Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service andWiltshirePolice are using APD Communications 'hosted'CORTEX Software Integrated Communications Control System (SICCS)service. The joint agreement allows both organisations to counterbudget cuts, share servicesand better supportover 600,000 citizens throughoutWiltshireand Swindon.
The innovative hostedserviceenables Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to share the Police telephony platform and gain access to Airwave's full range of TETRA features for the first time, at a fraction of the cost of buying a dedicated ICCS. The Wiltshire FRS control room simply connects to the existingjoint Fire/Police CORTEX system, which is partitioned so each emergency service has its own dedicated system, tailored for its specific needs. Sharing the same hosted system allows both emergency services to make significant savings. For example, WiltshireFRS can now use any CCI ports not being used byWiltshirePoliceensuring local citizens receive an improved level of service at no additional cost.
Discussing the deploymentJohn CoxFirelink/Communications ManageratWiltshire Fire and Rescue Servicesaid: "The decision to deploy the joint service was a simple one.The hosted nature of the CORTEXSICCSservice combined with the ability to share services will help us meet new budget cuts, secureROI quickly,while helping us improve the service we offer. The joint service will also help from a strategic level - providingsenior officers within both organisations with access to a complete view of incidents that involve fire and police. In short, the deployment will ensurecitizens throughoutWiltshireand Swindon receive a first class service."
WiltshirePoliceare able to make significant budget reductions by cutting the number of CCI (Command and Control Interface) ports they require from Airwave. The reduction is possible due to functionality within the hosted APDCORTEX SICCSsystem, which enables the inter-customer pooling and virtual reallocation of CCI ports between multiple organisations. Use of APD's latest generation pooling technology is already savingWiltshire Police over £100k per annum.
"Following the Government's cancellation of the regional FiReControl room project, Wiltshire FRS looked at how best to modernise their operations to take advantage of the latest TETRA and telephony features, all within the current climate of budget cuts. The new-hosted joint CORTEX SICCS service allowsWiltshire FRSto upgrade the Devizes based control room to provide staff with a range of new services without the need for an expensive new system," saidSteve Denison, Managing Director at APD
"The deployment will enable control room operators to conduct their duties effortlessly, while providing Wiltshire FRS with access to a full range ofthe latest SICCS services.In short, because CORTEX can be hosted in this way and because almost half of UK Police forces already have CORTEX systems, this collaborative approach can be easily replicated elsewhere, offering both Police and Fire and Rescue Services the perfect joint solution to ensure budget cuts do not affect the service provided to the public," concluded Denison.
The hostedSICCSsystem provides Wiltshire FRS with a range of Airwave TETRA features, previously only available to Police, such as: the ability to monitor, control and patch together multiple talk group channels, respond to emergency alarms, over-ride transmissions, receive status messages, DGNA and stun radio terminals. The product also allows operators to leverage the full range of control roomtelephony call handling functionality such as: ACD (Automatic Call Distribution), caller name, address and GPS location, conferencing, eavesdropping and the ability to take-over calls if required - ensuring incidents are managed as effectively as possible.
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