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NSW Fire and Rescue moves to mobile alerts

by Ammy Singh •
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Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has issued a tender indicating its intention to move towards a modern, mobile solution for fire alerts across the state.

At present, 338 fire stations in NSW are alerted to incidents via the 000 emergency number and incidents recorded in FRNSW’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD), which are automatically printed out for use of the fire station.

The agency will seek to migrate to a system which allows the CAD to send incident alerts directly to fire fighters on location outside of their station.

According to the tender, FRNSW is looking to notify frontline staff of fire alerts via iOS or Android devices, also noting the need for any solution to allow fire fighters to reply to the incident alert. Among the other mobile features sought for smartphone use are on-screen maps and audible incident details with voice-activated responses.

The planned replacement of the existing alert system is expected to make redundant the current fire station activation PC that is used in conjunction with CAD, in addition to the fire station PA system that broadcasts the fire alarm, and any existing monitors and printers.

The move to mobile alerts is in line with FRNSW’s overall move towards mobile-friendly technologies, after earlier this year migrating to a cloud-based Microsoft email system.

In May this year, FRNSW’s CIO, Richard Host, told Intermediumthat the modernisation of agency processes will future-proof FRNSW.

“One of the things that’s happening now is that people can access their email on their personal phone if they want to because the new email system is compatible with anything,” Host said.

“All that email traffic doesn’t need to go to head office because it can just all go to the Internet. So it really readies us for the future.”

He noted that other cloud services may be on the horizon for FRNSW. “The other thing that this project did was it got us to build the infrastructure in the DMZ between our internal systems and Internet so that we can now much easier leverage to any cloud… making it easier to use other cloud services.”

The tender for fire station equipment replacement closes on 22 August 2014.

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