Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service expects to cut costs dramatically when it introduces a new biometric-based rostering system from 1 January 2006.
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The service's head of ICT, Damian Parkinson, said, "We are putting in the rostering solution because we anticipate there will be an efficiency gain of £2m to £2.5m a year."
The system will notify Greater Manchester's central crewing function when every firefighter arrives at work. The firefighters will "clock on" by putting their hands in biometric scanners when they arrive for a shift.
The scanners - from supplier Smart Human Logistics - are IP devices that take 80 to 90 measurements of an individual's hands and assign each person a unique ID.
Greater Manchester has signed a five-year managed service contract for the rostering system at a cost of £200,000 a year.