceable.
This led to the Service undertaking a research and procurement process for a new system and selecting Capita Fortek as the new provider.
On Tuesday 19th March 2013 the new system went live.
This system is VISION 4 and we are the first Fire and Rescue Service in the country to install this latest version of the Fortek system. The system uses the most modern technology available and will bring many additional benefits to the Service, including;
- More precise mobilising (deploying) of fire engines and officers through the use of an Automatic Vehicle Location System which can pinpoint the nearest fire engine to an incident when it occurs, 24 hours a day to ensure the most effective response may be made.
- A fully integrated mapping system to assist Control Operators quickly pinpoint incident locations on a map.
- The ability to mobilise (deploy) and send messages directly to fire engines through mobile data terminals (MDT) *. The mobile data terminals also include mapping and local risk information which will assist local fire crews.
- An upgraded communications system delivering caller information including the caller’s location (for landlines and mobile phones) directly into the system.
- The latest gazetteer provided by Ordnance Survey which gives the addresses of premises and streets within the area covered by the Service.
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Mal Austwick the Group Manager for Harrogate and Craven district’s explained that this new Control System would assist the Services Control Operators in their abilities to mobilise fire engine’s and other emergency resources quicker. In particular the Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS) fitted to emergency vehicles will allow them to send the nearest fire engine to deal with an emergency incident.
Group Manager, Austwick said:
Before this new system was in place if a fire engine was mobile in an area and another still in a fire station and a fire call came into our Control, they would not know the exact location of the mobile fire engine and therefore would need to make contact with it over the radio, losing vital seconds that could be essential in dealing with the emergency.
Now with the new system the Control Operator will not need to make contact as they will know where each fire engine is and can therefore mobilise the nearest to an incident, thus improving our response times.