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Responder provides triple resilience for fire fighters

by Brian Sims

The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) has selected PageOne Communications’ Responder two-way pager and dual-frequency alerters as part of a wider initiative to reduce the extent or exposure to risk, whilst also increasing business resilience. The solution is helping Essex County FRS to improve the management of its retained fire-fighters and officers by closing the loop on traditional broadcast messaging and extending coverage beyond local transmission range. PageOne’s Responder two-way pagers were selected following a trial of the service during a national strike in 2012.” We needed a contingency strategy and PageOne’s solution offered us a resilient mechanism to communicate with, and manage our officers more effectively,” says David Elwell, Communications Manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.” In addition to a number of peripheral features, the ease-of-use and intelligence offered from the response and acknowledgement element were key drivers for us selecting the service.” More recently Essex County FRS have further enhanced the solution by integrating location and SMS fall-back services via Connect” PageOne’s cloud-based messaging solution. Incorporating GPS and location capability enables the two-way Responder to deliver an accurate positioning of team members, visually represented on map. The addition of SMS fall-back to the Responders provides further resilience to ensure message delivery.” Locate gives us greater visibility, which means we can pinpoint the nearest officer to an incident, mobilise them more effectively and improve response times,” adds David. Essex County FRS also intends to roll-out more devices once their new Command and Control System is introduced.” PageOne’s solution integrates seamlessly with our new Command and Control, so Responder messages can be sent from the system and responses integrated back into the same interface. This means control room staff can make much quicker decisions, once again positively impacting on our response times,” says David. With fire-fighters at their Corringham retained station already using dual frequency alerters, Essex County FRS intend to trial the two-way Responder pagers with dual frequency scanning and SMS fall-back, providing triple resilience.” We have already leveraged the benefits of both technologies in isolation of one another, therefore we would naturally want to explore them working concurrently. This would add an even greater level of resilience to our critical communications strategy,” concludes David.

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