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Southern fire services pool resources with shared command and control system

Fire and rescue services in Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire have joined forces to deploy modern command and control technology

Three fire services have partnered to deploy a joint command and control system with the aim of saving the organisations nearly £17m by 2024.

Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service are all part of the Networked Fire Control Services Partnership (NFCSP), which was set up to provide and encourage a collaborative approach to fire services in the region.

The command and control system, which is underpinned by Capita’s VisionDS technology, aims to provide enhanced control centre functionality and greater resilience, while reducing costs.

The system was implemented as part of a programme to save the services a combined £16.91m by 2024.

It serves local control rooms in Exeter, Devizes and Eastly, and allows the fire services to share resources in the event of a major incident.

John Aldridge, chair of the NFCSP strategic board, said the system would allow the fire and rescue services to use the latest command and control technology.

“It will provide the three services with an awareness of overall operational activity and resource use across the control rooms,” he said.

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“This will enable the quickest, most appropriate response to an incident, regardless of geographical boundaries, and provide our communities with better protection,” Aldridge added.

“By sharing a technology platform we are able to increase resilience across the region. If one service is under pressure for whatever reason, the others will be able to provide full support.”

The three fire and rescue services also share infrastructure for telephony, airwave radio and datacentres as part of the contract. ..........................................

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