Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service has won 'Fire Project of the Year' at the Improvement and Efficiency Awards, beating 12 other fire and rescue services in the process.  The awards ceremony took place at Church House Conference Centre, Westminster.

The Improvement and Efficiency Awards are run by Improvement and Efficiency South East (iESE) to celebrate public sector excellence. RBFRS won the award for their mobile Incident Command Unit (ICU), which was successfully put to the test at the Swinley Forest incident last May. Combining best practice and cutting edge technology, the ICU provides a first-class mobile command support facility that not only supports emergency operations but also acts as a multi-agency command centre, linking directly to police and other emergency response organisations.

Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Cllr Colin Dudley, and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Olaf Baars received the award on behalf of RBFRS. DCFO Baars said: "I am delighted that we have won the award, as we were up against very worthy competition from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Services, the two other shortlisted fire and rescue services.

"Alongside its incident command role, the ICU plays a key part in ensuring that we are able to meet our statutory duty under the Civil Contingencies Act to maintain operational functionality regardless of circumstances. Although the ICU has been used at other incidents before, the Swinley Forest fire - the largest fire RBFRS has ever dealt with - was by far the biggest test it has faced so far. 

"At Swinley, the ICU really came into its own, particularly as so many other fire and rescue services from across the country were involved in the incident. It facilitated effective communications and knowledge management, supporting our operational decision making and incident command, and made an extremely challenging and protracted incident far easier to manage."


Posted April 3rd, 2012 at 1305 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: