EST April 2014

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April 2014

Brilliance built in

W H Bence Coachworks Ltd Great Western Business Park Bristol BS37 5NG Tel: 01454 310909

Volume 15 | 2











Kit Evolution


Company Profile




Last Words





Registration is now open for The Emergency Services Show 2014, which returns to the NEC from 24-25 September. Visit and click on ‘Register Now’ to sign up for free admission

26 FLOOD RESPONSE 15 As the floodwater recedes and with recovery operations in full flow, discover the role of the British Red Cross during the response phase and how communities have benefited from the charity’s additional welfare support. The feature also discusses the effectiveness of sandbags and looks at alternative property level flood protection and temporary flood defences




A continued collaborative approach in the West Midlands has seen Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service work closely together to ensure trauma patients receive the best possible care at incidents. Find out how Bristol has improved personal protection for air ambulance crews, plus ‘Super paramedics’ take to the streets in London



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How cloud software can give emergency services the tools for improved collaboration. Find out more about how HART teams communicate to improve patient outcomes. The Cabinet Office launches ResilienceDirect, a new online mapping and collaboration tool. Plus, there’s more to Mountain Rescue ICT than you might think – find out more on page 45

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Companies Company Name

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Company Name

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Company Name

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Company Name

Page No

AA Special Operations Response Team.................12

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service..............................47

JESIP ...........................................................................9

Rockefeller Foundation.............................................4

Airmax Group...........................................................48

Dorset Local Resilience Forum..............................35

Kelvin Connect.........................................................33


Airwave Solutions ..............................................32, 39

Dorset Police.............................................................35

Kent Police............................................................4, 22

Ruth Lee Ltd............................................................57

Ambition 2014..........................................................10

Easiphone Ltd ..........................................................57

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service ......................36

Scottish Air Ambulance ..........................................26

Arbil Limited ...........................................................58

East Midlands Ambulance Service.........................28

Scottish Ambulance Service......................................4

Argyl ..........................................................................57

East Midlands Police Collaboration Programme .35

Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance .....................................................26

Association of Ambulance Chief Executives...10, 21

East of England Ambulance Service ..................6, 22

Association of Chief Police Officers.........................4

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service........................7

Attobus Ltd...............................................................55

Electricity North West.............................................18

Avaya .........................................................................53

The Emergency Services Show 2014......................12

Avon and Somerset Police.......................................21

Environment Agency...............................................32

BASICS .....................................................................22

Essex Police.................................................................4

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service ...............6, 50

European Emergency Number Association..........53

Bristol Uniforms ......................................................26

Excelerate Technology.......................................10, 51

British Cave Rescue .................................................12

London Ambulance Service .......................21, 28, 56 London's Air Ambulance....................................7, 22

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service........................6, 22 Scottish Power ..........................................................18

Louth County Council Fire and Rescue Service ....7


Lowland Rescue .............................................6, 12, 45

Skills for Justice..........................................................6

Mapyx Limited.........................................................45

South East Coast Ambulance Service ..................4, 6

Maritime and Coastguard Agency..........................12

South West Fire and Rescue Services ....................46

Merchant Navy Association......................................4

South Western Ambulance Service ........................21

Mercia Accident Rescue Service.............................22

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue ...........................40

The Fire Service College .........................................60

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service ......................56

South Yorkshire Police ............................................41

British Red Cross ...............................................12, 18

Flood Forecasting Centre........................................12

Merseyside Police.....................................................56

SP Services................................................................57

Brother ......................................................................14

Flood Protection Association .................................15

Metropolitan Police ...........................................33, 56

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service ...............6, 25

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.............3

Flood Protection Solutions Ltd..............................17


Staffordshire Police....................................................6

Cabinet Office...........................................................43

Forensics Europe Expo............................................10

Mountain Rescue England & Wales...........12, 21, 45

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service ................................7

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service..............50


National Ambulance Resilience Unit ..............10, 12


Getac UK...................................................................49

National Flood Forum...............................................3

Central Rescue............................................................6

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service...............22

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service..............7

CFOA National Resilience......................................12

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service .......36

Northrop Grumman ................................................49

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service ..........................36

Gwent Police.............................................................51

Nottingham Trent University.................................10

Chief Fire Officers' Association..............................47

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service ................33, 58

One Team Advisory..................................................35

Civil Contingencies Secretariat ................................9

Harken Industrial.......................................................6


Counter Terror Expo................................................10

Health & Safety Executive ......................................39

Ordnance Survey......................................................43

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.......................................55

Highways Agency.....................................................32

Paratech Inc ..............................................................58

HM Coastguard ........................................................45

Peak District Glossop MRT....................................21

Home Office........................................................12, 48

Physio-Control .............................................28, 30, 31


Police Market Report...............................................56

Welsh Air Ambulance..............................................26

Icom UK Ltd............................................................44

Police Scotland ...........................................................4

West Midlands Ambulance Service..7, 21, 22, 25, 39

Intergraph .................................................................36

RAF Search & Rescue..............................................12

West Midlands Police.................................................7

International Journal of Emergency Services .......10


West Yorkshire Police ..............................................48

ISG Infrasys ..........................................................6, 58


Wiltshire Air Ambulance ..........................................7


RNLI .............................................................12, 32, 45

Yorkshire Air Ambulance........................................27

Company Name

Company Name

Company Name

Cranfield University ................................................48 Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service ..........................36 Cumbria Police .........................................................22 Defra ..........................................................................21 Derby Mountain Rescue Team ...............................44 Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.............................6, 21, 50 Dorset Civil Contingencies Unit............................35

Sussex Police.............................................................33 Tracerlite ...................................................................57 Tracker.......................................................................55 UK Power Networks................................................18 Vauxhall Special Vehicles ........................................48 VectorCommand.............................................6, 36, 41 Vimpex Limited .......................................................58 Voluntary Sector Civil Protection Forum .............56 Volvo............................................................................6 VSTEP.........................................................................6

Advertisers Company Name

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Brother UK .......................................................13, 14

HAAGEN Fire Training Products........................52


Airmax Group .........................................................41

County Durham EMS ............................................59

Life Connections 2014.........................................IBC

RSG Engineering Limited.....................................19

Airstar ......................................................................38

CM Specialist Vehicles ...........................................59

Lyon Equipment Limited........................................8

Ruth Lee Ltd...........................................................16

Airwave Solutions Ltd .............................................5

The Emergency Services Show 2014.....................11

Mellor Coachcraft ...................................................59

SP Services (UK) Ltd ........................................OBC

Ambition 2014.........................................................24

Environmental Defence Systems Ltd...................16


Strongs Plastic Products Ltd.................................52


EST Directory.........................................................29

North Fire plc .........................................................49

University of Leicester...........................................42

Aspect Radio Communications Ltd......................47

Excelerate Technology Ltd ....................9, 17, 43, 51


VectorCommand .....................................................34

Blue & Amber Light Fleet Exhibition .................54

Flood Protection Solutions Ltd ............................20

Premier Hazard.......................................................44

Vimpex Limited......................................................54

British Red Cross....................................................20

Goliath Footwear (YDS Boots)..............................19

Primetech UK Ltd..................................................37

WH Bence (Coachworks) Ltd ...........................OFC

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ISSN 1472-1090 Date:

April 2014

Editor: David J. Holden MEng(Hons) Twitter: @999editor Advertisement Manager: David Brown Advertisement Sales: Carol Fox Office & Events Manager: Lesley Stevenson Marketing Manager: Emma Nicholls

Fire and rescue service prevention role could reduce the impact of flooding Words: Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive, National Flood Forum. The recent floods have once again demonstrated the invaluable role that fire and rescue service plays whenever there is flooding. The service’s work in protecting life, helping people to safety and supporting the vulnerable was well covered in the media and continues to generate huge public support. The fire and rescue service also has access to lots of specialist equipment that can be deployed, and is able to move this and personnel around the country to where it is needed most.

Circulation: Christine Knoll

Published by

Robert Denholm House, Bletchingley Road Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4HW Tel: 01737 824010 Fax: 01737 824011 e-mail: www: Distribution: EMERGENCY SERVICES TIMES is free of charge to officers and managers who are buyers or specifiers actively involved in the procurement of equipment or services within the emergency response industry and based in the UK and Irish Republic. All other categories of reader are invited to subscribe at £130.00 to UK addresses and £165.00 overseas. Single copy price £25.00 including post and packing. The articles within Emergency Services Times are copyright and are the property of the publisher Broden Media Limited and cannot be reproduced in any media form without permission of the publisher. Application should be made in writing. Reprints of articles and advertisements are available, allow 28 days for delivery. PDF pages are available by email at £20.00 (+VAT) per page (€32.50, $33). Prices on application to the publisher. Printed by Manor Creative Tel: 01323 514400 Studio work by Keystrokes, Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex Tel: 01273 453300

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However, there is a great deal that people can do to protect themselves, or at least reduce the impact of flooding, and the fire and rescue services could have a significant role to play in helping people to understand their risk and to prepare for action. Preparing an emergency plan

Joint Managing Directors: David Brown David Holden

Unlike other disasters, flooding can and does come back. The result is that for many people that possibility is on their minds for the rest of their lives. If it rains in the night, even if it is in another part of the country, many people will stay awake; checking the local brook, the drains and gutters, just to make sure.

Fire and rescue services across the country have been successful at reducing the number of fires. This has nothing to do with being more efficient at responding to a 999 call and everything to do with ensuring that the fires don’t start in the first place. There have been simple, consistent, straightforward campaign messages about smoke detectors and boiler servicing, as well as the personal dangers of fire. Fire and rescue services have also worked with communities, businesses and individuals, at fetes and community events, in people’s homes and businesses, to make buildings safer for people. The result is that some fire and rescue services spend more time dealing with floods than they do putting out fires. But the same approaches could significantly reduce the impact of floods on people’s lives too. The impact of flooding has certain similarities to fires – both events can have devastating impacts on people’s lives. Victims may lose their possessions and also become highly traumatised, sometimes for many years. At the National Flood Forum we support people and communities to recover from flooding and to reduce its impacts. Recovery takes a long time. People may be out of their homes for 12 to 18 months. They often tell us that this process is more traumatic than the flood itself, when the adrenalin was in full flow. In the months that follow, people are often in different accommodation, having to keep their family together, hold down a job, deal with the insurance company, the loss adjuster and the builders, while feeling traumatised. For those without insurance, it is even worse.

At the very least people at risk can prepare an emergency plan so that they know what to do if they are threatened by flooding. They can also sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct, a free service that provides flood warnings by phone, text or e-mail. People can also help to protect their home or business through measures to reduce the likelihood of water getting in to their home and reducing the potential for damage if it does so. In Buckingham, Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service worked with Buckingham Flood Action Group to develop their Community Action Plan, where volunteers have been trained to do specific roles during an incident before the emergency services arrive. These are regularly practiced and include ensuring that people, especially the vulnerable, are safe, that property protection measures are installed and that people are kept away from dangerous situations. Working with partners

Flood Action Groups can also reduce the risk of flooding in the first place, by working with partners to understand what the flood risks are and tackling the causes. They can also ensure that gulleys, ditches and streams are properly maintained and that assets such as culverts and bridges are not blocked. Many develop plans for action for the future to reduce risk. At the National Flood Forum we would be really interested in working with fire and rescue services who are keen to develop these sort of approaches.

You can contact Paul Cobbing by e-mail: or call 07773 355181.

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The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club is launching its own ‘Watchkeepers afloat’ service, the Seavue Watchkeepers Afloat Scheme. Seavue Watchkeepers will undertake to ‘Spot, Plot and Report’ incidents, potential casualty situations or persons at risk, to HM Coastguard or the relevant inland waterways authority whenever they go afloat.

Local communities across Scotland are to benefit from a £100,000 investment to increase the number of public access defibrillators across Scotland. The Scottish Government funding will allow the Scottish Ambulance Service to purchase and deploy defibrillators across the country, providing local communities with life saving equipment and training.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has submitted a planning application to create a purpose built Make Ready Centre and regional Hazardous Area Response Team Unit (HART) in Crawley. If approved, the new centre will also provide modern training and meeting facilities. It is hoped the new centre, if given final approval by the trust’s board, will be operational in early 2016.

Bristol is one of only five European cities to be invited to join the new global network of 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. To date 33 cities worldwide have been chosen to participate in the programme’s first phase. All these cities share a vision for increasing their resilience, and through the network will connect to share knowledge and best practices. The network means the city will gain access to vital support and potential funding for developing a Resilience Plan for Bristol and the wider West of England.

Information gleaned from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) under the Freedom of Information Act has now been made available via the ACPO website as part of the association’s continuing work to promote openness and transparency in policing. The website now features a new disclosure log of all responses issued since the organisation came under FOI legislation officially in 2011.

£4.3m shared station opens in the Highlands A new purpose built ambulance station has been opened in Fort William that is shared with Police Scotland, creating a major new partner-working facility to help keep people safe in the wider West Central Highlands through a range of specialist functions as part of an investment of £4.3m to the area. Co-location between Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service and the use of shared facilities will allow the two organisations to strengthen an already close working relationship. For ambulance staff the station provides an improved, modern work environment within a facility that meets all of the stringent infection control standards required in NHS Scotland with dedicated areas for vehicle cleaning and decontamination. The inclusion of training and conference rooms supports the professional education and development of ambulance staff and will become a training station for the North West, developing student ambulance technicians from the Scottish Ambulance Service Training Academy. The building has fully IT enabled conference and training rooms, which have been designed so they can be utilised as a multi-agency incident room when required. Mr David Garbutt, Chairman, of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said, “We have worked closely with Police Scotland to create a purpose built facility that meets the needs of the Scottish Ambulance Service, providing a modern, fit for purpose, work environment for ambulance staff. The

David Garbutt QPM, Chairman, Scottish Ambulance Service, Sir Stephen house QPM, Chief Constable, Police Scotland.

new facility, will house up to three emergency ambulances, along with three Patient Transport Vehicles, all operating from the one facility.” The new police station offers increased office space conducive to a more productive working environment thereby enabling staff to operate more efficiently and maximise the use of resources. For police officers, there is a modern custody suite with increased cell capacity and includes CCTV monitoring equipment in each cell to enhance custody supervision. The new facility also has a secure compound at the rear thereby improving all round security, particularly in regard to police vehicles, external stores and custody handling. Chief Constable Sir Stephen House

QPM said, “Where we can, we want to work closely with our emergency service partners. Fort William is a shining example of Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service working together to provide a better service to the public. “The Fort William and wider Lochaber area is popular with visitors all year round and presents its own unique challenges for policing, in terms of the terrain, popularity with visitors and often changeable weather conditions. “Working together from shared premises can only enhance the already strong local relationships and response to incidents and emergencies.”

Kent and Essex win top police award for shared services programme The joint Kent and Essex Support Services Directorate has won a national award for its major shared services programme, which provides support functions in Kent and Essex Police. The programme was recognised for improving the quality of service of policing, while delivering cost-effective shared services, increased resilience and financial savings. The Support Services Directorate provides specialist services to Kent Police and Essex Police and comprises the following departments: Human Resources, Corporate Finance, Estate Services, Procurement Services, Transport Services Business Services, and IT Department.

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Project of the Year Both forces won the award for Police Project of the Year at a ceremony hosted by IESE – The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise – where the project was praised for its innovation. Mark Gilmartin, Director of Kent and Essex Support Services Directorate, said, “This award is testament to the efforts and contribution of all our teams to support operational policing in the two forces. To quote the judging panel, ‘what was exceptional three years ago is now just the bare minimum to be shortlisted.’ This was a great effort from our teams and their managers.”

Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, added, “I’m delighted that Kent and Essex have won this award, especially as I helped to kickstart this collaboration from its infancy in 2007. It’s an indication of how hard officers and staff have been working on collaboration all that time and I applaud all those involved. “We mustn’t forget that forces have to change and evolve all the time as funds are so tight but, rather than sit back, both Kent and Essex have taken the bull by the horns, paving the way for innovation and value for money.”

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A new apprenticeship specifically designed for police detectives is to launch in December. The Higher Apprenticeship in Criminal Investigation has been developed by Skills for Justice in consultation with employers and is to be offered through SFJ Awards. The Level 5 apprenticeship – equivalent to the first year of a degree – is aimed at police detectives investigating serious and complex crimes and learners will be eligible for funding.

Training academy puts Harken device to the test in new working at height course

VectorCommand and VSTEP on 3 March announced an exclusive cooperation agreement to integrate VSTEP’s RescueSim Virtual Emergency Response Training Simulator with the Command Support System (CSS) from VectorCommand. This integrated solution allows emergency services in the UK and overseas to train in a virtual incident environment with the same command support software they use in live incidents.

Vimpex, in partnership with ISG Infrasys, has supplied X-380 Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC) to Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service for use by their BA training instructors in hot fire training. The selection of the X-380 by Bedfordshire FRS is particularly significant since the first cameras supplied to them are for use by their BA training instructors during hot fire training to train firefighters in the use of thermal imagers.

The Access and Rescue School at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with Harken Industrial to train students in the use of the Harken PowerSeat™ on a new working at height course. The Harken PowerSeat™ is designed for rope access operators and has revolutionised working at height in terms of comfort and efficiency. This course is ideal for com-

panies interested in purchasing the PowerSeat that would like to undertake training in its capabilities or for those who would like to find out more about the benefits of training with the device. The PowerSeat Electric has a powerful 300kg hoist capacity and the sensitive control to perform the most difficult rescues.

Ambulance service trials hybrid vehicle

EEAST replaces 120 vehicles

SECAmb Environmental Manager, Julia Brown, who approached Volvo about running the trial, said, “The vast majority of our emissions are associated with the mileage resulting from our operational activity of delivering an emergency response service. This trial with Volvo is a valuable contribution to our overall plans to improve the resilience of our business by being able to operate our vehicles on a mix of fuels, rather than relying on one individual fuel, and reducing our carbon footprint in the process.”

New ambulances are arriving at ambulance stations across the East of England as part of the ambulance service’s aim to improve and expand its existing fleet. The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is replacing 120 old ambulances with new ones by the end of April. On joining the trust at the beginning of the year, Chief Executive Dr Anthony Marsh made it clear that one of his priorities was to improve the service’s fleet. The trust is also replacing 68 of its rapid response cars with new Skoda Scouts, a process it expects to complete by June.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) on 10 March unveiled a major investment in fleet across Scotland with the announcement of 16 new fire appliances. The new appliances will form part of a national fleet asset, to be deployed across Scotland to meet demand or as part of the service’s existing system of rotation and replacement. Residents in Aberdeen will notice that the new appliances in the city will be red as opposed to white, which was the colour adopted by the legacy Grampian Fire and Rescue Service. Director of Response and Resilience for SFRS, Assistant Chief Officer David Goodhew said the new vehicles represented a £3.8m investment by the service. He said, “Over time Scottish Fire and Rescue Service plans to standardise the colour of fire appliances across Scotland in line with the practice of seven of the eight former services. Red is the colour most synonymous with fire appliances the world over. “In addition, as a national service SFRS may have to redeploy resources to other areas of Scotland, where the fire appliances are already red and a familiar sight to the majority of communities.” It is anticipated that the roll out programme will see new appliances arrive at stations between now and the end of May.

Local Policing Team (LPT) officers and staff from Staffordshire Police are working under one roof with colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service after Barton-underNeedwood police moved to a local Community Fire Station.

Lowland Rescue has welcomed Central Rescue to its parent body, the Association of Lowland Search & Rescue (ALSAR), becoming the 33rd member team. Central Rescue is a charity, which already provides water rescue services around the Birmingham area. Training under the close guidance of an existing member team, Central Rescue will be tasked with working alongside West Midlands Police on missing-person searches and major incidents.

Major new investment in SFRS fleet

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is trialling a new electric hybrid vehicle in its A&E fleet. The Volvo V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid is currently being trialled by a small group of staff operating out of the Hastings area. SECAmb will be exploring the potential savings in both running costs and its carbon footprint with the new single responder vehicle over the coming months. The vehicle is charged via electric charge points, which have now been installed in all of the trust’s Make Ready Centres.

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Police award for ambulance ‘make ready’ hub An ambulance preparation and maintenance hub in Birmingham has been presented with an award from West Midlands Police. The ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation was in recognition of its build and layout, designed to reduce the opportunity for crime and anti-social behaviour. It was presented to West Midlands Ambulance Service at its new premises in Hollymoor Way in Rubery, the first of four hubs to receive such accreditation; the other three will follow at the recently constructed premises in Erdington, Willenhall and Coventry. ‘Secured by Design’ is the official UK Police flagship initiative developed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and is based upon the principles of ‘designing out crime’. To achieve the award, West Midlands Ambulance Service worked in partnership with West Midlands Police to create a safe environment through effective design. Chief Superintendent Jo Smallwood from West Midlands Police said, “I think the building is fantastic. The idea of purpose-built but also purpose-designed, not only for your business needs but also to work in collaboration with ourselves in the police service just shows how well

Chief Superintendent Jo Smallwood and Barry Thurston, Director of Service Delivery, West Midlands Ambulance Service. Photo: West Midlands Ambulance Service.

we can operate together. The ambulance service has a purpose-built building but we in the police also know that you are in a secured location and also that the risk, in terms of criminality, is reduced to basically zero.” Receiving the award on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service,

Barry Thurston, Director of Service Delivery, said, “It’s a credit to the staff and the teams who have worked so hard on the ‘Make Ready’ scheme for the past two years. It is a validation of the efforts that are being recognised in this way.”

Multi-agency cross border exercise tests major railway incident response Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), in partnership with Translink and Louth County Council Fire and Rescue Service, has held a major multi-agency cross border emergency training exercise in Jonesborough, Co Armagh. The purpose of the exercise was to test operational command and response from the responding agencies, on each side of the border, to an extensive railway and multiple road traffic collision incident in the border area. The exercise, called ‘Jonesborough Juggernaut’, took place on 2 March and involved a staged collision on the railway tracks. As part of the scenario a car crashed through a fence onto the railway track and into the path of an oncoming train. The car was pushed along the track by the train and fell off at a bridge colliding with other cars. Simulated fires on board the train combined with diesel leaking into a stream further intensified the difficulty for the various agencies responding to the mock-up major incident as they dealt with multiple fatalities and dozens of casualties.

The Trustees of Wiltshire Air Ambulance are searching for a new base location for the county’s aeromedical helicopter. The partnership with Wiltshire Police finishes at the end of the year because the constabulary will be joining the National Police Air Service, based at Filton near Bristol. The charity has set up a Project Team and this group has already identified up to a dozen commercial, military or private airfields or landing strips within seven nautical miles of Devizes, but they are keen to stress that they are not limiting the search to aviation-type properties.

Incidents rare Chris Kerr, Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), said, “Major emergency incidents on the railways are thankfully quite rare, but can have serious consequences with generally large numbers of casualties if not fatalities involved. Preparing and training together for such incidents is essential and builds upon the ongoing cooperation and training between NIFRS and Louth County Council Fire and Rescue Service for responding to incidents in the border areas as well as reinforcing collaboration with Translink in dealing with an incident of this scale on the railways. “This exercise was extremely valuable and there are learning points for all of the agencies involved. This will ultimately enhance inter-agency working between the emergency responders, both north and south, and is a vital lifeline to members of the public who may find themselves in an emergency situation on the roads or on the railways, not only in the border areas but across Northern Ireland.”

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Eamon Woulfe, Chief Fire Officer, Louth County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said, “This major emergency exercise has allowed Louth County Council Fire and Rescue Service to test its response to a major rail incident, which is identified as a potential major emergency scenario in the county. “It also allowed us to test our joint response to incidents with NIFRS and builds on the experience of previous cross border exercises carried out as part of the Memorandum of Understanding for joint attendance at roads-based incidents. Valuable experience “A rail-based emergency is a particularly difficult event for emergency services to deal with and this has been a valuable learning experience for Louth Fire Service personnel. I would like to thank NIFRS for all of their work on this exercise and Translink for making a train and live rail line available for the exercise and also the local residents.”

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) has purchased land in Newhaven for the development of a new fire station. The building is part of an integrated joint project with Sussex Police and Lewes District Council aimed to deliver a range of public services to residents in the Newhaven area. The new building will replace the currently dated fire station at Fort Road.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has received national recognition for a project to keep vulnerable people safe in their homes. The service won the Fire and Rescue Project of the Year at the at the annual Improvement and Efficiency Awards together with Surrey County Council’s adult social care team. The project aims to provide fire safety training to people who care for older residents and those with disabilities and health problems. The awards were organised by the national Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise – known as IESE.

The Institute of Pre-Hospital Care at London’s Air Ambulance, and Queen Mary University of London’s Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry have partnered to create the UK’s first Intercalated BSc degree in PreHospital Medicine. Open to eligible medical students in the UK, the course will provide a strong foundation in the science and practical skills required for a successful career in pre-hospital medicine. The Intercalated BSc in Pre-Hospital Medicine is a one-year course jointly developed and delivered by The Institute and QMUL.

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JESIP training numbers rise Thousands of personnel from the emergency blue light services have registered for JESIP training at the many one-day courses being held across the country. JESIP – the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme – is the largest and most ambitious joint training programme ever undertaken by the 105 blue light services. Other emergency responders, like HM Coastguard, are also taking part in the training while e-learning and awareness packages have been designed for a wider audience. Words: David Jervis, JESIP Senior Communications Advisor. For the first part of 2014, the focus of emergency services and other responders in many areas was on the appalling flooding but JESIP training continued. “Thanks very much to all those who pressed on with JESIP training when their resources must have been stretched by the flood response,” said Carl Daniels, JESIP Senior Ambulance User. “The JESIP team recognises the remarkable work that has taken place out on the ground over several months – an amazing effort.” One JESIP delivery lead who spent much time dealing with the flooding said that those experiences had made people even more determined to ‘crack on’ with JESIP training.

Exercise and test Almost 4000 personnel have registered for one of the 550 or so operational or tactical commander training days. These figures are rising daily. Over 20 local validation exercises are being held to exercise and test the JESIP learning with a major national exercise being held in the autumn. Further JESIP developments are coming thick and fast. A long awaited event was the release of an awareness package designed for Cat 1 and 2 responders and partner organisations (see later). Other products being developed include: • An interactive e-learning package for all operational responders – out in May

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• Training programme for control room managers and supervisors – ready in the summer • A JESIP app featuring the Aide Memoire available soon for everyone on iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets. The final ‘extra’ Train the Trainer course has been held meaning there are now over 360 licensed JESIP trainers. A series of engagement events are being held across the country and regular visits by JESIP team members are being made to training courses in all areas. JESIP goes wider The latest arrival in JESIP’s growing suite of

training and awareness products has been released. Eagerly-awaited, the JESIP wider awareness package is designed specifically for Category 1 and 2 responders and appropriate partner organisations like the military and the voluntary sector. The package, put together by JESIP and the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS), consists of a presentation with speaking notes that can be used for individual learning or presented to a group. Toby Gould, of the Resilience, Capabilities and Interoperability section of CCS, said, “JESIP is rightly focused on improving how the police, fire and ambulance service work together at the scene of a major or complex incident. However, emergency response is a multi-agency activity and will usually involve collaboration with other responders. “It is important, at this stage in the programme, to raise awareness among all responders of how JESIP is changing the way in which the emergency services will work together with them in the future.” Key messages in the presentation include: • There will be no change to the level, nature and timing of engagement with the emergency services • All responders will benefit from improvements in how the emergency services work together at the incident scene • A better coordinated and more efficient command structure will make integration of the activities of wider responders easier and more beneficial for all • Other responders attending the scene should be familiar with the principles for joint working, and aware of the Joint Decision Model so that they can engage in this process when required. The presentation is available on the JESIP website ( and has been shared through the CCS Resilience Gateway – a weekly e bulletin sent to all Local Resilience Forums.

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Ambition focuses on excellence in pre-hospital care

Future Events 1-2 April

British APCO Manchester Central

1-2 April

Professional Clothing Show NEC, Birmingham

Transforming Blue Light Services Through Innovation and Technology Central London

22 April

29-30 April

Ambition Olympia, London

Ambition 2014, which takes place from 29-30 April, will host its 4th edition at Olympia, London and is attended by a broad range of frontline staff and senior managers from across the emergency services sector. Ambition is fully supported by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), which will host its various national director group meetings during the show, and will focus on delivering excellence in pre-hospital care, resilience and interoperability by bringing the emergency response sector together. Alongside its Emergency, Preparedness, Resilience and Response Conference, Ambition will be hosting an exclusive free to attend seminar programme covering the latest case studies, live demonstrations and industry developments within the emergency response sector. Instructors from the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) will host two daily live demonstrations covering METI man and how to deal with catastrophic haemorrhages. Exclusive case studies will focus on

the recent responses to the UK flooding as well as an insightful case study on the Sheppey Bridge pile up emergency response, which occurred on 5 September 2013. Headline sponsor Excelerate Technology is joined by a host of leading industry representatives, including; Ambulance Radio Programme, BMW Group, East of England Ambulance Service, Openhouse Products Ltd, ORH Ltd, Rescue & Medical UK, Respirex International Limited, Simulaids Ltd, SpecialWear (UK) Ltd, Stryker, Total Post Services and Zeal Solutions. Co-located with Counter Terror Expo and Forensics Europe Expo, the emergency response sector will benefit from thousands of pre-existing visitors from the emergency service, police, law enforcement, and military sectors providing a wide scope for networking, sharing best practice, and education in one Central London venue. Visitor registration is now open and to find out more, please visit

Technology focus for blue light conference

Research conference invites paper submissions

Transforming Blue Light Services Through Innovation and Technology takes place on 22 April in Central London and will provide a timely forum to discuss the role of technology, IT and innovation in driving forward the development of emergency services. Delegates will hear form leading experts and innovative case studies, assessing how to secure efficiencies, improve joint working and provide improved services that deliver better value money. Shared services Key themes on the agenda include: the need for emergency services to transform themselves to adapt to service provision in a modern era; the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP): Enhancing partnership working and responses; encouraging shared services and efficiency in blue light services: the role of ICT in driving forward excellence in the emergency services; the cross-governmental Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP); and the business case for shared services: receiving of £36.7m in government funding.

Emergency Services: Themes in Planning, Response and Recovery (ES14) is a one-day conference supported by the Emergency Services Research Unit (ESRU) at Nottingham Trent University and the International Journal of Emergency Services, which seeks to increase our theoretical and empirical understanding of emergencies and their management. The conference will be held at Nottingham Conference Centre on 11 November 2014 and aims to achieve this through the presentation and discussion of contemporary research projects focusing on this field. It also aims to highlight the implications of study findings for future policy and practice. Further, it intends to provide a supportive environment for discussing research processes and findings, (including work in progress) and publishing opportunities for those who may be new researchers in the field (including practitioners and postgraduates on Masters and Doctoral programmes). Proposals are now being invited for 20-minute presentations. The closing date for submissions is 18 May 2014.

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29-30 April

Counter Terror Expo Olympia, London

29-30 April

Forensics Europe Expo 2014 Olympia, London

Hazmat 2014 Eastwood Hall, Nottingham

30 April – 1 May

Speed Congress iMechE, London

7 May

The Public Sector Show ExCel, London

13 May

EAAA Clinical Conference Wyboston Lakes Conference Centre

14 May

Fleet Safety Conference and Awards St John’s Hotel, Solihull

5 June,

Safety and Health Expo ExCel, London

17-19 June

Life Connections Kettering Conference Centre, Northamptonshire

14-15 May

Blue Light Fleet Exhibition The International Centre, Telford

3-4 June

Ambulex Ricoh Arena, Coventry

9-10 July

Emergency Services Day Postmill Centre, Derbyshire

9 August

The Emergency Services Show 2014 The NEC, Birmingham 24-25 September

Emergency Services: Themes in Planning, Response and Recovery 11 November Nottingham Conference Centre

INTERSCHUTZ 2015 Hannover, Germany

8-13 June

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Enabling efficient co-working before the next floods As the UK continues clearing up from a relentless winter of devastating storms and widespread flooding, those involved in all aspects of the rescue operations are reviewing what lessons could be learned for the future. In terms of emergency response there were countless examples of multi-agency working at its best, but as we enter a recovery phase, questions are being asked about what can be done now to better prepare for the next natural disaster? What improvements could be made within the UK’s emergency services to better protect public safety in terms of co-working, communications, equipment and training? Free-to-attend, The Emergency Services Show 2014, takes place from 24-25 September at the NEC, Birmingham, and offers one very practical way to prepare for future incidents. Visitors to the show can: • See and handle the latest equipment, vehicles and technology • Network with other blue light services and rescue organisations • Receive training in the latest rescue and lifesaving techniques • Discover water rescue demonstrations on The Emergency Services Show Lake • Meet with government departments such as The Environment Agency, Flood Forecasting Centre and The Met Office • Gain a deeper understanding of the support available from NGOs and charities like The British Red Cross.

Emergency Response Zone The promotion of multi-agency working between the key emergency responders and their partner agencies is the heart of the show, with a dedicated networking area – the Emergency Response Zone – featuring over 80 emergency services-related partners, charities and not-for-profit organisations. Event organiser Broden Media continues to provide these stands to qualifying organisations at no cost to ensure the widest possible representation of this vital part of the industry. The British Red Cross, CFOA National Resilience, National Ambulance Resilience Unit, AA Special Operations Response Team and the Flood Forecasting Centre will all be exhibiting this year. What’s more, The Emergency Services Show is the place to find out more about the Home Office Emergency Services Mobile Communications Project, the team from which will be available on Stand Z226 within the Emergency Response Zone.

Seminars and simulations Training will have a major focus at this year’s event, with seminars, simulations and opportunities to see the latest life saving techniques and equipment in action, empowering those who visit to do their jobs even better. The College of Paramedics, for example, will once again be running their highly popular free workshops throughout the show. “This year’s event will very much focus on the need to go back to basics – the basics of patient care, which many in the industry feel have been

undervalued while procedures and targets have been top of the agenda. Paramedics, for example, will find out how they can use their resources, technology and clinical knowledge to improve patient care,” says David Brown, Joint Managing Director of Broden Media. New Exhibitors A full list of exhibitors can be found on the show website ( New exhibitors this year include: Academy of Crime Scene Cleaners; Bay Search and Rescue; BD Medical

New for 2014 – SAR Zone A new feature, bringing together the UK’s search and rescue organisations and including its own presentation area, has been announced for 2014. Visitors to the SAR Zone will be able to speak to the likes of The RNLI, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RAF Search & Rescue, Cave Rescue, Mountain Rescue and the Association of Lowland Rescue, among others.

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ESTEVENTS | 13 Book a stand For suppliers to the industry the show offers the opportunity to meet over 5500 buyers from a wide range of sectors, including police, fire and rescue, public and private ambulances, emergency planning, coastguard and water rescue teams, search and rescue teams, government agencies, health authorities and many others. If you would like to book a stand (or profile your organisation in the free-to-exhibit Emergency Response Zone) please contact David Brown on Tel: 01737 824010 or e-mail:

Training; Beaverfit; Bluelamp Afloat; Draeger Safety UK, Freelance Surgical; Gamber-Johnson; HBC Radiomatic; Helyx Sis; Met Police Procurement; Moldex – Europe; Rossetts Mercedes-Benz; SSI Schafer; Stedall; Total Mast Solutions; and Tytek Medical. Annual meetings and conferences Running alongside The Emergency Services Show 2014, in private rooms located in the atrium outside Halls 17 and 18, will be a number of AGMs and meetings, held by industry bodies, such as CFOA National Resilience, The Emergency Planning Society and the Fire National Procurement Group. All attendees at these meetings will have convenient access to The Emergency Services Show. If you would like to co-

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locate your AGM or hold a workshop in one of the meeting rooms, please call Broden Media on 01737 824010. Visitor registration Now in its ninth year, The Emergency Services Show is aimed at the entire emergency services community, indeed anybody involved in emergency response, planning and recovery, including all blue light services, voluntary workers and service providers. Entry – which is free – gives visitors access to over 450 exhibiting companies and organisations, as well as workshops, seminars, live rescue demonstrations and opportunities to network and progress career development. To register visit and click on ‘Register Now’.

Getting there The NEC is physically linked to Birmingham International Railway Station and Birmingham Airport and is directly accessible from the UK motorway network. Following exhibitor feedback from the 2013 event, coaches will run from Birmingham International Station to the exhibition halls.

“Visitor registration is now open at” Parking for visitors and exhibitors will remain free of charge thanks to sponsorship by Emergency Services Times magazine.

The Emergency Services Show 2014 is a trade show only and not a public event. There will be no entry to under-18s.

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Brother’s mobile print technology improves efficiency for emergency workers First responders are required to be agile, responsive and professional in tough working environments. The need to streamline processes and work on the go means that they are constantly on the lookout for innovative portable technology. Served by the right products, they can improve efficiency in the field.

Brother’s range of mobile printers is designed to support the emergency services. Rather than returning to base to print a document, the fast, compact printers can be used to share information where it’s needed most. This enables those out in the field to print a range of documents, such as information leaflets, on-the-spot fines and status reports. Brother understands the requirements of the fastpaced environment in which first responders work. Their requirements are different from those based in a fixed location. The focus is more on size, weight, practicality and battery life to help their specific working environments. As a result, Brother can support and advise them to ensure the products they use give them time to concentrate on the more important parts of their job. PJ-600 range The PJ-600 range of portable A4 printers is ideal for printing documents on the go. Compact and compatible with a mount in a vehicle, they use direct thermal printing

technology, so no need for ink, toner, or ribbons, meaning there is no danger of them running out. Brother’s PJ-600 range is already used by approximately 60 percent of ambulances in the UK to print patient details in transit. These details can then be quickly passed on to hospital staff on arrival. As well as speeding up processes, the printers result in a lower potential for error than handwritten forms, helping workers to document and report incidents more accurately.

“Slim, lightweight and compact, the printers are ideal for emergency workers who need to print while on the move.” The fire and rescue service also uses the devices to print information about the emergency they are attending en-route. Instead of waiting for full details to arrive at the base, the printers are used to print information, such as heat maps or building schematics, while travelling to the scene. This helps to save valuable time when lives are at risk. MW range The MW range is a series of A6 and A7 printers, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Slim, lightweight and compact, the printers are ideal for

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emergency workers who need to print while on the move. The former Lothian and Borders Police, now part of Police Scotland, use Brother’s lightweight MW printers to support the force’s pioneering use of PDAs. The compact, Bluetooth-enabled mobile printers allow them to print information sheets for victims of crime, as well as fixed penalty notices. British Transport Police also use the printers to issue stop-and-search records, reducing the amount of time officers spend typing handwritten notes and completing forms back at the office. Despite the fact that the number of stop and searches has increased by 93 percent, the printers have helped to increase the amount of time the officers spend out of the station. This has freed up an additional hour a day to patrol the streets. RJ-4000 range Built for toughness, the RJ-4000 range is designed to produce high quality print outs in the hardest working conditions. The printers are IP54 certified, meaning they are able to withstand dust and water, and offer drop protection up to 6ft, so are ideal for civil enforcement officers who need to print tickets in all weather conditions. At 5in per second, it’s also the fastest printer in its class, making it the perfect tool for emergency services where speed is paramount.

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Sandbags v Kitemarked property level flood protection and temporary defences It has long been a ‘soap box issue’ of mine that we should ban the use of the humble and inefficient sandbag, which is, let’s face it, no more than a ‘comfort blanket’ when a flood emergency happens. They are difficult to fill (unless you happen to have a sandbag filling machine); they are time-consuming to fill (around an hour per 12 sandbags) plus delivery time on top. At individual property level they do no more than filter the water and certainly should not be considered as a 21st century solution to flooding. Words: Mary Dhonau OBE, Chair, Flood Protection Association. Sandbags are extremely heavy, even when dry, and can be beyond the capability of most ordinary householders to lift into place, let alone the elderly and vulnerable. They are not easy to store and quickly become unusable – many people have told me that when they’ve gone to collect them in time of flood, the bags have disintegrated when they are picked up. Once used, sandbags are even more difficult to handle, as the water increases the weight still further, and are also likely to be contaminated with sewage (I still shudder as I recall a large and malevolentA kitemarked barrier in front of a door with failing sandbag protection. looking toadstool I saw growing that have obtained a Kitemark) can be a very on one at a neighbour’s house), which adds to the effective way of protecting a property. Up to 5000disposal problems. The magician Paul Daniels, litres of water an hour can enter a home via the who has successfully protected his home from the airbricks alone, so simply by fitting airbrick covers recent floods, tweeted me recently and said, ‘We (or better still, replacing your airbricks with the used sandbags in the 2003 floods and they made a self-closing variety) you can prevent floodwater worse mess than the river silt. Never again. There entering your property by that route. Use a are much better methods’. kitemarked barrier in front of your doors, or I would like to see more use of both temporary change your front door for a flood-proof one (these defences and property level protection. are ‘normal’ looking doors that, once locked, become full time flood doors). Protecting property Maintenance of a property is essential too, as Property level protection (especially the products water will always find the weakest point of entry. Check the mortar is in good condition on your brickwork and the sealant around any pipe work is sound. There are also a number of good waterproof sealants available that allow the house to breathe, but also act as a barrier to flood water. Anti back flow valves can stop sewage entering your property.

Photo: Carl Lewis, Tonbridge.

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Temporary defences Temporary defences are far quicker to erect than thousands of sandbags and can be reused on many occasions: Rapidam: 100m length at 0.5m or 1m high can be deployed by four operatives in 30 minutes and could easily deal with an overtopping river. Consider that 10m x 0.5m sections could be carried on fire tenders to protect individual properties and divert floodwater away. Rapidam is re-usable again and again: it has in excess of a 10-year product life, including wear and tear, and repair. It is simply cleaned, dried and stored away for the next emergency. Because of its speed of deployment, low

human resource requirement and longevity of use, its overall purchase and operating cost will be less than that of sandbags and army personnel. The IBS K-System is a temporary flood protection barrier, which is completely mobile and does not require any permanent fixings; it can be installed on tarmac, up to a flood height of 1.3m meaning it can be used flexibly in different locations. The K-system works by making use of the pressure of the flood water, which applies a downward force on the beams, thus ensuring the stability and flood protection properties of the barrier. The erection and dismantling of the KSystem requires only a small number of people and minimal time; depending on the flood height required, four people can install 100m of flood wall in approximately one hour once the system is on site. As a comparison, to install 100m of sandbags to a height of three feet would take four people approximately 70 hours and would require 14,000 sandbags. Due to its design and low number of parts, the IBS K-System is especially suited to installation in adverse weather conditions, including at night and in the rain.

Protecting people I would like to see emergency services personnel trained in the deployment of such systems, which would help to ensure their time was used to maximum effect. They would also be protecting people from being flooded without giving people the false hope that the humble and inefficient sandbag would protect them!

For more details of what can be done to protect a home from being flooded visit

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Simply add water … Multi-purpose FloodSax are the future when it comes to dealing with floods … or any liquid spill Their versatility shows no bounds as they will quickly absorb fluids ranging from oil to chemicals and, of course, water. But build them into a wall and they’re strong enough to stop a torrent of floodwater in its tracks. The Environment Agency urges people to ‘shun the sandbag’ as they seep water even when wellstacked, it takes two people around one hour to fill 12 sandbags, they are difficult to handle and the sacking material will perish. A small wall of FloodSax can hold back a torrent of water

This is how easy it is to carry 40 FloodSax to the scene of a flood

And this is how hard it is to fill your sandbags

This large FloodSax wall held back a sea surge and tons of debris

Sturdy FloodSax are just the opposite, transformed from being as light as a pillowcase to more effective than sandbags. Easy and space-saving to store on emergency vehicles, each FloodSax weighs just 700 grammes before being activated by simply adding water and then they become taut, weighing 20kg (44lbs) in around 3 minutes. They are proving protecting dozens tonnes of debris across the USA to stop water from caravan park.

themselves in action daily from of homes from a sea surge and when Hurricane Sandy ripped a small wall of FloodSax built to the River Thames flooding a

Check out our website for testimonials or contact us on 01484 641009.

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Scandal to not use Water-Gate™ says Flood Protection Solutions Why do the Government agencies continue to use old technology when their own reports from the floods of 2007 say they are ineffective? Words: Paul Crowther, Project Director, Flood Protection Solutions Ltd. Sandbags being deployed became a common sight on the news in recent months as a defence method for flooding, but their success is questionable at best.

Therefore a linear metre of sandbagging costs a staggering £200 (with each filled sandbag costing £4). Therefore covering a 15m entrance could cost £3000 in sandbags alone!

Disadvantages of sandbags Sandbags have numerous disadvantages. Firstly, the sandbags are very heavy, and hence moving requires an ‘army’ of people. A sandbag wall needs to be at least three layers thick and interweaved with a waterproof membrane to help increase the effectiveness, yet time and time we have not seen a membrane in sight, only water cascading through the barriers. Secondly, sandbags are incredibly labour intensive and time consuming not only to deploy but also fill with sand and transport; and thirdly, often they are only usable once, which means your investment is high per flood. The main issue with sandbags though is that they do not perform their primary role well. In Sir

More cost effective A more cost effective method is available in the form of the Water-Gate™ barrier, which could cover the same opening for less money, and is also reusable. It would save hours of labour and is rapidly deployable.

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Michael Pitt’s review of the 2007 floods he states ‘The Review was unable to obtain any significant evidence that sandbags were particularly effective during the 2007 summer floods in providing protection to individual households.’ This is because the sand is porous and hence water will pass through. Through our own experience at Flood Protection Solutions, we also found sandbags did nothing to defend against flooding. Yet the government agencies continue to use them. A common misconception is that sandbags are a cheap, cost-effective method of flood defence; however this is not the case. According to Flood PACT (Parishes And Communities Together) a sandbag flood protection barrier, which is 0.6m high requires 50+ filled sandbags per linear metre.

The modern Water-Gate™ provides a much better solution and is the perfect sandbag alternative. The barrier comes rolled up so is relatively small, but can be deployed in under a minute. The barrier is tried and tested and more effective than sandbagging methods. The Water-Gate Barrier is a mobile and portable dam that can be quickly and easily unrolled on the ground to help prevent flooding. It can even be deployed after flooding has occurred! A single Water-Gate can be installed by a single individual in a matter of seconds and provide the equivalent protection of 770 sandbags. So come on UK Government, start using modern technology.

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British Red Cross provides raft of support during and after the floods As water levels rose, flooding thousands of homes and cutting off communities across the south of England this winter, the British Red Cross launched its biggest emergency response for five years. on their welfare and ensure they are able to manage while they are without electricity,” said Simon. “This not-for-profit partnership is mirrored with other power distributors in the UK, including Scottish Power and Electricity North West, and enables the Red Cross to provide support to some of the community’s most vulnerable people,” he added.

Although it was February when the wettest winter for centuries hit the headlines, villages on the Somerset levels had been swamped since December. Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS) teams, as well as health and social care volunteers were on the ground providing a raft of support, including checking on the welfare of elderly and vulnerable people, manning rest centres for evacuees, delivering fire wood, and transporting patients to and from hospital. Floods in Somerset, Feburary 2014. Photo: Victoria Wood-Matthews, British Red Cross

Simon explains the organisation’s role when crises happen at home. “We don’t self-deploy in the UK,” said Simon. “It is usually local authorities who ask for our assistance and when they do, we are there to meet the needs. And in the last few months, there have been a lot of needs – everything from fuel and water deliveries to rubbish collection and psychological support for flood victims.” The Red Cross Unimog 4x4 vehicle, usually used in international disasters, was deployed in Somerset to deliver fuel to villagers across Muchelney.

By January, the flooding in Somerset had worsened and the Red Cross rolled out its giant Unimog truck, an all-terrain vehicle more commonly used in major disasters outside of the UK. The 7.5-tonne Unimog’s height and size means that it can carry heavy loads through flood water where standard 4x4s would fail.

“The Red Cross coordinated the voluntary sector response in Somerset, working closely with Somerset County Council and emergency services.” Simon Lewis, Head of UK Emergency Response at the British Red Cross, said, “The Unimog is often associated with major international emergencies, such as flooding or natural disasters. We actually used the same model in Indonesia during the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and it was vital to our response in Somerset.” The Red Cross name is synonymous with international disasters but staff, volunteers and resources are mobilised in the UK when emergencies happen. In 2013, it spent more money on its domestic work than its overseas programmes and projects.

Floods in Somerset, Feburary 2014. Photo: Victoria Wood-Matthews, British Red Cross

Voluntary sector response The Red Cross coordinated the voluntary sector response in Somerset, working closely with Somerset County Council and emergency services. Early February saw flooding spread, with Surrey, Kent and Hampshire among the areas worst hit. Hundreds more Red Cross volunteers were mobilised and councils across the affected areas declared ‘major incidents’. Teams worked alongside the military and local partners to deliver sandbags and help evacuees. Bottled water was delivered to areas inaccessible by road and supplies were taken to stricken households unable to buy the basics. After the flooding came ferocious winds that battered much of Wales and the West Country, plunging thousands of homes into darkness and leaving them without heating. Again, volunteers were deployed to check on thousands of people who are registered as vulnerable with power firms. The Red Cross has been working with UK Power Networks since 2010 to reach these people through the partnership and was on hand in February to check on households, especially in badly affected west Wales. “Our volunteers have either called or visited more than 14,000 people in that time to check

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Helping communities recover As power was restored, flood waters receded and rainfall finally abated, the Red Cross teams began to turn their attentions to helping communities recover. But not before one more dramatic call-out to end a month of large-scale response. A landslide in the Isle of Wight at the end of February saw a road torn apart and houses left uninhabitable. The Red Cross was mobilised by the local council and worked with the fire and rescue service to help evacuate the properties and salvage the belongings of several families who had to leave their homes in Ventnor, unsure whether they would ever be able to return. While some properties had been visibly damaged by the landslip, with cracks appearing in the walls, others were cut off. The destroyed road meant there was simply no access. Volunteer Louise Randall said, “We are here if people want to talk but right now what they really need is practical help, packing their things into boxes, so that is what we have been doing.” It was an unusual situation for the emergency services. The lack of road access meant all boxes of items needed to be carried beyond the land slip, where removal vans waited to take the items into storage.

FESS supporting fire crews at the scene of flooding in Reading, Berkshire. Photo: Jamie Sport, British Red Cross

Some larger or bulkier items such as dining chairs or pictures were transported on a trailer towed by a quad-bike – just about narrow enough to pass through the remains of the road. Simon Lewis said, “It’s been a very busy winter for our emergency response volunteers and our blue light colleagues. We’re extremely proud of our teams and the work they do and we’ll continue to support our statutory partners as the long road to recovery begins.”

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Emergency Responders need to act promptly to flood emergencies and in the 21st Century they should be looking for better solutions than sandbags. • 100m of Rapidam can be deployed by 3 men in 40 minutes from the portable Rapidam Handling Unit (RHU) • EcoDam barriers can be implemented alongside Rapidam to keep railways open as per photo • One man operable portable pumps FLOOD MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS that pump an incredible 36,000 gallons/minute complete the picture Compare this with the Army of people deploying sandbags and the tens of fire tenders and firemen who were attempting to shift a fraction of this volume of water whilst building very leaky sandbag walls. Solutions exist but they have to be invested in for RAPID emergency response Aquobex Ltd, Building 69, Building Research Establishment, Bucknalls Lane, Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 9XX

Tel: 01923 518 582


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Mutual aid on Mountain rescue teams offer the Somerset professional and robust assistance to flooding incidents Levels At times of adversity, the British population pulls together. It was no different for ambulance services when there was a request for mutual aid from South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) to help deal with the extraordinary scenes on the Somerset Levels. In conjunction with Avon and Somerset Police and the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, the SWASFT Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) provided medical assistance and welfare checks across the affected area. West Midlands Ambulance Service, like all English ambulance trusts, agreed to provide additional staff to work in the flood affected area, which covered an area of 25 square miles. They joined colleagues from SWASFT who have been providing teams of specialist paramedics, 24 hours a day, ready to deploy into the devastated areas to provide medical help at a moment’s notice.

Photo: West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The WMAS staff, who are all part of the Hazardous Area Response Team, are trained to operate in challenging conditions such as fast flowing water and can use their skills to rescue people from dangerous situations despite being in need of medical assistance. Chris Chambers, Head of Emergency Planning and Resilience at South Western Ambulance Service, said, “This national mutual aid has provided a very significant assistance to our own team, ensuring that we could continue through the extended period of this operation.” After 10 days of assistance (3-13 March), the mutual aid has been stood down now that the flood waters have started to recede. Martin Flaherty, Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, added, “Within hours of the request being made, staff were en route to the South West using national assets so that local services would not be affected. The whole operation was coordinated at the National Ambulance Coordination Centre (NACC), which is based at London Ambulance Service Headquarters. “Because all of the HART teams are trained nationally and use standard equipment, it made no difference where the HART paramedic came from. We will be debriefing the staff to see if we need to make any changes to the training so that we can take the service we provide to patient to an even higher standard.”

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The past few months have certainly been an eventful period for mountain rescue, kept busy by not only routine incidents but also responding and supporting many water incidents during one of our wettest periods on record. Words: Andy Lee, National Water Officer, Mountain Rescue England and Wales. Much like the statutory services we have found ourselves responding to water incidents for many years. The experience and lessons learned from this work has also seen mountain rescue teams operate during times of widespread flooding. Responding to large incidents isn’t new for mountain rescue teams, with involvement at major incidents such as Lockerbie, the Grayrigg train crash in Cumbria, the challenges brought by heavy snowfalls and widespread flooding incidents, such as that seen in South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and many more. It’s for this reason that many mountain rescue teams have responded by developing systems, water training and investing in necessary safety and rescue equipment from publicly donated money. Nationally, regionally and locally It is well known that all emergency services and responding agencies operate with variations to match the need of local population and risk profiles. Mountain rescue, while working at a national level, also operates with various approaches depending on many drivers, including Local Resilience Forum involvement. Throughout the last three months teams have responded nationally, regionally and locally, at times working through the Local Resilience Forum or indeed many just upgrading their own state of preparedness at team level.

“Our response has been professional and robust, and a credit to the organisation.” Nationally we have seen some of our teams who are on the national water asset register deploy as part of national mobilisations, with other teams put on standby. One deployment saw a team of eight Swift Water Technicians from the Lake District completing an 800-mile round trip when mobilised as part of the preparation for the East Coast inundation in early December. Close communication with Fire and Rescue Service National Coordination Centre (FRSNCC) and MR’s National Water Officer continued for many days. During this period plans were developed should additional water or mountain rescue deployment have been requested. While teams have supported and been on standby for the past few weeks with the flooding in the south of the country a large number of more

local incidents continued to be managed. Sadly a number of local water incidents resulted in those we responded to being found deceased. On the afternoon of 23 December both Ambleside in the Lakes and Ogwen Valley in North Wales were mobilised to separate incidents where members of local MRTs responded to work alongside members of other emergency services in efforts to locate missing people washed away in rivers. In South Wales Breacon MRT mobilised to locate a missing kayaker who went missing shortly after lunch on 8 February. The gentleman was found on day two of the rescue efforts though sadly he was deceased. In the Peak District Glossop MRT was called to assist two walkers who had been swept away through a culvert under the A57 Snake Pass. Both walkers received treatment – one for a broken back. Both are still recovering. In addition to responding, the National Water Officer has been supporting officers from NRAT (National Resilience Assurance Team) with the DEFRA assurances visits across the UK, spending time in North Wales in January and Devon and Cornwall during February and at the height of the flood. Working together This all provides a clear demonstration of emergency services and organisations such as mountain rescue working together. Years of planning and development of response standards supported interoperability between the many statutory and voluntary emergency services, which are all stretched at this time. This can be seen at a national or local level from hillside or river bank, to control or operations room – a clear marker of continuing success. While there are variations one common factor for mountain rescue is that all of our members are volunteers and given the size of the organisation and number of members this is something about which to be proud. Our response has been professional and robust, and a credit to the organisation. Response capability It’s not only a huge effort by those who respond to these incidents, but a huge effort by Mountain Rescue England and Wales and the individual teams who continue to fundraise in order to support and maintain this response capability. Mountain rescue has responded to incidents relating to adverse weather for many years, and with public support and our partners’ support it is hoped this will continue for many years to come.

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Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon has been appointed as the new Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police. Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said, “I am delighted that T/DCC Paul Brandon has been appointed substantively as my Deputy. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge gained during his time with this force, and previously with Surrey Police. DCC Brandon’s knowledge of Kent Police and the local communities we serve will be invaluable, and I know that all the officers and staff of the force will be really pleased with the appointment.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Officer Robert Scott, Chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum (SWFF), has appointed a new, fulltime senior manager, Group Manager Garry Burnett, who will be responsible for looking into all aspects of wildfire management. Last year the SWFF launched the UK’s only Wildfire Operational Guidance Manual, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government. The SWFF has been extremely pro-active, forming partnerships with colleagues in England, Wales and Northern Island to ensure members can share experiences, tactics and training opportunities.

The NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has appointed Sarah Boulton as Interim Chair of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). Sarah has worked at NHS Board level for many years, chairing a number of NHS organisations, most recently as chair of NHS Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority. Sarah will take up the Interim Chair position immediately to provide stability and expert leadership for the Trust Board. EEAST will be working closely with the NHS TDA to launch the recruitment process for a permanent Chair as soon as possible.

Stewart Edgar from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland joined Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on 24 February as the county’s new Chief Fire Officer. He was awarded The Queen’s Fire Service Medal in the 2013 birthday honours list, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fire service and local communities. Stewart replaces Jon Hall who retired from the service after more than 30 years.

Cumbria PCC seeks new Chief Constable BASICS doctor

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes, has announced that he has started the recruitment process for a new permanent Chief Constable, which includes a confirmatory hearing with the Police and Crime Panel. Richard Rhodes said, “I am pleased to be starting the search for a permanent new Chief Constable for Cumbria and welcome applications from across the police service. The role of Chief Constable is incredibly important and it is vital that the successful candidate has the correct skills to maintain the good performance that the Constabulary has become recognised for over the years. “The new Chief Constable will face some challenges especially as the Constabulary still has further financial savings to be made by 2015/16.

receives MBE

Despite the financial picture the new Chief Constable will be supported by the strong communities within Cumbria, including dedicated and hardworking officers and staff. “I expect to be able to give an indication of my preferred candidate by the end of April and this indication will go forward to the Police and Crime Panel for a confirmatory hearing.” Commenting on the announcement, Temporary Chief Constable Bernard Lawson said, “In September 2012, I was asked specifically to lead Cumbria Constabulary through a particularly unusual period. That task is now drawing to a close. “I have now made a personal decision to retire in 2014 and allow a new Chief Constable to commit themselves to the long-term future of this great constabulary and the communities it serves. “I have been highly impressed and proud of the work and effort committed by its officers, PCSOs and staff on a daily basis. I will continue to dedicate myself to my role and ensure a smooth and professional transition occurs.” It is expected that the new Chief Constable will be in post from 1 August 2014.

One of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Medical Incident Officers has received his MBE from Her Majesty the Queen, for services to emergency medicine. Dr Malcolm Russell was formally invested as a Member of the Order of the British Empire at Windsor Castle on 7 March after being named in the New Year’s Honours List. Dr Russell often responds for West Midlands Ambulance Service as a BASICS Emergency Doctor as part of the Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS). In addition, he has been deployed to natural disasters, such as the Japanese Tsunami and Christchurch earthquakes, as part of emergency aid and support for those countries. He said, “I felt very honoured to have been presented with my MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. I thought very much about all the good medical work carried out in the West Midlands and how, as many different organisations, including the NHS and voluntary services, we manage to work very well together for the sake of our patients, who must always remain our focus.”

First Patient Liaison Nurse for trauma patients appointed London’s Air Ambulance, the charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London, has appointed Frank Chege to its newly created role of Patient Liaison Nurse. The position, funded by The City Bridge Trust, aims to assist London’s Air Ambulance patients with their transition back to independent living, bridging the gap between the rapid on scene pre-hospital treatment that the charity is renowned for and the patient’s long term recovery. The position of Patient Liaison Nurse draws on the charity’s standards of clinical excellence and provides a long-term interface between London’s Air Ambulance and its patients, with no equivalent elsewhere in London’s emergency infrastructure. The objectives for the new role range from identifying patient needs to referring them towards a holistic suite of solutions, be it follow up medical care or support from another service provider or charity. Graham Hodgkin, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, said, “London’s Air Ambulance has accumulated 25 years’ worth of meticulously documented

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patient data, however our record keeping becomes more challenging post admission. Thanks to the generous donation of The City Bridge Trust, we can now support patients both through to discharge from the hospital and throughout their rehabilitation process. The Patient Liaison Nurse is not just reporting the data to the clinical team, but more importantly, and for the first time, acts as a patient advocate, providing unprecedented assistance to our patients beyond the acute phase.” Frank Chege has taken up the position after having worked alongside London’s Air Ambulance as an Emergency Nurse at The Royal London Hospital, run by Barts Health NHS Trust for the last seven years. He said, “I have always wanted to be involved with London’s Air Ambulance and this opportunity allows me to draw on my clinical experience while supporting patients’ physical and psychological recovery. “I believe that understanding your injuries is the beginning of the recovery process. Following up with our patients and their families will allow us to

Graham Hodgkin, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance.

explain the pre-hospital medical care they received. For the first time, we have an opportunity to identify any unmet needs they might have and help them get appropriate support as well as gain accurate information on the outcomes of their treatment. My position is an extension of the clinical excellence London’s Air Ambulance delivers to the patient in the moment of their acute need – taking that extra level of care from the roadside to the bedside.”

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A continued collaborative approach to trauma care in the Midlands Following an internal review by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2008, into the provision of trauma care, it was recognised that a new approach was required to ensure that casualties were given the best possible treatment. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service have been working closely together for the past five years to ensure that trauma patients receive the best possible care at incidents. After extensive research of trauma care provision the decision was made to implement the First Person on Scene (FPOS) system. FPOS courses provide the essential knowledge and skills for firefighters to attend incidents and provide the advanced first aid skills needed to give immediate care to trauma casualties, should they arrive prior to the ambulance service.

Keen to develop partnership working Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service approached West Midlands Ambulance Service who agreed to deliver FPOS Intermediate courses to qualify all 850 operational personnel. In order to effectively work as a partnership arrangement a Service Level Agreement was produced outlining the objectives and responsibilities of each service.

ambulance staff conducting refresher sessions at fire stations. The successful partnership has proved to be beneficial to both services in a number of areas: • There is now a standardised approach to training and service delivery • Both services working and training together has allowed for a clearer understanding of each others working practices and policies, ultimately providing improved casualty care • The alignment of professional experience, coupled with standardised equipment, allows for a smoother transition of casualty handling procedures.

Dedicated trainers The training commenced in 2009 with West Midlands Ambulance Service providing dedicated trainers to deliver the four-day FPOS qualification at fire and rescue service headquarters. This training is ongoing and for those who completed their training three years ago a requalification programme is now taking place, which involves

Improved role awareness This partnership was so successful that it soon developed into other areas. All Staffordshire trainee paramedics now have the opportunity to undertake a one-day training course with firefighters so that they are aware of the different roles each play and how they can work together at incidents. An area currently being explored is for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to purchase medical supplies from West Midlands Ambulance service to ensure standardisation of equipment. Also optimising the use of first aid supplies, so if first aid consumables stored on fire appliances are approaching their expiry date they are passed onto the ambulance service that can provide a recirculation system to ensure cost effective management of these items.

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Strengthened working relationship Head of Learning and Development at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Ian Housley, said, “Five years ago this was about working with a trusted partner for them to deliver the first aid training that we required. However what it has actually delivered is a whole lot more – it has strengthened our working relationship, provided opportunities for further collaborative working and most importantly it has led to improved casualty care. “A higher professional degree of skills in trauma training for fire and rescue personnel, coupled with an increased knowledge of rescue procedures amongst medical personnel has led to improved patient care and an increased survival rate amongst critically ill trauma patients.”

Community Response Manager at West Midlands Ambulance Service, Victoria Tufail, said, “We have struck up this unique partnership to help ensure casualties are provided with the best care possible at incidents. “The four-day course, which is delivered by the ambulance service, covers essential knowledge and advanced first aid skills needed to give immediate care to trauma casualties. This training does not replace the work of ambulance staff but it enables firefighters to have a better understanding of types of injuries and therefore ensures casualties at incidents receive some level of medical care as quickly as possible. “The collaboration has enabled the services to have a better understanding about each others roles, leading to a joined up multi-agency approach when dealing with incidents.”

For further information on this partnership contact: Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Head of Learning and Development Ian Housley on 01785 898599 or e-mail:

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Focus on air ambulance flight crew safety and protection Recent years have seen a considerable expansion in the number of helicopters being deployed by the 27 air ambulance (AA) organisations across the UK. Through a combination of charitable contributions, commercial sponsorship and funding from ambulance services their capabilities have been expanded to the point where many of the helicopters average several missions daily. Many of the AA trusts have been able to re-equip their response teams with new, faster helicopters and improved personal protection to provide them with a safer working environment. Words: Philip Tasker, National Sales Manager, Bristol Uniforms.

Although the public’s perception of air ambulances is associated with road accident emergencies owing to their visibility, the range of missions for which they are deployed ranges broadly across traffic accident emergencies to sports injuries, climbing accidents and taking other medical emergencies for specialist hospital treatment. Speed of delivery to hospital can be vital in minimising the long-term prospects of recovery for accident victims – in some cases lives are saved which would have been lost had getting individuals to hospital depended on routine emergency ambulance services. Although air ambulances up and down the country are heavily dependent on public donations, the vital work that they do is widely recognised and the funding raised through charitable giving and sponsorship, often in kind, has grown to enable the trusts which run the services to do so on a very professional basis. This is particularly true of the crews which operate the services and which typically include a pilot, doctor and a small number of paramedics, some of whom provide their services on a voluntary basis.

operations in 1987. Eleven more were formed and became operational by 1999, including the Scottish Air Ambulance and the Welsh Air Ambulance. 2007 was a particularly busy year during which four new services began operations covering Dorset and Somerset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Cambridge and Bedfordshire (a helicopter shared with the police) and Surrey and Sussex.

Helicopters provide flexibility and access Cornwall Air Ambulance became the first air ambulance service in the UK when it started

There are over 35 air ambulance helicopters in regular use across the UK, all of which are liveried in either yellow, red or orange. The helicopter of choice is the Eurocopter EC 135, which forms a

“Comfort, durability and individual design considerations are expected to continue to expand the demand for more specialised protective garments for air ambulance crews.”

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little over 50 percent of the stock, with the McDonnell Douglas MD 900/902 making up a further 30 percent. Both models have operational airspeeds of 150-160mph, which allows most of the operators to be within 30 minutes flying time from any incident, whether in urban areas or remote and difficult terrain. Organisation and operations As the air ambulance network has grown steadily over the last 25 years, so has the organisation and structure as new sources of funding and sponsorship allow the resources available to individual charitable trusts to develop improved levels of service. One of the longer established trusts is The Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, which provides a dedicated medical air service and which first began flying operations in Lincolnshire in April 1994. Inaugurated by Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire became a partner in the trust in 1997. Based at RAF Waddington, south of Lincoln, the response capability is unaffected by road congestion, country roads, heavy vehicles or road works. Their helicopter, an MD 902 Explorer, can fly at just under 160mph to any point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. It is fully equipped and staffed by two paramedics. Annual

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ESTMEDICAL | 27 running costs are around £1.8m, which all has to be raised from public donations and commercial sponsorship. The crew The flight crew is routinely comprised of a pilot and two paramedics. At Lincoln and Nottinghamshire the paramedics are selected from the East Midlands Ambulance Service, while the pilot is provided by Medical Aviation Services. In addition, volunteer doctors regularly form part of the medical aircrew. These doctors, with a special interest, and qualifications, in pre-hospital care, are an asset to the operation, bringing additional expertise to the response teams. All Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) paramedics undergo a comprehensive selection process, which includes rigorous medicals, physical fitness tests, in-depth interviews and appraisals. Successful HEMS paramedics are also expected to have detailed knowledge of aviation topics including flight safety, communications, map reading, principles of flight, aircraft navigation, emergency in-flight procedures and HEMS rules.

Essex and Hertfordshire have opted for a Nomex® Comfort one-piece coverall with added protective padding to the elbows.

Exposure to risk For the crew, the risks associated with responding to a wide variety of emergency situations can vary considerably. However, in common with their groundbased colleagues, the teams are increasingly called upon to access hazardous areas such as serious road traffic accidents, where personal protection is vital for the health and safety of the paramedics and doctors. Rescuing the injured from road and industrial accidents exposes the teams to risks from metal and glass wreckage, fuel and chemical spills as well as flames from fires caused by explosions. These hazards have been nationally recognised by the UK’s ambulance services, which have formed HARTs (Hazardous Area Response Teams) who are now provided with special protective garments designed by Bristol.

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Protective garments Air ambulances have begun to recognise the need to provide more comfortable and better quality protective garments for their air crews and Lincoln and Nottinghamshire, who have recently begun night flying to increase their hours of operation during the winter months, have now equipped their teams with 28 distinctive green one-piece coveralls, which have been generously sponsored by the Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Countryside Appeal. Designed by Bristol, the single-layer flame retardant Protex Max garment shares the same outer layer as the HART kit supplied to their ground based colleagues. Technically the garment meets BS EN 11612, has knee padding and incorporates breathable tape, which provides greater breathability and wearer comfort as well as Trimsaver, which encapsulates the sewing threads within a meta Aramid braid to protect it from abrasion and minimise the need for repairs. The pilots are equipped with similar kit in blue. Roger Linnell, the service’s Unit Manager, commenting on the new garments, said, “As we had been given clearance by the CAA for night flying, we had to make sure that the new suits were designed with added protection for both pilots and paramedics attending night time operations. The fluorescent strips make it easier for the aircrew to be identified at night – especially if we are attending road traffic accidents. “The suits are much warmer but they also protect us from temperature variation when we have to move from indoor to outdoor, which means we can stay much more comfortable throughout the shift. It was important to us that the suits incorporate knee padding for added protection as we can spend the majority of our time on our knees treating casualties. We asked for additional zips and pockets to be added to give us the ability to store extra equipment so we have as much to hand as possible

when we are working in time critical situations. “We opted to stay in the green flying suits to fit in with our colleagues from other ambulance crews at the scene.” Design differences Elsewhere around the UK, alternative flame retardant solutions have been designed to meet individual requirements. Essex and Hertfordshire have, for example, opted for a Nomex® Comfort one-piece coverall, similar in construction to the Lincoln & Nottinghamshire kit but with added protective padding to the elbows. To match their flight colours these are made in a red fabric. Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance have chosen to use Bristol’s bright orange USAR (urban search and rescue) kit. Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) were the first to use specialist protective garments when they adopted the same USAR kit, which can be used as coat and trouser separately or zipped together as a single garment. The programme makers of the BBC series Helicopter Heroes, made with YAA, purchased matching garments for their film crew. Future developments Comfort, durability and individual design considerations are expected to continue to expand the demand for more specialised protective garments for air ambulance crews to allow them to undertake their stressful jobs in greater comfort. The air ambulance trusts, looking to improve operational costs will continue to seek out, and use, garments that can offer greater longevity and reduced maintenance costs, which also provide access to bespoke styling to match their corporate identities and accommodate their chosen range of accessories.

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New A&E ‘Super paramedics’ to look ambulance after Londoners available for trials Iveco and Cartwright have teamed up to launch a new Accident & Emergency (A&E) ambulance, which is being made available for trials with NHS ambulance trusts and private ambulance operators across the UK and Ireland. The launch vehicle is based on an Iveco Daily 50C17 chassis, which is popular with blue light operators throughout Europe. Key features include its truck-style chassis frame, which guarantees structural rigidity, fatigue resistance and long-term durability, combined with an impressive turning circle and a chassis offering maximum bodybuilding flexibility. Cartwright says the body is unique in the marketplace for being easily transferable onto a second chassis, of any make, during a projected 15-year minimum service life.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) has appointed its first advanced paramedic practitioners who will be treating the most seriously ill and injured patients in the capital from May. The 12 advanced paramedics will receive additional training and will respond to the most serious one to two percent of life-threatening incidents. These include patients in cardiac arrest and those who are continually fitting and are difficult to convey to hospital. They will also be able to administer more powerful drugs currently only given by a doctor. Their training will include a four-day trauma course with doctors from the LAS and London’s Air Ambulance and an advanced paramedic

science course at Hertfordshire University. Director of Paramedic Education and Development Mark Whitbread said, “We are very keen to develop the paramedic profession. Paramedics are a trusted brand but there is a lot more we can do by developing our paramedics as really skilled clinicians. Appointing advanced paramedics shows our determination to do better, both for our patients and our staff.” The role was introduced as part of the clinical career structure. Twelve advanced paramedics have been appointed and subject to funding, a further 24 will be recruited.

EMAS deploys mechanical CPR devices

Key to the body’s modular nature is Cartwright’s decision to mount the lightweight body structure onto a reinforced substructure to provide a strong, rigid mounting point for battery lockers, step wells, steps and tail-lift. Unlike existing ambulance bodies in the UK, this allows fleets the option to remount the body onto a different chassis and wheelbase in the future – ensuring the base vehicle can be replaced after approximately seven or eight years in service, in line with current industry standards. Aerodynamic kit The cab of the Daily is mounted with a new aerodynamic kit developed by Cartwright, combining a cab air deflector with aerodynamic wings to push air over the light bar and around the body sides. This helps to maximise fuel efficiency during the periods of hard acceleration common with A&E ambulances, while adding minimal weight to the vehicle.

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) is the first ambulance service trust in the UK to implement a large-scale deployment of the LUCAS® 2 mechanical chest compression system, supplied by Physio-Control. Following an extensive clinical review and tender process, EMAS has installed 40 LUCAS 2 Mechanical Chest Compression systems in fast response cars operating in a variety of locations across the East Midlands. LUCAS is designed to maintain life-sustaining blood circulation to the brain and heart and to help improve a patient’s chance for a successful outcome, as well as improve operations for medical responders. Performing at least 100 compressions per minute with a depth of two inches, as recommended in the European and UK Resuscitation Council guidelines, LUCAS can be deployed quickly with minimal interruption to clinical care. “Improving response and survival rates and patient care are just three of our priorities. As part of a systematic review of our cardiac arrest strategy and a goal to maximise hands-on CPR time the trust assembled a team to assess a mechanical CPR solution for our vehicles,” said Andy Swinburn, Consultant Paramedic at EMAS. “With LUCAS 2

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we were particularly impressed by the available clinical data on supporting significantly reduced hands-off time and the associated enhanced coronary and cerebral perfusion pressures,” he added. “LUCAS2 is straightforward to use, from attaching the device to a patient, the ability to recharge while in use to the ease with which disposables can be replaced. As part of their solution, Physio-Control also put forward a strong support, service and training component, which will help us as an organisation align to our cardiac arrest strategy,” continued Andy Swinburn.

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Relative low cost made the unit a good choice for emergency response teams as well as Presidents. Shortly after production began in 1969, Jacksonville Florida Fire Department became the first city to install LIFEPAK 33s in all 10 of its trucks. A priority purchase sold to the US Navy requested the 15th and 45th units off the production line. Destination? Air Force One and Air Force Two.

LIFEPAK’s QUIK-LOOK paddles are monitoring electrodes as well as defibrillator paddles. This exclusive feature allows the patient’s condition to be assessed quickly and a precordial shock applied if a dangerous arrhythmia is observed.

Completely portable, batteryoperated cardioscope and DC pulse defibrillator.

Battery provides 80 pulses at 400W seconds and operates all circuits for two hours before recharge. Provides 12 hours of monitor if defibrillator is not used.

Operating temperature 0°F to 120°F. Dimensions: Height: 21in x Width 14in x Depth 9in Weight: 15.9kg or 35lbs.

LIFEPAK® 33 Defibrillator/Monitor Electronic heart monitoring came about in 1954 when Karl William Edmark committed himself to finding an electronic solution that would alert doctors to heart failure. He built a simple heartbeat indicator with a light to flash each time the heart pulsed and an alarm for if the beat faltered. In 1955 he founded Physio-Control and set about designing a Direct Current (DC) defibrillator, which he was first able to use on a human patient in 1961. The LIFEPAK® 33, designed to be the world’s first portable defibrillator/monitor, was brought to market in 1968, after only three months of development.

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ESTKIT EVOLUTION | 31 Continuous, advanced monitoring with 12-lead ECG transmission, alerts to changes using the STSegment trend monitoring feature. System of Care, compression data transmitted through the cloud-based LIFENET® System and reviewed postevent with CODE-STAT™ Data Review Software to help improve emergency teams care provision and effectiveness.

Switch from full-colour to high-contrast SunVue™ mode with a single touch for the best full-glare view in the industry. A large screen (8.4in diagonally) and full-colour display provide maximum viewability from all angles.

LIFEPAK TOUGH™ – the device passes 30in drop tests, works in harsh response environments, ergonomically designed shock-absorbing carrying handle, rugged double layer screen.

Size: basic monitor / defibrillator with batteries installed weighs 8.6kg (18.9lb), Height: 31.7cm (12.5in) x Width: 40.1cm (15.8in) x Depth: 23.1cm (9.1in); Lithium-ion dual battery technology allows for up to six hours of power.

Escalates to 360 joules biphasic technology for difficult to defibrillate cardiac arrest victims, allows for temperature monitoring and external power. CPR Metronome provides audible prompts to help guide emergency responders to provide optimal CPR compressions and ventilations.

LIFEPAK® 15 monitor/defibrillator The LIFEPAK® 15 was launched in 2009 as the new standard for emergency responders with the most clinically and operationally innovative monitor/defibrillator available today, developed through an ongoing commitment to R&D. The device is also much lighter and more portable for emergency responders working in their challenging everyday environments.

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Airwave – delivering the future of critical communications Airwave delivers Great Britain’s Emergency Services Network (ESN), ensuring vital voice and data services for organisations that provide essential public safety services. More than £1.4bn has been invested to create the Network, which is purpose built and solely for the use of public safety professionals. The Emergency Services Network (ESN) is secure, covers 99 percent of Great Britain’s landmass, and is interoperable, meaning that for the first time, all the emergency services and first responders can communicate with each other over a secure, dedicated network. It was the first of its type, and made Great Britain a world leader in critical communications. The value of the Network has been proven time and time again as it continues to provide the vital support to the emergency services when other networks fail. The background In 2000, the Government set a challenge – to build the first ever dedicated public safety network that would enable Great Britain’s police forces, and potentially other emergency services, to communicate securely on a common national platform. Airwave rose to that challenge, and their Emergency Services Network was delivered on time and on budget to the police forces in 2005. Since then, the Network has been extended to the fire and rescue services and ambulance trusts who now rely on Airwave for their critical communication services, as do more than 300 second line responder organisations, including local authorities, health, utility and transport providers, and public service organisations such as the RNLI, RSPCA, the Environment Agency and the Highways Agency. The service and commitment that Airwave gives to its customers is tested every day – most recently by the extreme storms and floods of the past few weeks, the wettest winter for 200 years. This is testimony to the support Airwave delivers to its customers, whether they are handling the Sheppey

Crossing crash in September 2013, when more than 100 vehicles were involved; the Vauxhall helicopter crash in January 2013, which was the biggest mobilisation of the blue light services since the 7/7 bombings; or happier events such as the Notting Hill Carnival, a royal wedding, London 2012, or the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“Airwave is dedicated to serving public safety agencies and organisations that need constant communications excellence.” Airwave has offices in London, Slough, Hemel Hempstead, Warrington and Rugby in England, and has just opened a new Scottish headquarters in Glasgow, to which the company is looking to attract graduate software and application developers. The company also has an office in Germany.

Richard Bobbett, Chief Executive Officer, Airwave.

Essential voice and data Airwave’s Network currently uses TETRA technology, which remains the best technology for mission-critical voice communication today. Airwave provides its customers with a guaranteed level of service, and the Network is not shared with any commercial users. Most importantly, Airwave’s radios have the ‘emergency button’ function, which is the first responder’s ability to summon urgent assistance in a life threatening situation. Airwave’s emergency

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button is used on average somewhere in Great Britain once every six minutes. So 10 times an hour, a police officer, firefighter or paramedic presses their emergency button because they believe there is a life threatening situation to them or to a member of the public. They expect to make contact with their colleagues instantly and with Airwave’s Network they know they can, no matter where they are. TETRA also offers some narrowband data services. However, as with the consumer world of the mobile phone, certain types of communications are moving from voice to data, and the potential of data to the emergency services is huge. The future of critical data services lies with the broadband capabilities of LTE, and depending on spectrum allocation and the incorporation of essential public safety features to the LTE standard, the emergency services could be utilising mission-critical broadband data services within the next few years.

UK battered by severe storms 2013/2014 The St Jude’s Day storms in October, followed in December and January by even more extreme weather conditions, again highlighted the fact that the Airwave Network and Service are critical to the work of the emergency services, especially in remote areas. Airwave’s severe weather planning response is very mature: the company is prepared for every eventuality and reacts in terms of customer requirements. Due to the power cuts, at one stage 75 of Airwave’s sites had no power, but all remained operational for customers due to its unique backup system.

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A first for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Airwave was an official supplier to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and was the first ever Official Private Mobile Radio Services Provider for an Olympic and Paralympic Games. Airwave built an independent communications infrastructure – known as Apollo – to deliver the private mobile radio service used by all the people who made the Games such a resounding success. The primary Airwave ESN operated as usual, keeping the public safety agencies connected and in touch during one of the busiest times London has ever seen. In preparation for this evolution, in 2011 Airwave acquired Kelvin Connect, a spin off from the University of Glasgow. The company specialises in providing mobile information solutions for the public sector markets, with its Pronto eNotebook suite of applications at the forefront of mobile data information management. Enabling more efficient working practices The newest addition to the suite of data applications is Collaborate, Airwave’s world-leading location tracking service. For the first time, police forces, fire and rescue services and ambulance trusts can proactively share their GPS location data on a permission-only basis. Collaborate also analyses in real time more than one billion records generated on the Network each month to support more efficient, evidence-based decision making by the emergency services. Sussex Police is one of the first Airwave customers to use Collaborate, and it has worked with Airwave to develop real-time dashboards to show how often officers return to stations during the course of a shift. This highlights opportunities for more efficient resourcing patterns, and ensures officers remain as visible as possible to the people of Sussex. Collaborate is also being deployed as part of the Surrey and Sussex ‘Blue Light Collaboration’ project, which means location information for key resources will be shared between all three emergency services and across counties. Airwave Smart Mobile – the new MVNO for public safety users

Anyone who has seen or used a TETRA device will not dispute that they are robust and fit for their

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mission-critical purpose, but for non-mission critical data there is a huge range of consumer devices available. Airwave has recognised this, and in March 2014 moved into the mobile phone operators’ world, launching its own mobile phone service specifically for the public safety sector and adjacent markets. Named Airwave Smart Mobile, the service uses a commercial network and is therefore not mission critical, but does provide users with a simple Push To Talk functionality. Initially available on Android devices, with iOS next in the product pipeline, Airwave Smart Mobile devices have the ability to interconnect to a Talk Group on Airwave’s ESN itself. Airwave could in theory sell the Smart Mobile service to a wider marketplace, but in the short term is focusing on the public safety market. The service ensures front line users get the specialist services they need at a market leading price. In addition, Airwave Smart Mobile customers will benefit from the worldclass customer service that Airwave delivers. Airwave is dedicated to serving public safety agencies and organisations that need constant communications excellence. That doesn’t just mean from the infrastructure, it means having a customer support organisation that ensures any issues are handled promptly and efficiently, with the customer kept fully informed. For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if an Airwave customer calls, that call will be answered within six seconds by a real person based in Great Britain, who can talk knowledgeably to the customer about how they are going to resolve the issue. The entire Airwave organisation is designed around delivering to its public safety customers so understands, can respond to, and work with those customers – that’s what Airwave does, every day. With its proven mission critical voice and data services delivered seamlessly and the unique Airwave Smart Mobile service for public safety users, what’s next for Airwave’s customers? Bringing broadband data to life As referenced earlier, mission-critical broadband is still some way off. However, Airwave is not waiting for the LTE networks to be ready – the company is ensuring its customers have the benefits of LTE now by creating its own innovative broadband data solution called 4GMax. Launched in February, 4GMax uses the four existing mobile network operators in the UK along with Wi-Fi connectivity for additional resilience. By combining the bandwidth of multiple mobile networks together, and splitting the data packets, 4GMax delivers increased and secure uplink capacity. This enables applications such as live video streaming from vehicles on the move. 4GMax improves on patchy and often unreliable mobile coverage to provide a strong, stable transmission link to support the delivery of bandwidth-hungry data applications. Supporting cost savings This uplink capacity is essential for the emergency services. On the commercial mobile phone networks, the capacity is on the downlink, as consumers ‘consume’ information, pulling down videos, music and so on. The emergency services, on the other hand, need to send large amounts of data back from an incident to the control room, so the

connectivity needs to be the reverse of the consumer model. Airwave is currently working with Surrey Police on mobile video and enablement of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data streaming using 4GMax. Data captured during the early phase has already proved that the sharing of live images between the control room and specialist activities such as surveillance facilitates the speed of decision making – this means shorter operations that support cost savings.

Supporting the police during the civil unrest of 2011 The summer of 2011 saw an unprecedented level of public disorder and civil unrest that required a unique emergency response, with 25 different police forces deployed to provide mutual aid to the Metropolitan Police Service. Some 16,000 officers were on the streets of London – 10,000 more than usual. The London switch handled four million calls on 9 August 2011, double the usual amount. The reliable support from Airwave’s ESN, and the interoperability it provides, enabled seamless communications for the police and emergency services that supported them in restoring order. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is also trialling 4GMax to deliver remote incident management capabilities, and the platform is being extended to ambulance trusts who are looking at uses such as patient telemetry. The future Airwave will continue to evolve the mission critical services it delivers to its customers. Those services will not only be all today’s touchstones of reliability, coverage and security for mission critical voice but will also include a comprehensive suite of data applications that will help customers take advantage of, and benefit from, tomorrow’s capabilities today. Airwave is committed to leading the development of mission critical communications, working closely with the public safety community to deliver new voice and data technologies both today and well into the future.

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All together now? Partnership working between the emergency services is not only necessary but also absolutely vital in the quest for operational effectiveness, organisational efficiency and value for money. ‘On the ground’ the cooperation and coordination between the blue light services and other Local Resilience Forum (LRF) responders is invariably brilliant, the multi-agency response to recent flooding being a prime example. However, when we ask people to work together to compile a Community Risk Register, to develop contingency plans, to prepare for business continuity, to train together and to test and exercise those plans things can be very different. Words: Martin Baker QPM, Director, One Team Advisory. The reasons for this are often about culture, priorities, commitment and differing organisational priorities. Indeed, my own experience in leading a number of national, regional and local multiagency programmes is that collaboration is one of the most difficult things we ask people to do – yet we often fail to prepare our people or give them the tools to enable successful collaboration. Some of the intractable issues that prevent effective collaboration relate directly to the context of organisations and their internal politics – a big conversation for another time perhaps.

“The police, fire and ambulance services are genuine life-savers… they do a brilliant job. But money is very tight and technology is opening doors that have long been closed” Rt Hon Francis Maude MP1 Tackling practical problems However, tackling some of the practical problems that beset collaboration can be more straightforward. How can it be that in an age of global communication and cloud technology the basic tool that we give people to collaborate is the ability to ‘post’ each other documents and spreadsheets using ‘electronic mail’ (the clue is in the name!)? And how bizarre is it that, often due to ‘misunderstandings’ about information security, agencies actively prevent their staff from using the type of sharing technologies that Government wants the public sector to embrace? Having been so frustrated by this while in the public sector, I was determined when I moved into

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the private sector to find some better tools for the job and this led to an introduction to ‘pam’ – not a person, but a ‘platform for achieving more’. ‘pam’ is powerful cloud software that enables people to share information within and between organisations and benefit from new ways of working in a secure, trusted environment. pam is already in use by police, probation, other criminal justice agencies and their partners, so it is tried and tested. Importantly, pam is the only Pan Government Accredited service up to IL3 for this type of work, with configurable security settings to match organisational policies. pam’s ‘always on’ availability and reliability is provided by world class, accredited data centres and both pam and its parent organisation, Alliantist, are approved both for UKAS ISO 27001 and the HMG Security Policy Framework. The IL3 version of pam is accessible through any appropriately secure technology (desktops, laptops, mobile devices). There is also an IL2 version of pam, which can be accessed on any device with an internet connection but still with a high level of security.

Police work We are currently working with IL3 pam in the East Midlands Police Collaboration Programme (more than 40 projects shared across five police forces) and IL2 pam in the Dorset Civil Contingencies Unit. From a user perspective, adopting pam is like moving from two tin cans on a string to the internet. For the taxpayer it means better planned and coordinated public services, delivered efficiently and in a cost effective manner. So, if you would like to meet pam we’d be pleased to introduce you.

Making true collaboration a reality pam has been specifically designed to support collaborative working and its numerous features make true collaboration a reality. Those features include group working, structured change management, programme and project management (using built-in and user-designed templates that can be cloned for repeatable activities), as well as KPI measurement, relationship management and partner engagement. The functionality that we particularly like includes the risk management and treatment plans and the stakeholder mapping and management tools, essential in the resilience environment. Additionally, pam effortlessly manages tasking, online discussions and document management; imagine being able to draft, consult and publish definitive policies and plans with complete version control without playing e-mail tennis for months on end! Some of pam’s other strengths include managing organisational alliances and meetings, while at the same time substantially reducing the need for face-to-face meetings and e-mail.


Foreword to ‘Improving Efficiency, Interoperability and Resilience of our Blue Light Services’ – A Report of The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homeland Security, June 2013. Authored by Tobias Ellwood MP and Mark Philips

Martin Baker was the Chief Constable of Dorset from 2005-2012, leading the Dorset Local Resilience Forum and having responsibility for the safety and security for the 2012 Olympic sailing events. He and his fellow directors in One Team Advisory now focus on working with people and technology to improve governance, leadership and collaboration.

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Genuine inter-service interoperability set to revolutionise incident management Four extremely innovative UK fire and rescue services in the north west are on the brink of changing the way that the emergency services interoperate in their region. Within the next two months, the North West Fire Control will go live with a shared Computer Aided Despatch (CAD) system fully integrated with the latest version of the Command Support System (CSS) from VectorCommand. This will be the first time that four fire and rescue services have achieved this level of interoperability and is set to change fundamentally the way that the emergency services work with each other within the ‘golden hour’ of an incident, from the arrival of the first appliance all the way through to its conclusion. Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester fire and rescue services are not only establishing a joint mobilising capability (with a joint control at North West Fire Control – previously known as the NW RCC), but are also integrating their individual configurations of VectorCommand’s Command Support System software into a seamless end-to-end service.

The NWFC Project Team, led by CFO Paul Hancock, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (left).

As the four services are very different, with different risk profiles and different command support vehicles and equipment to address those risk profiles, all four services run their own specific configuration of command support software – in some cases on every appliance. However with VectorCommand’s new Command Hub technology their software will now operate on shared incident data. So regardless of which service’s appliances, officers or command support vehicles are dispatched, and regardless of the number and variety of command support devices deployed at the scene (or across multiple scenes or a wide area) all will be working on the same dynamic incident data. Situational awareness Accurate and continuously updated situational awareness is essential to incident command. Because the Command Support System automatically updates all devices on the network, the incident commander has all the information (s)he needs at his/her fingertips. Even if communications are lost during the incident, the ‘client’ server – normally on the ICU – can still be used to manage the incident. As soon as communications have been restored, the most up to date incident data is automatically shared across all other devices logged into the incident. What is more, CSS shares the same information to multiple users, but with the added benefit that each user is able to look at a different part of the Common Operational Picture at the same time. So, while the gold commander may wish to view all the active incidents in a specific area, the incident commander will view the incident from a strategic perspective and the sector commander will look at only those details pertinent to his sector. No other

command support software can support this essential functionality.

“The next step towards full interoperability at an incident is for police, ambulance and other agencies to have access to the Command Support System either on the brigade ICU or on their own command units.” VectorCommand has already integrated CSS with a number of customers’ mobilising systems, including ProCad, Remsdaq, Fortek Vision and Intergraph. The benefits of integration are many, but perhaps the most important is that CSS is automatically populated by any back-office databases, giving the incident commander immediate access to risk and hydrant data, appliance and staff details (eg skills and qualifications, blood type and other personal data stored in the mobilising system).

Interior of the North West Fire Control Room.

Key benefits From a control room perspective, the MultiIncident Map Interface (MIMI) is seen as one of the key benefits – allowing the control room staff, principal officers and the Gold commander to have an overview of all the incidents at which CSS is being used and the ability to drill down into the detail of any of these incidents. The great advantage too is that the CSS application can be scaled, so can be expanded to areas beyond those covered by the North West Fire Control if the need arises, for example if a crossborder response beyond these four services was necessary.

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Tried and tested solution As an increasing number of fire and rescue services merge their control room functionality, the future of interoperability lies firmly in the successful integration of mobilising and dispatch with the Command Support System. The next step towards full interoperability at an incident is for police, ambulance and other agencies to have access to the Command Support System either on the brigade ICU or on their own command units. That aspiration is not far away and the North West Fire Control project is leading the way in this development as well. And several HART (Hazardous Area Response Teams) are currently trialling CSS.

Exterior of the North West Fire Control.

The core CSS functionality includes an organisational chart to record assets and resources, a decision and message log, GIS map data, tasking, a planning board (digital whiteboard), imagery manager for stills and video, web browser, SOPs and conferencing. The dynamic Timeline module records all decisions, actions, messages, ARAs, imagery and documents for subsequent review and evaluation. The CSS Command Hub will also be fully interoperable with the Multi-Agency Information Transfer (MAIT) system, which is a major new initiative being jointly addressed by the emergency services and industry. VectorCommand sits on the standards committee for MAIT. The Command Support System is a tried and tested solution, having been in operational use for several years by many of the world’s leading fire and rescue services, including by London Fire Brigade, the third largest fire service in the world, in over 3000 incidents of all shapes and sizes. Also used operationally in the UK over 25 percent of fire and rescue services, CSS is now running across 13 major incident rooms, over 30 command vehicles and on hundreds of mobile devices on a daily basis. Other global customers include the Atomic Weapons Establishment, South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service and Qatar Petroleum.

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HART communications – safer systems, safer patients The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) programme was rolled out across all NHS Ambulance Trusts in England between 2008 and 2012. The roll out coincided with the ambulance service’s change to a new way of communicating with crews and control rooms using Airwave. It also saw the widespread introduction of satellite communications by the emergency services. HART has been at the forefront of this digital revolution. Words: James Price, Chair of the HART National Operations Group and HART Manager for West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. To enable HART to operate the teams are issued with a wide range of vehicles. The Forward Command Vehicle (FCV) includes equipment supplied by Excelerate Technology. It has satellite connectivity and generates its own Wi-Fi and GSM networks locally. This allows Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops and smartphones to connect to the internet and, with its own GSM network as well, the vehicle can facilitate staff and other agencies to make mobile phone calls via its in-built telephone exchange. The vehicle also has a day/night/thermal camera system that can zoom in up to half a mile away and when HART staff enter the Inner Cordon they have body worn cameras from which the video is then beamed back to the FCV and from there can be sent anywhere in the world. The vehicle also utilises various software platforms to provide information and identification of CBRN or hazardous substances. Seamless communication The ambulance service uses hand portables and vehicle sets supplied by Sepura. These radios then use the Airwave network to communicate with each other and their respective control rooms. The technology allows the users of Airwave to talk to each other anywhere within the UK. This is important given the depth of coverage the Airwave system provides.

“It’s all about improving patient outcomes.”

Working in the Hot Zone HART work in the Inner Cordon or ‘Hot Zone’ of an incident. The incident types are varied but include Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN), where the operatives will wear either Extended Duration Breathing Apparatus (EDBA) or the NHS Powered Respirator Protective Suit (PRPS) ensemble, both of which are very different in how they are worn and the requirements of the communication systems that go with them. “One of our main areas of concern is that operating in environments where chemicals are present, particularly explosive ones, means that our radios need to be Intrinsically Safe,” says James. “This standard ensures that radios do not cause a spark which could ignite anything flammable and put the teams at risk.” Previously the only radio available was the Sepura but when rolling out the programme HART introduced the Motorola MPT 850 Ex to the Airwave network. It suits the needs of HART in that it is robust, intrinsically safe and can be used on the Airwave network. The Motorola is used in conjunction with throat microphones for EDBA.

All emergency services currently use the Airwave system and with HART being an integral part of the multi-agency response to major or significantly challenging incidents, seamless communication is now possible between these agencies, leading to an improvement in patient outcomes. The police will invariably be the lead agency for most large-scale emergencies and with their sharing Talk Groups available to fire and ambulance colleagues it makes communication between Silver commanders more effective. Indeed, decisions can start to be made while en route to an incident. This will increase The Department of Health has seen a the safety of responders but also allow a refresh of all hand rescue and treatment plan for patients to portables and the be agreed and implemented sooner introduction of the Sepura STP9000. rather than later.

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Mass flooding response HART also operates in areas of fast flowing water or mass flooding, which places another different requirement on the communications equipment entirely – keeping it dry! HART use their radios in conjunction with Aquapacs, which allow the teams to reach patients involved in water related incidents and also have communication with other teams in the area locally as well as nationally. However, the

contract set up by the Department of Health has seen a refresh of all hand portables and the introduction of the Sepura STP9000, which is IP67 rated to 1m depths in water, thus adding to HART’s capabilities.

HART use Peltor Comtac, which also includes a boom microphone.

Other areas of operation sometimes present the problem of noise. Regulations from the Health & Safety Executive mean that equipment was needed to allow communication in noisy environments while providing protection for the teams operating there. Noise cancelling is a relatively new technology that reduces noise that can cause the most damage to a person’s hearing while allowing speech by a colleague to be heard clearly. “It’s all about improving patient outcomes,” says James. “The HART programme allows paramedics into any area where there is a patient, provide lifesaving interventions such as EZIO, blast bandages and tourniquets as well as pain relief with Morphine. Effective IT solutions such as the Forward Command Vehicle and the Airwave network enable us to do just that.”

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Implementing technology and communications to enhance command arrangements Nobody would, as a matter of business, make a wholesale change of their command and control infrastructure, especially with no notice. Effectively that is what we had to do within South Yorkshire during, and post, 2007 floods, due to the sudden and unwelcomed inundation of our strategic command centre, located in the Lower Don Valley. However, if necessity is truly the mother of invention, then it could be considered that we were provided an opportunity to improve and provide a more fit for purpose command infrastructure than we benefited from at that time. Words: Mark Shaw, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. In the planning phase of our new arrangements, the desire to provide a system that had the potential to benefit all Cat 1 and Cat 2 users was central to our thinking. We were seeking to improve interoperability through the introduction of the latest technology and, although there are many facets to our solution, the one area that we identified as key to fixing a fragmented capability was the ability to have a shared situational awareness. Shared situational awareness The lack of shared situational awareness has the potential to result in a command disconnect; that disconnect has been evident both vertically and horizontally and is best explained by way of example. Consider 9/11. Part of the psyche of New York Firefighters (NYFFs) was the belief that as they ran into a building officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD) ran out, so to see the police leaving the North Tower at a speed of knots was typical behaviour to many NYFFs going in the opposite direction. NYPD were actually leaving because their command team had informed them of imminent collapse; 21 minutes after the Police Commander’s instruction to their officers to evacuate the North Tower it did indeed collapse; they had failed to inform their fire service colleagues. 344 firefighters died that day; 60 police. It would not be unreasonable to conclude that the

horizontal disconnect in command contributed to that outcome. Interoperability in such circumstance is not solely about technology, however, it is about people and processes; it is about emphasising the ‘C’ in ICT. The need to break down silo and cultural misunderstandings together with improving situational awareness also required a ‘low tech’ solution hence the introduction of the National Interagency Liaison Officer (NILO). These trained individuals bridge the gap between partner

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agencies and, with regular exercises the silos continue to be slowly demolished. If the horizontal disconnect can be satisfied relatively easily the same cannot be said for the vertical disconnect. Moving forward to January 2013 The speed with which the national media covered the helicopter crash in Vauxhall, London far outstripped the communication within the emergency services command hierarchy. Scenes of the fire broadcast on television were on a loop for approximately two hours. Allegedly this led one particularly high profile public figure to telephone the Gold Commander, telling him to “...put the bloody fire out”. The fire had been out for the previous 90 minutes. Gold structures, and above, were attempting to influence tactical decisions but were out of step with the ground truth – a lack of situational awareness. During 9/11 the opposite was true; after initially showing ‘jumpers’, media panned back denying Gold Command the opportunity of visual situational awareness. At Bronze, in the Twin Towers, fire commanders could hear and see bodies hitting the floor; how was this affecting the psychology of command, their judgement? Gold Commanders were, to a large extent, unaware of

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ESTICT | 41 station in Europe and then via the internet to our HQ. This system can fail, in particular the internet element where previous evidence has shown that major incidents have triggered massive uptake use of mobile telephones and internet usage by the public resulting in overloading. Our initial fail-safe system for that risk is what we refer to as ‘semi point to point’. Point to point satellite provision is an expensive solution and under normal circumstances is left dormant but which we can ‘switch on’ should our normal system via the internet fail. Lastly, data is transferred via 3G or 4G as a third option, should we lose satellite connectivity. this developing situation and were desensitised to the potential impact on the command function. Shared situational awareness To address the vertical disconnect there needs to be a broader, shared situational awareness for all levels of command – but balanced with the discipline of not ‘micro-managing’ or ‘remote control command’. The technical solution to address this comes in the form of the adoption of a system that would address our needs at all levels of command from the incident ground to SCG. Within South Yorkshire, that technical solution needed to not only address the command disconnects but also, because of the likelihood of mobile telephone and internet failure, the system needed to be resilient in a national scale major incident, not just in dealing with every day business. Our main bearer for transferring data to and from the incident ground is satellite, in the first instance, from a mobile command support unit to a base

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Command support In managing the command support aspect of the incident, SYFR took the decision to purchase VectorCommand CSS software, which was implemented on our Command Support Unit(s) (CSU), and also within our SCC. CSS is not a webbased product and as such does not rely on connection to the internet but does allow any data, still or moving imagery, risk assessments etc to be used and viewed on scene and then remotely as and when connectivity is restored without any loss of the built up situational awareness. It should be noted that our CSU(s) are a shared resource with South Yorkshire Police and can, if required, deploy specifically for police incidents. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (SYFR) has the capability to deploy a mesh system providing an incident ground ‘Wi-Fi’, which is used to deploy tablets into sectors and risk areas. Using CSS, this allows real time updates to be produced and shared simultaneously between uses on scene,

or remotely. Should mobile telephone networks fail, either intentionally or otherwise, SYFR can deploy a 1km private GSM network for use by all on scene commanders or partner agencies. We are also able to provide voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone connections via our satellite connections, and so can establish communications for our partners via that GSN network if required to do so.

“Our Command Support Units are a shared resource with South Yorkshire Police and can, if required, deploy specifically for police incidents.” Using body worn cameras, our Dual Lynx thermal image camera, or direct from partners such as ‘heli-teli’, we can stream images to CSS for on scene commanders to view, in real time, ground truth or send these (separately or embedded in CSS) to our Command Operations Room (COR) in headquarters or to the TSG/SCC for use by remote silver or gold commanders. The system is now well embedded, is seen as business as usual and there are numerous examples of how this system has been deployed effectively to resolve operational incidents safely and efficiently.

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Cabinet Office launches ResilienceDirect ResilienceDirect is a new online mapping and collaboration tool for UK resilience professionals, provided by the Cabinet Office. The service provides a secure platform for sharing information in both emergency response and in planning. It can be accessed through mobile devices, and is free at point of use to the resilience community. Designed for use by police, fire and ambulance services, local authorities, utilities and other resilience partners, ResilienceDirect enables realtime sharing of accurate data and information, allowing all agencies to maintain shared situational awareness and supporting effective decision-making at the tactical and strategic levels. Members of the ResilienceDirect project team travelled throughout the UK during February and March to demonstrate the system to key user agencies.

Enhanced capability At initial launch, the service offers two core functions: mapping, and collaboration. ResilienceDirect Mapping, an interactive service built by Ordnance Survey, allows responders to quickly and easily build bespoke incident maps to support a shared information picture. The service, built with accurate and detailed mapping, can digest a variety of data formats, enabling users to add their own layers to maps, reflecting local detail. Cordons can be added and highlighted, and mapping information can be shared with a wide range of colleagues. The service is designed to enable strategic and tactical commanders to visualise their area of interest in a flexible, dynamic way. ResilienceDirect Collaboration provides a repository for plans, briefings and other partnership documents. Security plays a big part in the solution, which can handle data that has been protectively

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marked. Information can be shared widely, or restricted to a core audience, as needed. A built-in notification system means that individual users do not need to be logged onto the service to know that an incident has been declared. ResilienceDirect also provides the core tools expected of any collaboration service, such as shared calendars and instant secure messaging between users. User-led design Technology can provide the key to enhancing multi-agency working in times of emergency and crisis, but only if it successfully meets the needs of its users. The ResilienceDirect service has been built in partnership with the UK resilience community from the outset, to ensure that the end product reflects the requirements of all agencies. The National User Group, reflecting a broad spectrum of colleagues across the professional planning and response community, has provided insight into user requirements and has tested the service throughout the development phase. Ordnance Survey has also provided an excellent team who have spent 12 weeks developing an enhanced map viewer for launch alongside the new service. The Cabinet Office ResilienceDirect project lead, Luana Avagliano, said,

“It has been vital to get real users of the service involved in development from day one. We have a dedicated National User Group, which travels from all over the country to provide its expert experience into the build. This has been hugely beneficial as it provided the team and developers with a real understanding of the user need. “Our approach to this project has been very much ‘with you, for you and by you’, and this will remain our approach as we take service development forward into the next phase.”

Future development The project team is already looking ahead to enhancement of the service, in collaboration with users and sector representatives. The service is designed to enable the rapid development of additional applications and features, making it responsive to changing user needs and wider trends in planning and incident response. ResilienceDirect went live on 27 March.

For further information please e-mail:

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The importance of radio communication in mountain rescue In any mountain rescue operation, communication is vital to the smooth running of that operation. Most search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Derbyshire Peaks will be carried out by teams on foot, due to the rugged nature of the environment. Only in exceptional circumstances can vehicles get easy access to the casualty site. Consequently first responders need to be able to assess the situation and request correct equipment and personnel to attend the site. It is in search incidents that radio really comes into its own. In any search, small parties of between three and six people will be given a portion of the total search area to investigate. The search management team will be situated in the incident control vehicle and need to keep in contact with hill teams at all times. Derby Mountain Rescue Team (DMRT) predominantly uses Icom IC-F51 VHF handportable transceivers for the hill going team members, with vehicle-mounted sets in the team vehicles. Team sets are equipped with large external antenna, including a 30ft mast in the case of the team’s incident control vehicle. Many of the handsets are also provided with a large antenna to enhance coverage.

Joint operations Ofcom has assigned specific VHF frequencies to be used by search and rescue teams across the county and teams in adjacent areas will be assigned different channels to ensure that there is no interference between team channels and that each team can operate close to another without fear of cross-communications. Of course, all handsets can be switched to any of the assigned channels, so joint operations can still take place on a single channel. In most cases, radios are used on a single open channel, so all sets can hear the communications from all others. Radio users are assigned a call-sign and a strict voice protocol is utilised to ensure that one to one or one to many conversations can take place with ease. In some circumstances a second local channel can be used. In these cases, the users will arrange to use a specific private channel for the duration of that task, providing local communications. Team organisation is such that in known areas with lots of hills and valleys, team members can be utilised as ‘links’ and will site themselves at key locations, passing messages between parties who otherwise are unable to talk directly. Around the country, many mountain rescue teams are using radio handsets with GPS receivers

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built into the microphones. These GPS devices pass location information back to the team’s base (or base vehicle) using FFSK signalling over the voice channel. This allows search managers to quickly see where all of their assets are located, making it easier to manage operations.

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Mountain rescue at the forefront of ICT Most people think that mountain rescue team members are just waiting for their pagers to go off so they can rescue a casualty then return home waiting for the next call! Well, apart from the call outs, weekly training, equipment maintenance and fundraising there’s an extended level of commitment undertaken by a group of people, putting technology into areas where teams can improve the outcome of a rescue for their casualties. Right now there are members toiling away in the background, utilising their skills running servers, writing programs, testing new technology, and assisting partners with development. Words: Mark Lewis, ICT Officer, Mountain Rescue England & Wales. Within the last 12 months Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW) has been slowly moving its e-mail system and group e-mails over to Google Apps. This will help with executive officers’ succession planning, resilience, security and document sharing. MREW currently utilises five servers hosted by premier hosting companies supported by experts from within MREW.

“Without doubt mountain rescue teams will have to move technology and migrate from analogue to digital.” MRMap – David Binks MRMap allows real-time tracking of mountain rescue personnel and assets, both locally and nationally, on various map scales (1:10,000, 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and aerial imagery). It was primarily developed to improve the safety of team members when on the hill but very quickly it was found to be a useful tool for coordinating rescues, especially when multiple teams were involved. The concept of tracking personnel on the hill was developed over 10 years ago and, although it worked, the hardware was very bulky, unreliable and there was no suitable mapping software. When GPS units became available for the Simoco radios that many teams were using, software was developed, in-house, to allow tracking to become a reality. MRMap now supports several radio types, satellite beacons, most smartphones and has been extended to include some search management functionality.

MRMap allows real-time tracking of mountain rescue personne and assets.

born. The MRT send a text message to the LostPer, which contains a link to a page on the SARLOC servers. When the LostPer clicks on the link SARLOC uses features of the lost person’s smartphone to query its location and sends that location to the MRT, displaying it on a computer map. As of February 2014, SARLOC has been used operationally 266 times, saving an estimated 2.5 man-years in searching time. SARCALL – John Hulse From a start in North Wales four years ago, the SARCALL Callout and Incident Management platform has spread like wildfire across the UK and into Ireland, resulting in its adoption by 12 police, ambulance and fire and rescue services to interact with more than 65 search and rescue teams. The secure SARCALL platform also provides an exceptionally strong multi-agency Incident Logger, which is increasingly being used by air assets, including RAF SAR and helimed services, who can benefit from and contribute to an enriched and shared operational picture. All of this has resulted in much better-informed and efficient multi-agency operations during the recent flooding and storm events.

GeoServer – MREW The MREW map server project will be the master source for all geo-spatial data used by MRTs. The server uses open source software to deliver geo-spatial data using industry standard SARLOC – Russ Hore protocols, enabling MRTs to During 2007, Russ Hore develop innovative applications demonstrated to North Image: David Allan OBE, Chair, MREW. without the significant costs incurred Wales Mountain Rescue using proprietary systems such as Google Maps or Association the use of GPS enabled radios that had Bing. The server software, GeoServer, is backed by been developed in the Lake District by Dave Binks. Although ideal for tracking MR troops, Russ a Posgresql/PostGIS database providing industry leading GIS services. The Map Server is not wanted a system that could be used to locate the something the end user will use directly; rather it large number of people who call MR teams will supply mapping data in a standard format to because they are lost. Russ’s aim was to avoid any MREW projects that wish to use it. having any software pre-installed. SARLOC was

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Sarman® – Mapyx Sarman® is a search and rescue management planning and operational tool. Originally it was designed by Mapyx Limited and Mountain Rescue England & Wales and currently is in use across multiple SAR organisations, police forces and the MOD throughout the UK, improving interoperable working between key agencies. Since its original inception Mapyx Sarman® has evolved, taking on feedback from user groups, and a new release will permit operations in multi-user environments to further aid interoperability and sharing of information. Mapyx Sarman® permits the planning of waypoints, routes, circles and areas on multiple Ordnance Survey Mapping and resource allocation to specific search areas.

Sarman® is a search and rescue management planning and operational tool.

Communications Mountain rescue teams operate their own standalone radio system without having to rely on vast infrastructure. Teams are allocated UKSAR channels with resilience and SAR compatibility paramount. They are able to communicate with partner agencies, such as ALSAR, HM Coastguard, RNLI and various air assets etc. When power fails, sub stations are flooded or networks fail, teams can still do their job using simplex. To extend coverage, stand-alone repeaters or human repeaters can easily be deployed. Satellite communication Without doubt MR teams will have to move technology and migrate from analogue to digital, but there’s little doubt that they will opt to stay with stand-alone systems. With more and more technology based on internet access, teams will have to consider the use of satellite communications for working in remote areas and for if the internet infrastructure fails.

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Shared information programme achieves improved data security goals The South West Fire and Rescue Services Secure Information Interchange is a collaborative programme involving five fire and rescue services in the South West of England. The programme was created in 2011 following a successful bid for £1.1m of capital funding from South West Councils, the local Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership. The programme closes at the end of March 2014 following the transition from the Government Secure Intranet (GSi) to the Public Services Network (PSN). So, did the programme deliver its vision – ‘the timely, secure and cost effective sharing of information between fire and rescue services and their partners to improve the safety of the community’ – and was it worth the £1.1m investment? Words: Graham Saunders, SW FRS Secure Information Interchange Programme Manager. To answer the question, we must consider the business environment of the fire and rescue service (FRS) in 2011. FRSs had made enormous strides in improving community safety since the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, which included a new responsibility to make provision for the purpose of promoting fire safety in their area. This was largely achieved through a programme of home fire safety visits and the installation of smoke detectors. However, there remained a group of hard to reach high-risk customers not known to the FRS but often known to another local agency, such as social services, NHS and the police. People over the age of 60 have a much greater risk of dying or being seriously injured in a fire. Other risk factors include: mobility, tenanted accommodation, smokers, and drug or alcohol abuse issues. Sharing sensitive information The FRSs also identified the need to securely share other ‘sensitive’ information with their local partners, ranging from resilience planning, location of explosives, names of fire setters and the location of domestic oxygen suppliers. So what was hindering the exchange of information and the development of joined up services? Part of the answer was that the FRSs’ partners did not trust the FRSs with their data. The FRSs found it difficult to respond to such criticism because they had no way of proving that their information systems were secure or electronically sharing the information securely.

“The FRSs can now demonstrate that they can be trusted with sensitive data.” Combined business case The first phase of the programme was to undertake a gap analysis against the requirements of ISO 27001 and the GCSX code of connection. The findings of the gap analysis were used to develop resolution plans to address the weaknesses, detailed business cases for each FRS and a combined business case to draw down the bulk of the funding. Weaknesses included: lack of an information assurance governance structure (eg

none of the FRSs had appointed a Senior Information Risk Owner or Information Asset Owners); staff were not aware of their information security responsibilities; information security policies were out of date or incomplete; IT Health Checks (commonly known as IT penetration testing) had never been undertaken; information systems had not been valued in terms of impact on the business of the loss of confidentiality, integrity and availability. Information security was considered to be a barrier to business improvement rather than an enabler. The challenge was both cultural and technical. Collaborative approach Raising FRSs’ policies, procedures, systems, governance and IT infrastructure up to the stringent requirements of UK HMG standards would not have been possible without adopting a collaborative approach. This has enabled considerable savings to be made in collaborative procurements and the development of common policies and procedures. The programme’s achievements include: • Delivered a programme of IT Health Checks and corrective action plans for each FRS • Development and implementation of a common set of security policies for all FRSs

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• A number of collaborative procurements, including a Security Information Event Management system, protective marking labelling system, 2 factor authentication and hard disk encryption • Procurement, development and roll out of an e-learning information security awareness course tailored to the FRS • Connecting three FRSs initially to the Government Secure Intranet Convergence Framework (GCF) and transition to Public Services Network (PSN) • Procurement of a PSN-compliant shared network for Dorset, Devon & Somerset and Wiltshire FRS). This includes a link to the Hampshire PSN to facilitate a networked FireControl project between the four FRSs • Appointment and training of Senior Information Risk Owners, Information Asset Owners and Accreditors in each FRS • Raised the security culture in the FRSs from a fairly low level to one where all FRSs now comply with UK HMG standards for handling and processing personal and other sensitive information • Established South West FRSs information Security Forum of accreditors and IT security officers. The forum provides the platform for

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ESTICT | 47 • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Collaborate to reduce costs and facilitate networking. Learn from others • Find out where your sensitive information is and who has access to it • Provide simple procedures for staff to follow for handling sensitive information • Separate Information Assurance and ICT functions, but make sure you have a good relationship and reporting structure between the two • Employ technical expertise – CLAS consultant and independent IT Heath Checks • Identify Information Asset Owners and work with these people to help champion good information security, through training, regular IS Forum etc • Raise awareness of information security through newsletters, team meetings, posters etc and information security awareness training for all staff • Establish a process for managing information security breaches. Create a no blame culture where staff are happy to report security breaches • Make sure staff know who to go to for advice.

collaborative training initiatives, networking and discussion of shared issues • Accreditation against HMG’s Security Policy Framework. Did the programme deliver its vision? The FRSs can now demonstrate that they can be trusted with sensitive data. The PSN provides the means to share sensitive information securely with other public sector organisations. Business managers have a good appreciation of the value of their information and data sharing opportunities. Some data exchange is happening using the secure links but a lot more could be done. The difficulties that all organisations have faced in complying with the much tougher PSN code of connection compliance regime introduced last year has meant that less time has been available to negotiate possible access to national databases. The availability of secure e-mail within local government was a lot less than we envisaged. As part of the process for closing the programme, we will be reviewing and sharing the lessons with other FRSs. A number of case studies have been produced and shared via CFOA’s Notable Practices website. The lessons include: • Information security is a business issue not a technology issue. Establish a reason for improving information security, which you can measure and which means something to the business; make it personal • Get buy in from senior management. Appoint and train key roles such as a Senior Information Risk Owner and an Accreditor from the outset

Appropriate safeguards Darran Gunter, Chief Fire Officer at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Programme Sponsor, said, “The programme has provided us with a comprehensive set of tools and policies to ensure that all our sensitive information is appropriately safeguarded and staff are aware of their responsibilities for managing information. This, in turn will allow us to share information with our

Graham Saunders, Programme Manager, SWFRSs Secure Information Interchange Programme.

partners to enable us to provide a more effective service to vulnerable people in our communities. The increased level of security, provided through this South West collaboration project, will improve the fire service’s operational response capabilities and may save lives in the long run.” The programme was awarded European Information Security Project of the Year 2013 by SC Magazine. So we must have done something right! The judges thought the programme was ‘great’ and described it as a ‘transformational security initiative that can deliver a real benefit to society: pragmatic, reusable and risk focused’.


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West Yorkshire Police – a technology partnership for improvement When West Yorkshire Police, the UK’s fourth largest police force, decided in 2009 to adopt a ‘hi tec’ approach to their driver training requirement, they decided to seek advice from the UK’s acknowledged leader in the field of driver behaviour – Cranfield University. The university recommended approaching Airmax as the only UK-based company with the capability to deliver remote vehicle CANbus data, which could be used for extensive driver profiling. The initial remit of the project was to investigate the driving styles of police drivers within the West Yorkshire Police fleet – a total of over 1100 vehicles. The study highlighted an increased risk of vehicle incidents and, as a result, the opportunity arose to offer additional driver training. The Airmax system performance within this early phase was impressive. The operational side of West Yorkshire Police approached staff from the transport department to consider how they might utilise the detailed fleet management data offered by the Airmax system. This data was way beyond the every day level of GPS vehicle location that was then considered to be the defining feature of ‘vehicle telematics’.

“Beyond the savings within the fleet, one major area of gain for the force has been the investigation of ‘incidents’.” At this stage, and with Airmax now the approved supplier to West Yorkshire Police, both organisations worked together on a project to define and produce a working system geared to the requirements of an ‘on the ground’ operational police force. Improve driving standards One of the first requirements was to improve driving standards within West Yorkshire Police and then negate the inefficiencies of filling in paper logbooks. The Airmax system delivers extensive driver profiling reports, all of which mandates total accuracy in respect of a driver’s identity. The introduction of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) enabled warrant cards within West Yorkshire allowed Airmax to design and implement a vehicle-based driver ID system, which fulfilled the dual roles of identifying the driver and logging the subsequent journey against the individual. To meet West Yorkshire’s requirements that all journeys are to be logged, the system incorporates a vehicle immobiliser that ensures the vehicle would not start without driver identification, thus providing the vehicle with additional vehicle security.

With the progressive rollout of the system over some five years, the ‘report suite’ available has been progressively extended and enhanced to encompass a progressive police requirement. In essence, based on journey and event data or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) the Airmax system provides detailed ‘drill down’ reports, which cover every detail of every journey and the events that occur during the journey. Typical of these enhancements are the ‘blues and twos’ reports, all of which give time and location for on/off operation, together with vehicle speed, revs, acceleration and braking. From the original single ‘blue light’ configuration, this has now been enhanced to indicate in detail which ‘blue light’ mode the vehicle is operating, ie all blues/front blues/rear blues/rear reds/siren, all of which are transmitted to a secure server in real time. As with all organisations that invest there has to be a tangible return in order to justify the capital outlay. In West Yorkshire’s case there is an ongoing analysis of fleet and divisional data in order to ascertain not just the increased operational fleet management and driver training effectiveness but also to identify where there are actual cost savings. Significant within this area are the statistics related to ‘own fleet’ accidents where an ongoing cost reduction of over 30 percent has been calculated, as a constant, as each new operational division is installed. Actual and potential cost reductions In addition to the substantial savings from accident reduction, West Yorkshire Police is now gaining sufficient data from other aspects of the system to be able to calculate where actual and potential cost reductions are possible. At the top of the list is fuel saving. This is now being experienced as a result of modified driver style brought about by virtue of KPI trigger points such as over-revving (typically set at 3500rpm on WYP diesel vehicles), harsh acceleration and braking (erratic driving is notorious for excessive fuel use) and ‘long idling’ (typically set to five minutes). The combination of these customer-configurable KPIs is

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now indicating reduced fuel use on a comparative basis against ‘pre-install’ of the system. One emerging aspect of the ability to detect over-revving has been the potential savings related to mechanical failure of gearboxes and the resulting administrative nightmare of warranty claims. On a ‘grand plan’ level the system allows the actual use of vehicles to be queried to ascertain the overall vehicle usage pattern on whole fleet, division and individual vehicle level. Again, the use of customer configurable parameters allows operational vehicles that are not being used to be identified against specific parameters such as ‘not used for more than three days or one week’ (as an example). The consequence and resulting cost savings here being that the fleet can be trimmed down to a more ‘lean and mean’ profile with underused vehicles being taken ‘off fleet’. Incident investigation Beyond the savings within the fleet on a tangible vehicle/fuel/mechanical failure level, one major area of gain for the force has been the investigation of ‘incidents’. Previously, this post investigation of incidents was potentially ‘administratively challenging’. The implementation of a total vehicle CANbus, driver RFID and GPS data has transformed a previously lengthy and in some cases inconclusive exercise into what was described as ‘a matter of minutes’ by a WYP Officer. Airmax is closely working with West Yorkshire Police on research aimed at defining the algorithms, which will actually indicate unusual driving in a ‘normal’ every day, non blue light mode. The ultimate benefit here being that the system will flag up automatically as soon as the ‘algorithm’ threshold is reached, thus allowing the opportunity for additional driver training to be implemented. This close working relationship is a quantum leap over the original premise that first saw the partnering of Airmax and West Yorkshire Police.

As a result of the partnership between Airmax and West Yorkshire Police, Airmax was invited by the ACPO/ITS team to become part of the Home Office initiated ‘One Box/DVDMS’ programme. This led to a partnership between Airmax and Vauxhall Special Vehicles (suppliers of UK police vehicles) and resulted in Airmax being part of the winning CAST (Future UK Police Vehicle) consortium.

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On the frontline Words: Peter Molyneux, President of Getac UK. Those working on the frontline of emergency services can find themselves in positions of danger – such is the nature of the job. Mitigating that danger is vital, and as the old saying goes; to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Information, and crucially, the ability to share information, can be a vital tool in protecting the safety of first line responders. In emergency situations, crews need to be able to rely on the equipment that gives important information to them. A reliance on technology is something the emergency services sector shares with its counterparts in Peter Molyneux is the President of Getac UK, military and defence. And so when it which provides a comprehensive range of rugged comes to technology choice, those computing solutions. working in frontline emergency response can feel reassured that they can rely on rugged technology solutions that perform in a military environment. Global designer and manufacturer of rugged computing technology, Getac, already has units deployed in the British military, and now, the new Getac Z710 Titan, a fully rugged 7in Android tablet, is undergoing trials with global security company Northrop Grumman, with a view to securing full MoD project accreditation. That’s because the tablet offers everything an operative on the frontline needs, both in terms of security and usability. The Z710 weighs just 800g, with an operational battery life of 10 hours. Built with a glove-friendly touchscreen, the fully integrated device includes a 1D/2D barcode reader and advanced GPS technology accurate to 1.5m. The tablet has also been certified to MIL-STD-810G and is IP65 rated. Secure software The Z710 is configured with military-grade secure software from security specialist Becrypt, which ensures that all device application and user data is protected with FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption. Administrators also have complete control, so they can create separate encrypted user accounts or personas, enforce strong authentication, and manage different application and device policies – all of which reduce support and maintenance overheads. In partnership with Becrypt, the Getac Z710 Titan puts military standard hardware in the palm of emergency service crews’ hands. Is it time you had the best on the frontline?

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your rugged computing requirements, call 01952 207 221, e-mail: or visit

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Technology partnership provides STEP change in business process efficiencies Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Devon and Somerset fire and rescue services have joined forces with technology leader IBM to develop a solution, which will help deliver savings from the many business processes that are in place in their organisations. Words: Tamsin Mirfin, Business Development and Risk Manager, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. maximising the reuse of these processes to create greater efficiencies through the reductions in duplicated effort and the ability to share business processes. Information in systems can be unlocked and ready-made business processes can be snapped together with existing technologies and processes already located within the fire and rescue service. It works on a similar principle to the way in which we already join up our command and control structures. Led by a Collaboration Programme Board, the team has worked closely with IBM to implement the first tranche of processes in each service. Each service is reviewing processes that are labour intensive or involve logging on to numerous systems to do a job, looking to minimise this to make processes smoother, reducing the time and complexity of activities.

The Service Transformation and Efficiency Programme (STEP) uses enabling technology from IBM to create efficiencies by integrating business systems and ‘leaning’ business processes. The fire and rescue service collaboration has already delivered efficiency savings of up to 73 percent in some administration intensive processes, such as sickness absence management, and processing starters, movers and leavers. There is a perception that working with IBM has a premium in terms of cost. However, when we look at other projects it would appear that the opposite might be true. Collaborative approach The technology is extensively used in other industries, including banking, retail and government who rationalise key business processes and thus reduce the administrative burden. What we are seeing is that we are able to capitalise on the investments made by these industries to share the technologies they are using, on a model scaled to our requirements, allowing us to benefit from the advances made by IBM and their larger customers.

“The collaboration allowed for the specialist resources to work together as one team, to learn the skills required and to share experiences.” The collaborative approach and this technology solution allows us to do the following: • Integrate existing business systems, providing a single point of entry for data. This means we eliminate double keying of data and reduce the instances of inconsistent records of the same data • Enables us to improve data quality and reduce time spent on data entry in all three fire and

rescue services • Ability to quickly retrieve accurate information across our business systems is increased and therefore enabling better informed and more timely decision making • Over time, we will be able to reduce the number of business systems upon which we are reliant (reducing IT overheads) and improve user experience through streamlined business processes • This technology is enabling us to pursue a ‘best of breed’ approach to business system deployment and provides the flexibility to develop future applications and business processes without relying on external suppliers to develop bespoke systems on our behalf • Explore the huge potential for data sharing across services and for organisations to work together, not paying suppliers over and over again for systems development and allowing the services to take control. Common language By developing a common vocabulary, the UK Fire Framework (UKFF), the collaboration is working to create a common language and to construct integration services. This means that a business process developed by one service can be shared with other services/organisations, therefore

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Innovative solutions Technical skill sets have been a challenge that we have worked to overcome; we have found innovative solutions to get round this and we have put in place steps to create a sustainable staffing model that will see us into the future. The collaboration allowed for the specialist resources to work together as one team, to learn the skills required and to share experiences. This close collaborative working environment enabled the services to maximise the benefits realised through the engaged professional services in skills transfer to staff. Technology in all organisations (and fire and rescue services are no different) is a growing area and hence an increasing area of cost. It is a safe assumption that whatever happens to budgets, ICT and related costs are going to increase. It is therefore essential that we look to different ways of working together to make sure that we can embrace the most modern of technologies, in a way that is affordable and effective for us.

The STEP Collaboration will be exhibiting at The Emergency Services Show at the NEC in September if you would like more information on the Programme.

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Real‐time body worn video footage is aiding UK police forces A new era is dawning for policing and surveillance in the UK. Body Worn Video (BWV) technology has been used within UK police services since it was originally employed in 2006. Now, research has shown that as a result of operating the technology and effective video evidence being readily available, the numbers of incidents where police are required to use force are reduced, as are the number of false accusations against officers in the community. Using BWV across a range of policing scenarios including domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and burglary, officers are able to record footage at their own discretion. Cardiff based Excelerate Technology is a global market leader in the provision of data, video, voice and internet via satellite and wireless solutions and has combined this capacity with a number of other advanced technologies to enhance the potential of BWV even further.

“The rise of BWV in the field adds transparency to the activities of police officers.” Excelerate’s BWV solutions are based on Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (COFDM) technologies. The wide range of compact, high-resolution bullet cameras available can be attached as an earpiece or to an officer’s uniform or helmet. The rise of BWV in the field adds transparency to the activities of police officers, acting as an independent witness, dispelling any dispute and provides an invaluable presence and vital real-time information from operatives to those within the police command structure. Robust solution In contrast to standard BWV cameras, which only record footage locally, Excelerate’s robust solution securely transmits the video streams from the wearing officer to a local Incident Command Unit (ICU) or Pelicase Receiver over a range of 1‐2km and allow for accurate, high quality video footage of incidents to be available in real-time in non‐line of

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site and in high signal loss environments. Having been developed to work in situations such as the underground network, tunnels and buildings, where normal transmission is typically compromised, the use of COFDM provides a significant advantage over other local area connectivity options, such as Wi‐Fi, in terms of providing signal infiltration.

visibility procedures. The inclusion of permanent date and time stamping enables any footage recorded to be used for evidential purposes in court, where the implementation of BWV cameras and first person accounts of incidents will help to speed up the judicial process, limiting court preparation time and increasing guilty pleas.

Live streaming Interoperable During the 2010 Ryder communications Cup, Excelerate Technology With an ever‐growing need partnered with Gwent for interoperable Police in providing BWV communications this During the 2010 Ryder Cup, Excelerate Technology solutions to officers riding immediate access to real‐time partnered with Gwent Police in providing BWV solutions to officers riding mountain bikes. mountain bikes. At this video considerably enhances a major sporting event Gwent commander’s situational Police were tasked with policing more than 45,000 awareness and provides a detailed common spectators each day alongside providing security for operational picture across all emergency services. the golfers and VIP guests. The result allows commanders to manage and Nigel Russell, Superintendent of Gwent Police, coordinate all responses more effectively and said, “Deploying officers on mountain bikes with deploy resources quicker and more efficiently. live streaming of images from the body‐worn On board the control vehicle live video streams cameras meant we could see and hear what was can then be compressed and frame rate adapted going on wherever they were on the course. and optimised for delivery to a Gold Command or Without this it is likely we would have needed headquarters via an enhanced resilient satellite additional police officers to attend incidents or to network for real‐time live viewing or storage. This be available on the course.” enables improved command communications Thanks to the use of sophisticated capabilities, both out in the field, in mobile communications and real‐time surveillance command vehicles and at headquarters. technology supplied by Excelerate, a total of only The lightweight, Ultra low‐lux camera solution captures high quality footage in extremely low light 150 officers were able to maintain security for this and challenging environments. It is ideally suited to high‐profile occasion. urban search and rescue (USAR) operations or low

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Future-proofing the Next Generation of 112 services 112 is the common European emergency number that is in official use across 28 EU Member States and most countries surrounding the EU (including the UK). The number receives over 31 million calls each year but while a few countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and Finland use 112 as the single emergency number in practice, the vast majority of countries have a second, legacy number in place, such as 999 in the UK. This means that while awareness of 112 is very slowly growing at around 1% per year, there is still a great deal of work to be done in order to advance knowledge of the number, but also in order to future-proof the technology. To raise this awareness further, 11 February was declared European 112 Day. Words: Mark Fletcher, Chief Architect of Worldwide Emergency Services at Avaya, and the acting co-vice-chair of the NG112 committee. Since its adoption in the 1990s, Avaya, with our strong heritage in best-practice routing principles, has worked with the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), local governments and public safety agencies; each of us committed to furthering the development of Next Generation 112 Emergency Services, today.

“Video support is also something that would be a useful addition to the next generation of emergency call support.” Facilitating interoperability In the EU, political and country borders can potentially present a challenge when discussing public safety interoperability and technology. Part of EENA’s mission is to facilitate that interoperability. While the European authorities have control over some telecoms issues, 112 is handled and managed by the Member States according to local country law and guidelines. This means that while, in practice, France, Germany and the UK are required to follow EU legislation, each country will often adapt EU law to satisfy localised requirements. This lack of overall control has resulted in a service level that differs widely from country to country. Depending on specific demands, such as the ability for the public to connect via other services (SMS or Real Time Text messaging) and the country’s access to technology, 112 is far from synonymous. More harmonised This is something that must be addressed as part of the NG112 initiative and is one of the tasks that EENA, Avaya and the industry are currently facing. The good news is that most countries that have implemented 112 services are currently working towards common next generation concepts or are in

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the process of implementing them already. Happily, this should result in a far more harmonised system coming into play over the next few years. While working on the next generation initiative, Avaya has come across a number of challenges and interesting concepts. Foremost of these is the issue of the caller’s location. The first question that every emergency service in every country in the world asks callers is where they are. This is an issue that could potentially be solved very simply by smartphones, however that sort of data is as yet unable to pass through the national emergency service provider’s networks. A second consideration is that of non-traditional multi-media sessions such as IM, SMS and social media, all of which need to be taken into account as people (and young people in particular) make fewer calls and are increasingly likely to connect to emergency services via alternative methods. Video support is also something that would be a useful addition to the next generation of emergency call support – persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing as well as individuals with speech disabilities could communicate via sign language or be connected to an interpreter via their screens. Live video footage Yet another idea that EENA is considering is releasing the best-practice rules and information that may encourage 112 apps to be created – these would allow a user to provide the emergency services with live video footage, so that they may see first-hand what is happening, where the caller is and help ensure the correct response team is engaged.

Mark Fletcher, Chief Architect of Worldwide Emergency Services at Avaya.

Happily, following extensive lobbying from EENA, in the last weeks of 2013, a plan was confirmed by the European Commission to put a budget in place for a demonstrator and proof of concept of the NG112 project to take place in 2015. This is a huge achievement when you consider the scale and necessary upgrades the many different national systems will need to put in place for the theory to become reality. While it may be too soon to say definitively, it is hoped that within the next few years, Next Generation 112 services will be a reality all across the EU. Even more exciting, it is entirely plausible that one day there will be a more global view of the emergency number. Rather than specific numbers used in specific countries, the most widely used emergency numbers (911 and 112) would be valid no matter where in the world, or on which device or platform, they were called.

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Firefighters design software to Stolen vehicle fight fires before they begin! recovery system enhanced with Self ID

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Investigation Team, based at Bishop Auckland Community Fire Station, have teamed up with a local software company to build intelligent evidence management software, which uses technology to help identify trends, patterns and problem areas as to where fires are likely to occur. Improved analysis The Fire Investigation Service, who protect over 600,000 residents in an area of more than 2500sq km used to rely on old-fashioned paper reports – timeconsuming to compile, expensive to store and difficult to share with partners like the police. The team was looking for a system, which would allow officers to better record fire investigation details, evidence and images, save time by generating reports automatically and allow access to investigators across the multiple sites in Durham and Darlington. The service also needed to improve its analysis of fire investigations to ensure trends and hot spots could be identified easily. They teamed up with Sunderland software business Orcuma to create FIRsT (Fire Investigation Reporting Tool) – the first piece of software in the UK designed exclusively for fire investigators. Much more efficient Former Crime Scene Investigator and now Fire Investigation Manager Lee Aspery said, “We were looking for a piece of software, which would allow our officers to capture and record notes, witness statements and images in a much more efficient way than we could before. “To keep the public safe we also needed to respond more strategically to problems like arson – understanding developing trends, patterns and problem areas at the earliest opportunity to allow ourselves and our partners to better coordinate our efforts and make better use of our resources. “We looked at lots of off-the-shelf packages, but none of them were designed with the exact needs of

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fire investigators in mind. So we thought to ourselves, why don’t we design our own software? “Obviously we didn’t have the technical ability to do that alone, but in Orcuma we were lucky to have a company on our doorstep with exactly the skills we needed. Through working with Orcuma we’ve not only been able to design a system which does exactly what a modern fire service needs it to do – we’ve even been able to build in technology, which allows us to automatically compile reports and securely share information between investigators working from 15 stations across Darlington and Durham. FIRsT even gives us the power to analyse fire investigations to pick up trends and hot spots – helping us fight fires before they’ve happened.”

Attobus Ltd and Tracker have a long history of working together, combining respective technologies to provide a seriously efficient tool for today’s police forces’ fight on stolen vehicles. TRACKER is the only stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) system operated by all police forces across the UK. The system works like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. The device works even if the vehicle is hidden in a garage or shipping container. VHF technology used in all TRACKER products is compatible with detection systems used at all major UK sea ports. The Attobus TRACKER program is a mobile data program that runs on the Attobus M-PC in-vehicle PC system. The program runs in a minimised state and it alerts the police officers by playing an alert sound file whenever the TRACKER Police Tracking Computer (PTC) detects a TRACKER signal from a stolen vehicle. For each signal, the program displays a unique reply code, which the police officers use to obtain the corresponding vehicle registration number.

Real time interaction Lee believes that the system is already making a difference. He said, “In one recent case after a fire, which destroyed a car, our team found that property had been stolen from the vehicle before it was set alight and established the cause of fire as arson. All the evidence was forwarded instantly to the police at the touch of a button – before that could have taken hours or days, in a criminal investigation where every second counts. “FIRsT gives Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service the means to develop ‘as live’ intelligence on deliberate and secondary fire setting within the communities of County Durham and the borough of Darlington. “It also allows Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service to interact in a real time manner with a host of other agencies. Previously, intelligence gathered by differing agencies was disparate and lacked viable cohesion, not to mention the issues relating to data sharing and security. The software from Orcuma facilitates this data sharing in a secure platform, allowing mapping overlays from differing agencies who need to share common intelligence for the benefit of a safer community.”

The system plays audio tones, which relate to the signal strengths; the weaker the signal, the lower the frequency, conversely, the stronger the signal, the higher the frequency. A simple compass in the main window indicates the direction from where the signal is believed to originate. The program uses smoothing algorithms to prevent misleading erroneous signals, which can be caused by a number of things, such as signals being reflected from a lamppost. Attobus has launched a new version of the TRACKER program with Self ID. Previously, in the case of police vehicles fitted with a Tracker stolen vehicle transmitter (some forces have chosen to protect certain vehicles, such as armed response vehicles), the vehicle’s TRACKER receiver would trigger the on-board alarm in the event of the vehicle being stolen, thereby alerting the thief to the fact that the vehicle was actively being tracked. Self ID stops the TRACKER receiver triggering the onboard theft alert; so that the thief is blissfully unaware the device has been activated and is being tracked. Over 90 percent of cars fitted with a TRACKER device are recovered and 80 percent of those within 24 hours.

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Police horizon scanners The latest ‘big idea’ in policing is technology that enables officers to deliver more results for less money. Home Office ministers look set to heavily back fresh thinking in the new 2014/15 financial year with their £50m Innovation fund, with only bids that guarantee efficiencies from day one likely to get the go ahead. Words: John Rowland, Editor, Police Market Report. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were given a taste of the competitive bidding process for the Home Office’s Police Innovation Fund late last year. They were invited to bid for a share of a £20m pot, known as the Precursor Fund. Successful bids signal the kind of time saving, quick wins Ministers are after. A total of nine forces won funding for mobile statement taking and six for body worn video. A further 24 forces will receive funding to move transactions such as incident reporting, vehicle release and freedom of information requests online. Wearable technology Body Worn Video (BWV) was personally endorsed by Damian Green, the Police Minister, in a speech to PCCs earlier this year. Demand for better quality evidence gathering and the higher profile given to domestic violence and public order has spurred adoption of this technology. It promises higher conviction rates and more guilty pleas. This will free up resources in courts and give more openness in sensitive areas, such as stop and search. For the first time, BWV and the storage technology it requires are cropping up in spend plans for the new 2014/15 financial year, researched by the

specialist monthly newsletter Police Market Report. Technological progress has given mobile data a second chance. First generation rollouts gave only mixed results. Officers complained handsets were hard to use and functionality limited. Performance and value for money were heavily criticised in separate reports by MPs and the London Assembly. Mobile working Direct input of witness statements from mobile data terminals (MDTs) to crime systems back at base is now a reality. New generation tablet handsets can carry apps capable of handling almost any front line data inputting and administration task. Police are starting to catch up with modern consumers and take apps seriously. The Metropolitan Police has an in-house mobile working team. Innovations delivered include apps dealing with Proceeds of Crime Act and Honour Based Violence. The work is part of the new MPS technology strategy released in February 2014. Estates reorganisation is the other main driver behind more mobile working. Forces can no longer afford to run or heat large, expensive buildings and dozens of smaller beat or rural stations. Building numbers are being cut. Money from sales

is being used to redevelop or new build. Next generation police buildings being planned or under construction in London or Birmingham will be built around mobile or agile working. Damian Green acknowledged the challenge in his speech to PCCs earlier this year. He urged forces to press ahead with collaboration and co-location with other blue light services. Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service joint response units were endorsed along with the new shared fire and police command and control facility on Merseyside. Green told PCCs a £3.8m chunk of Precursor Funding will go to six forces which have advanced plans to share buildings and infrastructure with the fire and rescue service. He added, “We will be announcing the time table for bidding to the 2014/15 fund in the very near future. In the meantime, we are conducting a review of the precursor fund. In particular, we are considering where the process, communications and criteria might be strengthened to ensure the fund prioritises bids that reflect innovation and collaboration.”

John Rowland is editor of Police Market Report contact

Supplementary radio support in an emergency RAYNET (the Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network) is a voluntary organisation comprised mostly of licenced radio amateurs that offers emergency communications support to the blue light services, local emergency planners and the voluntary services typically involved in assisting in emergencies. It is a registered charity that marked its 60th anniversary late last year. Words: Cathy Clark, Chairman of RAYNET. RAYNET’s formation came about following the aftermath of the disaster of the east coast floods in January 1963, which resulted in 307 deaths resulting from gale force winds and a great tidal surge. Local radio amateurs answered four distress calls, helped to direct assistance and got messages back to the relatives of those in distress. Since that time, RAYNET has provided emergency communications at many incidents, major and minor, and been placed on standby for many more. One of the largest incidents was the Lockerbie air disaster. They assisted during the 2009 Cumbria floods, and more recently with the St Jude’s storm in October 2013. Communication links RAYNET is able to set up communications links from scratch without the need for mains power or third party communications networks – and provides operators on a shift system for as long as needed, allowing its users to focus on dealing with the emergency. Particularly useful roles RAYNET can fulfil include providing links between the voluntary and professional agencies involved in an incident and

government body, the public utilities and also most national voluntary organisations that support incidents; collectively known as its user services. The user service calling on RAYNET’s services can ask for it to link up with other voluntary services, notably local search and rescue and 4x4 groups and those manning rescue and refuge centres where there may be inadequate or no alternative means of communication.

Photo: Jon Woollons.

also engineering links in difficult radio terrain. Major emergencies are mercifully rare so RAYNET trains by providing communications at major sporting and charitable events where mobile phone networks become overloaded or are nonexistent. It covers several hundred of these events every year. RAYNET is authorised to support all Category 1 and 2 responders as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act, such as local authorities, fire and rescue, police, ambulance services, any

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Crucial difference RAYNET has more than 2000 members dedicated to providing professional grade communications service to its users. Local groups provide representatives to sit on local resilience committees and at national level has a seat on the Civil Contingencies Secretariat Voluntary Sector Civil Protection Forum. Despite advances in technology the demand for their services is greater than ever. In our current unpredictable climate with the high risk of disruption to modern communications networks RAYNET volunteers can make a crucial difference.

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The latest must-have kit 1

VIPER – Argyl

VIPER (Vulnerable Individuals Proactive Emergency Response) is a resilient technology, which aids police in their provision of care, support and management for victims of crime. It comes in two forms: a standalone mobile phone device, which includes GPS technology and allows users to contact the police using a central ‘duress’ button and other speed-dial buttons; and the SmartVIPER app, which operates on an everyday smartphone and is a more covert option than the stand-alone device. The app, which is not visible on the smartphone, operates in the background and supports all existing VIPER services. Any alerts are passed to an Alarm Receiving Centre, which triggers an immediate incident response protocol. The alerts capture all audio within the immediate vicinity of the device, providing valuable evidence. Allowing victims of crime to feel reassured as they go about their normal lives, VIPER was successfully piloted for over two years by Devon & Cornwall Police and Police Scotland. Greater Manchester Police is currently in the second phase of piloting the smartphone app, and it is expected a full rollout will commence following successful trials. VIPER is also now adopted in other police areas.



MedInfo USB stick – Easiphone Ltd


Each year thousands of people are taken into hospital after an accident, stroke or heart attack, with paramedics or hospital staff unable to quickly access vital information about their blood group, existing medical conditions or allergies. To solve this problem, Easiphone has come up with the ‘MedInfo’ USB stick, which can be attached to a keyring, worn around the neck or carried in a pocket or purse, and contains all the essential information that paramedic and hospital staff need in an emergency. Contained on a USB flash drive within a sturdy, waterproof capsule is a personalised PDF file that sets out key facts such as existing conditions, blood group, allergies and current medication. Other helpful information, such as the wearer’s full name, date of birth, GP and the contact details of next of kin to be informed in an emergency, is also included. The MedInfo USB is priced at £19.99.


Multi-Trauma training manikin – Ruth Lee


Training for the worst-case scenario is essential and it doesn’t come much worse in a road traffic incident than an impalement. That’s where the Ruth Lee Multi-Trauma training manikin comes into its own. Based upon the company’s popular general purpose range and available in three weights, the multi-trauma manikin features a cavity in the chest to be able to insert an impalement that can be secured using the straps provided. For extra realism, the manikin can also accommodate a trauma collar enabling the extraction team to train effectively. The manikin also features a removable leg and arm to simulate an amputation and add an extra dimension to the scenario. A video of the manikin in use in an impalement extraction scenario by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service can be seen on the Ruth Lee website.


LED Univisor – SP Services


A unique and simple identification product for unmarked vehicles on official duty, the Univisor is used by organisations worldwide. The device clips onto the vehicle’s sun visor and, when the visor is down, makes the vehicle’s purpose instantly recognisable. The design has now taken a step forward with the advent of the LED Univisor, which features the same simple, effective, tried and tested design but fitted with 90 super bright white LEDs and powered by a 12V cigarette lighter socket. This enhanced model gives even greater visibility when compared with the basic Univisor. Incident scenes, crime scenes and accidents, covert operations, on tests, out of service, when parking or in traffic, access to secure or controlled areas – wherever your unmarked car needs to go, the LED Univisor can make sure everyone knows you’re there.


ET1006 tactical boot – Tracerlite


The Tracerlite ET1006, part of the 8in Tracerlite Tactical Footwear range, provides full ankle support and protection. It has not only a composite toe, but also a toe bump cap on the outer; critical in any role where risk demands an extra level of safety protection for both the wearer and the boot. The boot is constructed from full grain leather, water resistant with a gusseted tongue and comfort contoured collar. They’re easy to get on and off thanks to the side zip for quick access and the lacing stays securely in place thanks to the enclosed lacing loops. The sole of the boot is split into marked areas, providing a ladder grip zone, a torsion controlled midsection, a heel anchor zone and an anti-slip zone. The midsole is compression moulded EVA with a carbon rubber outsole. The ET1006 is a durable, comfortable duty boot and is available now through Tracerlite’s UK partners, SP Services (UK) Ltd and Niton Equipment Ltd.

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First Responder up to the test Paratech partners with Vimpex in UK Vimpex’s reputation as an established and respected supplier to the emergency services has been significantly reinforced by the company’s appointment as the exclusive UK distributor for Paratech Inc.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service put the HiLift® First Responder™ Jack through its paces at a recent open trial day at its Eastleigh Headquarters. The Hampshire FRS RTC Extrication Team, who are the current UK vehicle extrication champions, had set up the day to put the jack through a host of test scenarios, including vehicle entrapment, vehicle stabilisation and lifting, along with creating access and egress for patient removal.

Trevor Griffin, Watch Manager, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “We bought this kit primarily for its stabilisation and lifting capabilities. We wanted to use the testing to see just how quickly the jack could implement this.” Explaining the scenario tests for the jack, Trevor said, “We firstly trialled the jack to secure a vehicle in a mocked up road traffic accident, where the vehicle had partly mounted concrete bollards. There are obviously blocking units that can be used to stabilise a vehicle, however this can be timely and while placing the lower blocks, there is always a risk that the vehicle could still subside causing safety concerns. The jacks were implemented in pairs and raised in tandem. The team had secured the vehicle within seconds. The simplicity of this

product is one of its key strengths. It’s very much grab and go, with no need for fuel or power.” He continued, “The second trial, which was demonstrated using both a vehicle and trailer entrapment, highlighted just how quickly an under vehicle entrapped patient can be released. Our trial showed from point of arriving at site, the extrication could take place within two minutes. A key bonus for rapid intervention teams.” Extraction tool The First Responder is exclusively available from Arbil Limited, the official and exclusive importer of Hi-Lift® for the UK. It was designed as a multi-use extraction tool at a fraction of the cost of expensive hydraulic tools (less than £200 including VAT per unit). Hi-Lift® promotes this product as a multiple use extraction tool that can also be used for gaining access to compressed compartments, create access and egress for patient removal and also winching. The Hampshire team also put these uses to the test. Trevor Griffin explains, “We tested the Jack in access and egress scenarios on a Ford Focus. Many services will have a vast array of hydraulic tools to hand to use, but we wanted to trial this jack alone – to see just how capable it was when left to just its own devices. “The success of the jack does depend on the vehicle it is being used on. The jack performed at its best on the vehicle when in use to extend the boot space for an emergency egress point. The access and egress scenarios were not why we purchased the jack, but it was a worthwhile learning curve to test its performance in these areas as well – as in some instances, smaller service units may only have limited equipment to hand, or on a large scale emergency job, you need to put all the equipment you have to the best use, so this is a multi-tool but its core strength for us lies in its first gap, first intervention and stabilisation qualities.” The Hampshire team has now taken 10 of the Hi-Lift® First Responder™ Jacks to roll out to its units. The team will also be in attendance and is hosting The UKRO Southern Regional Extrication & Trauma Challenge on 26 April at the Eastleigh HQ, where further information and trialling of the jack can be arranged.

Vehicle stabilisation Those involved in extrication will be particularly interested in the new Paratech Vehicle Stabilisation system, which is literally head and shoulders above the competition in its ability to not only stabilise, but also lift and secure heavy vehicles. The system can manage loads up to nine tonnes even at full extension and has a unique five-year warranty. The equipment has been designed to overcome all of the shortcomings of competitive products, says Paratech. Other extrication products include Paratech’s Maxiforce air lifting bags, which feature a threelayer, fully wrapped Kevlar lining for increased safety and durability. Vimpex’s selection by Paratech bolsters its range of rescue products and comes very soon after Vimpex’s announcement as UK supplier of ISG Infrasys thermal imaging cameras.

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Paratech’s USAR, shoring and marine damage control strut systems, vehicle stabilisation tools, Maxiforce airlifting bags, leak sealing equipment and forcible entry hand tools have been in use in the UK for over 20 years. A series of planned regional demo events will allow existing users to see the many add-ons and accessories, which for a small investment, can completely transform existing equipment and significantly enhance technical rescue capabilities. Vimpex is committing to Paratech by investment in stock, spares and repair/maintenance training to ensure that service levels and support for the Paratech range is better than ever before.

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Cold, wet and dehydration can reduce performance and impair safety. By fitting a ‘TeaMate’ water boiler, crews can make themselves a cup of tea, coffee or other hot beverage to keep warm and hydrated, therefore maximising concentration and keeping fatigue to a minimum.

KNEE & ELBOW Protection

Comprehensive range to suit every application Ergonomic design Comfortable and secure fit Reliable protection Tough and hard wearing Manufactured to the highest standards from selected quality materials marking throughout NATO Stock No: 22c 8415-99-8873869

Gotec Trading Limited Boulton Road Pin Green Stevenage Her ts SG1 4QL Telephone 01438 740400 Fax 01438 740005

• Compact commercial grade throughout. • Self contained fully automatic. • 24v and 12v models available. • Makes up to 9 mugs per filling. WHISPAIRE LTD Email: Web: T: + 44 (0)1794 523999 F: + 44 (0)1794 519151

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HOT PACK™ Self-Heating Nutritious Meals In 12 minutes, you can create a delicious hot meal, with Hot Pack Self Heating Meals, anywhere you need it. Everything is in the pack to produce a satisfying hot meal without using any other equipment. Even cutlery and a dish are included! Choose from seven great tasting, ready to eat recipes: Chicken Casserole, Lancashire Hot Pot, Chicken Dopiaza Curry, Sausages and Beans, Spicy Vegetable Rigatoni, Meatballs & Pasta and Vegetable Curry. Make it easy. Enjoy a HOT PACK™ meal – anywhere! Contact Canland UK Ltd, Wellington House, Lower Icknield Way Longwick, Bucks HP27 9RZ Tel/Fax: 01844 344474 E.mail: Web site:

EMS (UK) Ltd. Are recruiting for an

EMS (UK) are now an Edexcel accredited training centre offering a range of medical courses delivered by pre-hospital medical professionals, including; IHCD D1 & D2 Emergency Driver Training IHCD First Person on Scene (FPOS) Basic IHCD First Person on Scene (FPOS) Intermediate Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training Paediatric First Aid First Aid at Work Emergency First Aid at Work Please Contact us for more information on (01388)720512 or

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AREA SALES MANAGER To cover the southern region Mellor Coachcraft & CM Specialist Vehicles are the market leaders in their sector and are looking to enhance their Sales Team with the addition of this role. This is an excellent opportunity to sell a top brand in the market place. Main Objective Meet or exceed the sales objectives for your assigned area by promoting and selling company product utilising professional sales techniques, whilst aiming to build long-term customer relationships. The Person Preferably with local authority sales knowledge Excellent at building and maintaining customer relationships Genuine desire to offer excellent customer service Applications to our recruitment partner: Ashley Cullin @ DeNovo Associates

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Next generation incident command training The ability to train in a real life environment is critical for the emergency services, but it is without doubt complex, expensive and time-consuming. There is also the increasing requirement for effective blue light integration to plan for...How will your fire and rescue service prepare? Introducing the next generation of incident command training – the new immersive training solution from the Fire Service College. The Fire Service College’s new cutting-edge simulated solution places delegates at the heart of an incident, challenging and testing their command skills, at any level, across all blue light services. Working closely with leading technology company G2G3, the Fire Service College has developed a range of highly realistic emergency scenarios delivered using a world-class simulated environment, making its incident command training not only flexible but also cost-effective. Importance of the Commander With various approaches to incident command among fire and rescue services, collaborative working can sometimes be complicated. Mapped to National Occupational Standards, the way the Fire Service College delivers its training ensures a joined-up approach to incident command training and provides a professional competency, not only among fire and rescue services, but across all emergency services.

“Incident command training is most effective when it reflects the actual operational environment and pressures that Incident Commanders have to face.” Jon Hall This makes the future of interoperability and collaborative working achievable today – a solution that provides the right level of qualification, to the right standard, across all blue light services.

duty to optimise delegate training time and also provide better value for money. The importance of individual learning requirements has not gone unmissed. The selection of innovative incident command courses offers the best flexibility when sourcing effective training solutions. These include a ‘live’ option with delegates training on the Fire Service College’s incident ground, a fully ‘immersive’ option with exposure to the wide selection of simulated incident command scenarios or a ‘hybrid’ option incorporating the best of both; blending live scenarios with the greater experience achieved through the simulated environment. There is also the option to have the theory and simulated experience delivered regionally, in your station, through the remote use of virtual reality goggles and a flexible Fire Service College training package. How could you benefit? With software that can replicate a live incident, the Fire Service College can offer a whole suite of

virtual scenarios ready for training, improving the exposure to realistic incident command scenarios. No matter what your learning style, there is a flexible approach to delivery.

The new software also incorporates assessment and reporting tools, which means that on completion of the Fire Service College’s course, delegates will be able to take away a video, as well as feedback on their assessments. With so much energy and innovation brewing at the Fire Service College, the next development is a completely new approach to the recruitment of firefighters.

Blended learning approach Additional investment in e-learning technologies at the Fire Service College has also resulted in the successful reduction of delegate time spent in the classroom; cutting down on time spent away from • Highly immersive incident command training • Cost effective and flexible simulation • Blended live and simulated command experience • Realistic and demanding environment • Focus on interoperability and collaborative training • Tailored training solutions to meet local needs

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