Hampshire fire and rescue service – live bi-directional mob interface

Hampshire first UK FRS to adopt live bi-directional mobilisation interface with latest phase of FireWatch deployment


Today’s Fire and Rescue Service deals with a diverse range of emergencies and important community safety and fire prevention work.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) have been continually committed to improving the way these services are provided, whilst meeting business transformation goals and supporting optimised staffing models.

As a long-term client of Infographics, they have for a number of years utilised our FireWatch Cloud-delivered platform, underpinned by Microsoft Azure, as their main Fire Service Resource Management Platform to:

  • Streamline and co-ordinate the work of departments – across HR, Payments, Training & Development, Health & Safety and other areas
  • Provide flexible access to their key resourcing systems, from anywhere at any time, without the need to go via VPN or corporate networks
  • Plan and optimise staffing and availability with live Map, Station and other ‘to-the-minute’ availability views
  • Reduce risk caused by inaccurate or out of date information, with FireWatch immediately displaying direct impacts of contract changes, availability, skills and other areas
  • Model vehicle level needs and status based on contact types, priority and other attributes
  • Gain from options for integration with SMS, Email and Pager
  • Integrate activities and data flows to manage resource more effectively, reducing manual workarounds, spreadsheets and duplicated tasks across departments

HFRS have also deployed employee and manager self-service, and other workflows, to deliver automated interfaces/exports, providing their Shared Business Service (run by the Hampshire Council, Police and other partners) with absence, pay and other data – integrating seamlessly with the local authority’s corporate systems.

And lastly, to ensure greater resilience across all these aspects, Infographics provide 24 hour critical support cover for the FireWatch Cloud platform and software.

The challenge

As part of the latest phase of their FireWatch deployment, HFRS were seeking to further enhance their integrated platform and data flows to their mobilisation system. They chose to work with Infographics with the aim of extending their one-way integration between FireWatch and Capita Vision to deliver live bi-directional data sharing, and greater integration with their on-appliance Mobile Data Terminals.

Key benefits

The project was a success and has now gone ‘live’. The new bi-directional interface between FireWatch and Capita Vision seamlessly couples the systems together and provides a live closed loop of data flows as changes in either occur.

From FireWatch to Capita Vision, FireWatch 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 Capita 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 Capita Vision and control room staff.

The up-to-the-minute data ensures that when an ‘on call’ crew turn out to an incident, the information on the MDT is already filtered to show those who should have been available, providing quick and easy selection of the actual employees on the vehicle and the impact of their skills and resource not being available for any other vehicles at that location.

In the other direction, from Capita Vision to FireWatch, this provides:

  • 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 in FireWatch event records
  • Impact of incident and attending resources on availability, immediately pushing these back out to Vision
  • Automation of event recording steps for pay and maintenance of competency purposes

Colin Sutherland, Systems Manager at HFRS, said:

“This new interface is the culmination of many months’ work for Hampshire Fire and our technological partners, Infographics and Capita. The interface provides individual and appliance crewing data directly into our mobilisation system, allowing our Control rooms throughout the partnership to view Hampshire’s status in real-time.

“This not only improves our resilience with the interface and reduces the risk of human error, but also reduces the burden of crews on station having to complete events after the incident, as the interface now does this for them. A further benefit is that it provides us with crewing accountability on the way to, during and returning from fire calls, which is something we have not been able to achieve before.

“This interface is also the first step in our move towards Attribute Based Response (ABR), which we are now working towards with our partners, and the interface is a solid foundation to build upon.

“It has been an incredibly exciting time with the release of the interface for Hampshire, and it highlights Infographics’ hard work and dedication to continually improve and enhance their offering.”

Russell Wood, Commercial Manager at Infographics, said:

“What we have delivered jointly with Hampshire and Capita is a UK first. FireWatch already provides a fully integrated FRS resource management platform with all the benefits this brings. Coupling this with a live bi-directional flow of data and impacts with Capita Vision and the MDTs essentially enables the systems to act seamlessly as one – and deliver clear operational, risk and efficiency benefits.”

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