East Sussex Fire and Rescue roll out latest phase of FireWatch deployment

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service go live with the FireWatch Mobilisation interface, on-call automated payments and self-service


East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) provide prevention, protection and response services to 812,514 people within the area of East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove, covering an area of 179,000 hectares.

Approximately a third of the population served is within the heavily urbanised City of Brighton & Hove. Working within a large and diverse area on the south coast of England, ESFRS cover rural locations, a busy city centre, and urban seaside towns.

The challenge

With such a diverse range of terrain and duties, The Service requires a platform that can support efficient ways of working and an agile approach to fire and rescue management whilst strengthening collaboration across teams and partner organisations.

The solution

ESFRS worked with Infographics to deploy their specialist FireWatch Fire Service Management platform, and are now embarking on a next phase to expand the use of the solution into new areas.

The latest rollout of the IT programme builds on the foundations of integrated FireWatch modules already in place for Human Resource Management, Wholetime Availability, On-Call Availability, Support Staff Flexitime, and Training and Development.

Latest deployment – key features and benefits

As part of a collaborative project, the Service has worked closely with Infographics to roll out the FireWatch Mobilisation Interface with SSS Public Safety (previously Capita) Vision, and launch automated On-Call Payment Calculations and Self-Service.

Mark Matthews, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“The deployment of the FireWatch Mobilisation Interface ensures an accurate view of real-time resource availability and competence across the Service, as FireWatch is now directly integrated with emergency dispatch operations within Joint Fire Control.

“Plus, the rollout of On-Call Payment Calculations automates the generation of on-call payments for turnouts, attendances, and other working time – significantly reducing previous, inefficient manual form submission processes.

“The launch of Self-Service will improve the completeness of personal and diversity information. This will assist us in understanding the diversity of our workforce and how we can best support our colleagues, with greater awareness when performing Equality Impact Analysis.

“The path has not been without challenges, but we have been particularly impressed with the commitment, response, and overall excellent service that Infographics have continued to provide to ESFRS, assisting us in delivering IT solutions to improve processes and increase efficiency.”

Background – mobilisation interface:

The FireWatch Mobilisation Interface with SSS Public Safety Vision is designed to enable greater real-time data sharing between the FireWatch Fire Service Management Platform, Vision Mobilisation System and on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals.

This latest ESFRS deployment provides a new real-time interface between FireWatch and Vision that seamlessly couples the systems together and provides a live flow of integrated resource availability data as changes occur.

From FireWatch to Vision, the FireWatch interface calculates vehicle availability to the minute, derived from live HR, contract/role, employee availability, qualifications, physical vehicle availability, and other fully connected and integrated data and modules. So, when anything changes, FireWatch pushes updated vehicle availability status in real-time to the Vision Mobilisation system.

The system takes into account shared resources across vehicles, priority levels and skill-derived attributes and incident types, rather than a simple on/off ‘the run’ and provides that live status to Vision and control room staff.

The up-to-the-minute data ensures that when an ‘on-call’ crew turns out to an incident, the information on who should have been available and the impact of their skills and resource is clear.

East Sussex have initially deployed the FireWatch to Vision interface. The standard FireWatch mobilisation interface can work in a single direction or bi-directionally. Where the bi-directional interface is deployed, it can facilitate the following:

  • Live incident creation and stage updates as they happen
  • Data flows from the on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals to Vision, then to FireWatch, so that FireWatch understands the specific resources involved and can send the impact back to Vision
  • Updates to, and impacts of, event stages, attending vehicles and personnel changes
  • Automatic confirmation of personnel who have turned out retained in FireWatch event records
  • Further automation of event recording steps for pay and maintenance of competency purposes

Self-service and automated payments:

The FireWatch self-service module enables users to access a range of self-service features, providing efficient processes to book on and off duty, request holidays, see skills and request training, and payments. On-call payments automate the generation of payments for turnouts, attendances, training and other working time – significantly reducing previous, inefficient manual form submission processes.

The results – a ‘complete picture’

Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said:

”It has been great to work with East Sussex Fire and Rescue on the latest phase of their FireWatch programme, which delivers live integrated resource information within control, speeds up payment processes and provides a ‘complete picture’ of availability across the FRS. These latest rollouts advance the efficiency and visibility of operational and management processes.”

Future plans

The FRS are currently deploying a live interface between FireWatch and Oracle Cloud and plan to upgrade to the latest FireWatch release, new Web User Experience, and other capabilities in 2023.

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