Fire and rescue services collaborate for improved efficiency and increased community safety | Mantis Public Relations

Fire and rescue services collaborate for improved efficiency and increased community safety

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The East Coast & Hertfordshire Control Room Consortium (ECHCRC) – a group of four fire and rescue (FRSs) services from Hertfordshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire and Norfolk – has selected Updata Infrastructure (Updata), a specialist managed service provider for the public sector, to design and manage a new shared Wide Area Network [WAN], connecting the Consortium’s emergency control rooms.

The WAN will be built to PSN accredited standards and will enable far greater asset utilisation and operational efficiency, help increase community safety and lay the foundations for wider shared services amongst the group and with their respective Local Authorities. Updata will also provide perimeter security, remote access and application security services to deliver a secure data communication framework between each of the four control rooms.  The contract is worth £1.2m over 5 years.

Following the abandonment of the Government’s Regional Control Centre initiative in December 2010, the Government offered funding to look at ways of providing improved resilience and more efficient ways of working. Hertfordshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire and Norfolk received funding in March 2012 and formed the ECHCRC. The new highly resilient, PSN compliant network will initially connect each of the services’ control rooms, including the control room data centres located in Hertfordshire and Humberside. ECHCRC procured through the Public Services Network Connectivity framework and awarded the contract to Updata in October 2013.

Helen Dowse, Programme Manager ECHCRC, comments: “Lincolnshire and Humberside services have always provided mutual assistance and there has been collaboration between Norfolk and Hertfordshire for quite some time, so ECHCRC is a natural partnership for all. Designing our own collaborative solution based on proven sustainable technologies ensures it is tailored to meet our joint and individual needs and thus will mitigate many risks and reduce costs. The solution design will provide an ICT roadmap to satisfy future demands by conjoining the control room requirements with the wider business needs of the FRSs. The new network removes any single-point of failure, ensuring far greater resilience and enables us to collectively work closer together.  In the future, we will be able to dynamically mobilise resources, helping us improve our asset utilisation.”

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