Kent police and fire services to go live with ‘shared’ command system

Kent Fire and Rescue Service expects to go live with its new command and control system in February next year that will further drive collaboration with Kent Police, which has been using the same system for the past ten years.

Dec 17, 2014
By Paul Jacques
Conservative MP Sir David Amess

Kent Fire and Rescue Service expects to go live with its new command and control system in February next year that will further drive collaboration with Kent Police, which has been using the same system for the past ten years.

It will enable the two emergency services to work together more effectively and to share information relating to the mobilisation of resources in response to incidents as they arise.

Having both services on a common platform will prove invaluable if an incident requires both police and fire services to attend. Both services will have a common view of the situation, so, for example, there will not be any risk of duplication, or errors relating to two different incident addresses.

This will deliver a more resilient and efficient 999 service for the people of Kent and Medway, maximising the benefits of having two of the emergency services co-located within the same control room and utilising a collaborative command and control system.

Underpinned by geographic information system (GIS) technology, the SteriaSTORM command and control system from Steria overlays real-time information about the location of emergency services’ resources onto detailed electronic area maps. This enables control room operators to deploy the appropriate resources where they are required.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service signed a six-year, £900,000 contract with Steria for the system at the end of September. It will replace its current mobilisation system, which the service says is long overdue for replacement.

Steve Demetriou (right), director of major projects and resilience at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said the the mission-critical system will enable it to share information with Kent Police “while still preserving the integrity each service may need during security incidents”.

Chris Bates, managing director of defence and emergency services at Steria, said: “The UK’s emergency services are delivering mission-critical support in an unprecedented era of austerity where every penny counts.

“In the face of an ever-increasing need for collaboration, Steria has successfully delivered multi-force command and control solutions within the police market, so this inter-Blue Light deal, bringing Kent’s police and fire services together, is a logical extension of that model. The two services are, of course, natural partners and collaborative solutions will achieve real improvements in practical joint working, deliver tangible savings and ultimately provide a more resilient, cost-effective service to the people of Kent.”

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