Merseyside Fire & Rescue
The Fire Services must overcome many obstacles when responding to an emergency. From the moment a member of the public calls 999, to a fire appliance arriving at the scene of the incident – seconds count, and being as operationally effective is vital.
Communication should not be an obstacle but many fire services experience difficulties when mobilising their staff using old fashioned SMS services.
A fire service control room manager explains more, “When control room staff needed to mobilise responders, their only option was to send an SMS message. The control room has no data on who has read the messages and there was no option to see any response details. Also, as situations start to escalate, or had been overcome, there was no option to remove messages from end user’s devices – this meant fire officers weren’t always acting on the most current information, which can introduce a significant operational risk”.
Problems resulted in:
• erratic and slow response times
• difficulties in allocating resources before and during dispatch
• issues coordinating and managing situational awareness
The Peoplesafe Alert solution
When mobilising, the control room staff send a message from the Peoplesafe emergency notification system to the required message group(s) – this is delivered within seconds to the end-users Peoplesafe Alert app. The message notification overrides the end user’s device being set to silent and also repeats until the required response has been made.
The control room staff can see real-time information, via the Management Portal, of who has opened the message, acknowledged receipt, or responded with some details – including their GPS location.
Once the required staff level has been achieved – a stand-down message is sent. There is also the option to delete the message, via the portal, which removes it from the end user’s device.
The success of the installation has given the fire service the confidence to extend their capabilities. It is the intention to now integrate Peoplesafe Alert with the fire service’s command and control system. This will consolidate the management of critical communication and further streamline operations.