Progress update - July 2018

Since our last publication we have completed the Competitive Dialogue Procurement Process for the New Command, Control and Communications System. We have arrived at a preferred bidder and contracts have been signed. This was an intense process involving in excess of 20 members of the wider Fire Service from operational senior officers to RCC managers and end users at every level.

The process involved:

  • Demonstrations from the suppliers
  • Demonstrations to the suppliers
  • Review of their outline solution
  • Formal scored presentations
  • Review of their detailed solution

Throughout the process there were regular meetings with the suppliers to allow for dialogue and to ensure we were getting the best possible product that met all our specific requirements. Each stage had to be scored and the review team did an outstanding job in the timescale allotted.

Systel Ltd. with in excess of 50 installation worldwide have been selected as the supplier for Command and Control and ICCS Services for the Irish Fire Service. The product they offer is built from the ground up and focuses on the needs of operational Fire Fighters and control rooms staff and operations. Advancements in technology will assist control room operators in address location, managing incidents, dealing with end-to-end processes to efficiently and effectively handle incidents, from initial receipt of calls, recording information, mobilising resources, managing and closing incidents.

The dynamic incident access will allow senior officers greater control of operations. The Project Team are extremely grateful to all the Fire Service personnel involved in reviewing the tender material and selecting the best product for the needs of the Irish Fire Service.

Initial entry - December 2017

Our Emergency Control Operators in the Regional Control Centres are tasked with mobilising a Fire Service response to those calling 999/112.

The most powerful tool at their disposal is their Command and Control software system of which, currently, there are three independent systems. Each of these systems essentially operates in a similar manner but do so independently with no capability for mutual support or interaction. These systems would, in any case, require replacement over the course of the coming years.

A new National CAD system with the three regional command and control centres operating as hubs or clients from the same Command and Control Software system with the capability to interoperate and provide mutual support to each other in the event of spate conditions or technical failure and communicate with each other will be a significant step forward.

Technology in the area of Command and Control systems has moved on considerably since we were last in the market, no longer are CADs locked down on controlled networks, firewall technology allows a great deal more connection to the outside world.  Management Information Systems, Performance Management Systems, Dynamic real time remote access, Geographical Information Systems, access to social media etc. have all seen significant technological development in the intervening period.

We are at stage of establishing what functionality we currently have nationally across the three regional communications systems and what our end users really want from a new system before we move on to preparation of functional specifications for a new national command and control system.

It will be an inclusive process and we will deliver a system that will help Emergency Control Operators with their core role of mobilising the right brigade to the right location as quickly as possible and improved functionality when it comes to the management of incidents and appropriate deployment of resources.