Incident support innovations demonstrated at Westminster: at a recent House of Commons event SSi Solutions demonstrated how technology can be used to deliver efficient fire incident support for the Fire Service - Communications

Delegates including Lord Brockman, Deputy Chairman of the All Party Fire Safety Group and several prominent MPs including Kerry Pollard, Nigel Evans and John Cummings were taken through demonstrations of the interlocking technologies while the requirements of fire incident support were simulated.

Brigades are increasingly looking to technology to help them achieve best value. Providing a seamless fire incident support package requires the integration of a number of technologies and suppliers, which was reflected in the SSi seminar.

Presentations included demonstrations of SSi's Aquarius map based planning and resource management system which offers comprehensive pre-planning functionality tactical information on high risk premises, and the company's fire prevention planning system, Fireplan, which features drawing and document management, and CAD drawing tools, CAD plans and fire certificate information.

The Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping systems, developed by Cadcorp, and integrated into SSi's Aquarius software, electronic document management, premises records, fire certificates and schedules of work modules, were all displayed on electronic interactive whiteboards from SMART Technologies. This combination of technologies provides flexibility and efficiency in allowing users to annotate over the images, highlight key areas; time and date stamp each stage of the interaction, and save for future reference.

One notable demonstration focused on risk assessment. The SSi application offers a set of fixed questions for risk assessment. As different brigades score these differently, the application has been designed to cater for and support this flexibility. The range of questions is virtually limitless and is defined by the particular brigade. SSi's Andy Carter gave an example of Oxfordshire which, using CAD plans, now generates floor plans to a higher level than has ever previously been achievable. At an incident Fire Service personnel can become over loaded with information; to help overcome this, the system layers the data so primary considerations can be accessed in order of priority.

Visitors to the event welcomed this amalgamation of technologies, to meet Fire Service requirements. "SSi's years of Fire Service experience and Steljes' supply of market leading presentation equipment, enables us to recognise the aspects of technology that can benefit this sector", explained Kevin Gladwin, of Steljes Trade. When they are seen individually the complete benefit can not always be recognised, but when the appropriate pieces of technology are demonstrated together it is a pleasure to see the appreciation and recognition on the faces of Fire Service personnel."
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