What is Ctrí?
The Ctri project has been established by the Management Board of the NDFEM and is a 3-4 year project to deliver the next generation of fire service communications and mobilisation system. Historically the first generation of the project was referred to as CAMP (Computer Aided Mobilisation Project).
As the aim of this iteration of the CAMP project is to implement a single project across the three existing CAMP Regions the project has been branded as Ctrí.
While our current three regional systems have operated successfully since the early 1990’s they are now nearing end of life. The technology has now moved forward sufficiently to allow us to establish a single National system with three nodes in the three Regional Communications Centre’s and facilitating the development of standardised national technological systems and operational processes
Will we be getting individual Tetra Radios?
After investigation, consultation and consideration, it has been determined that Tetra as a technology is not suitable for use for “At Incident” hand portable communications. It has been identified that Tetra is not in use for this purpose in the vast majority of European brigades. It has however been identified that there are a number of issues in some brigades with the current hand portable technologies in use. As such the Ctrí project has been tasked with identifying these issues and proposing a recommendation for their resolution.
The Ctrí project intends to do this using, initially, two processes. Firstly a survey will be sent to all Fire Authorities nationally to identify the scale of the issues and secondly a Ctrí representative will discuss the issues directly with Brigades/Authorities that have identified significant issues with their solutions.
At that point we will review the issues identified and decide what the best way forward is.
What are the timescales on the roll out of Tetra nationally?
While we have a number of external dependencies we are in the process of resolving our intention at this point is to commence rollout of a Tetra migration towards the end of 2017 with full implementation in 2018.We are currently working on a migration plan and will have more detail on what that migration will look like in the coming months.
Will we have a say in the new CAD system?
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. Once we are in the market for a new command and control system we will start the process of ‘competitive dialogue’ with suppliers and will involve as many stakeholders as possible.
Whatever new system is decided upon will not come as a surprise to end users.
Will we be getting new pagers?
While we’re not, at this time, replacing the pager themselves, they are just receivers, other technical advances and everything that we are doing should improve their operation.
The current system sends a signal from Control over the analogue radio system to the Fire Station if that fails for any reason it is backed up by the Landline telephone system which dials up forms a connection and transmits a message. This system has been in place for quite a while and has served us well but it is coming to end of life and there are faster more reliable systems available.
What we are doing as part of Ctrí is firstly replacing and upgrading the system that gets the signal from Control to the stations.
In place of the Radio/Landline system we are putting in place a new three bearer high speed system.
The first route is and IP (Internet Protocol) or digital network that we are building at the moment it is high speed and reliable.
The second route, should the first fail, is GSM or Mobile Phone so we use the mobile providers 4G/3G/Gprs networks to send our signal on what again is a high speed network, from your point of view you shouldn’t see any difference whether it goes on first or second bearer.
The third route will be the old reliable of Landline or PSTN which is already in place its a bit slower than the first two but its now only used if the first two fail.
Fourthly in cases where we have difficulty with either IP or 4G/3g/Gprs we may drop in a Tetra connection to ensure reliability.
This should mean that the signal gets to your station quicker and more reliably than current or previous systems.
Secondly we are replacing the station kit.
The current station alerting system has probably been there for a good number of years and consists of two systems
What’s called a GD-92 box which Control provide and basically takes the signal from Control and translates it into something your alerting system understands such as Alert/Test/Print etc..
And what’s called an MG-4 Box or your alerting system which receives the signal from our GD-92 box.
We are replacing this with a brand new system from a company called Telnet which combines all this functionality in one box and improves reliability and functionality. This includes the replacement of cables and aerials on your current paging system.
The replacement of all these systems should improve the reliability of all your systems both in terms of the signal from Control and the signal going out from your station and are the equipment that should make the most difference to you in terms of your systems ongoing use by improving the strength and reliability of the signal to your pagers.
What is the National Training Standard?
A Task and Finish Group, consisting of Senior Officers and both Operational and Regional Communications System staff are working on the design of a Nationally Accredited Recruit Emergency Control Operator Training Course.
Our aim is a common national accredited training program for both recruit and existing Emergency Control Operators. This is not fully achievable until other technical elements of the project have been completed to a national standard, however, the ground work is presently being completed and the consultative process has begun.
It’s evident that a high standard of commitment from the three regions who are co-operating in sharing information, training materials and experience will result in motivating and performance enhancing training programs. The Ctrí project team are also cognisant of the work currently being undertaken in the area of the design of a National Recruit Fire Fighter Training Course.
How can I get involved?
You can make contact with the project team through the contact us page www.ctri.ie/contact/ and express an interest in any element of the project, we would be glad to hear from you.