cfoaFire and rescue services should be undertaking a thorough review of their future service requirements as they aim to meet budgetary requirements, the Chief Fire Officers’ Association has warned.

The report, FRSs in England – Planning for an Uncertain Future, considers the challenges budget cuts and the changing landscape of critical communications place on fire and rescue services.

On the back of the report, Airwave, a company which provides voice and data communications to organisations involved in the public service sector, argue that part of this changing landscape means that all network and resilience requirements are maintained at an agreed level, as this could be crucial in a demanding or dangerous environment.

For example, Airwave claim the use of telemetry, alongside in-building location monitoring at buildings which are known fire risks could ensure firefighters can place radio frequency identification (RFID) tags across the building, which can then be used to track the location of firefighters inside the building during an incident.

Euros Evans, chief technology officer of Airwave, said: “We are committed to working with FRSs to ensure they have the best possible service to keep them – and the public – safe. We are working with our customers on solutions that will provide enhanced protection.”

Airwave has also been working with CFOA to explore how video streaming technology could support a more efficient and effective response. This would lead to enhanced incident management and improved safety of fire fighters.

Dave Webb, CFOA lead on operational communications, commented: “It is important that the emergency services engage fully with the future communications programmes. To that end, we will continue to work with our suppliers to achieve more with the existing critical communication capabilities, while exploring how to most efficiently leverage the technology of tomorrow.”