Location intelligence improves service delivery.(Command And Control)

The restructuring of fire services creates a logistical problem that can be daunting. The author contends that the answer to these challenges has been to put location intelligence in the hands of the user providing solutions to support effective and responsive decision-making. This intelligence has certainly underpinned efficient emergency service delivery to the community of Mid and West Wales when it was reorganised in the late 90s.

In recent years, changes and reorganisation within fire brigades around the country have created many opportunities for a more effective service but this strategy has also created its share of challenges. In 1996 local government reorganisation combined the existing fire brigades of Dyfed, Powys and West Glamorgan into one large centrally controlled brigade--Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. Whilst the benefits of this move for the region were considerable, a logistical issue soon became apparent.

Comprising 57 wholetime, day crewed, retained and volunteer stations and employing 1,400 staff, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service covers two-thirds of Wales and is the biggest authority in the principality: Being responsible for such a massive area meant that central control staff could no longer rely on their own local geographical knowledge as the best means for deploying crews in response to emergencies. …

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