East Coast and Hertfordshire Fire Control goes live

Published: 28 Nov 2017

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has become the first of four eastern fire services to move its fire control room on to a new regional control system.

The new joint mobilising system, known as the East Coast and Hertfordshire Control Room Consortium, has been developed by Hertfordshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire and Norfolk fire and rescue services to provide a single, highly resilient mobilising system for the four services.

Although each service will continue to have its own control room, the new system provides multiple fall-back facilities, meaning that each control room will be able to receive and handle calls from any of the four services’ areas. The four control rooms will be able to handle each other’s calls from start to finish, including the mobilisation of resources and all the incident management aspects that they currently undertake for their own services.

Darryl Keen, Chief Fire Officer for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We’re pleased to be the first service to move on to the new platform. The new network, and the updated software that goes with it will give a real boost to our resilience and improve call handling and response times across the four services.

“A lot of people have put a lot of work into this project over the last five years and it’s great to see that effort coming to fruition and our shared vision for a single mobilising system becoming a reality.”

As well as the technical challenges of linking four control rooms on to a single network, the programme has also harmonised operating procedures and ways of working across the four services. As a result, members of the public and operational crews will be dealt with in the same way, whichever control room they end up connected to.

Hertfordshire and Norfolk FRSs have previously had a buddy system in place, and Humberside and Lincolnshire have always provided mutual assistance, and the four-way collaboration is a natural extension of that. The wide geographical area covered also means it’s unlikely that, even in extreme weather, all four areas will be affected at the same time.

Hertfordshire moved across to the new Vision 4-based system on 28 November and Humberside will transfer in January, with Lincolnshire and Norfolk following later in the year.