A NEW single command-and-control-system for Devon and Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire and Hampshire fire and rescue services has gone live.

The single system which covers a population in excess of five million is estimated to save the three services £16.91m by 2024.

The system is underpinned by new technology by Capita Communication and Control Solutions, which has been working with the fire services – all members of the Networked Fire Control Services Partnership (NFCSP) – for the past two years.

A spokesman said: “The partnership was established to provide a collaborative approach to the future provision of fire control services across the region.

“Capita’s communications and control technology has enabled a single system networked to serve control rooms in Exeter, Devizes and Eastleigh.

“The integrated system allows the three services to work closely together, sharing resources during busy periods or a major incident, helping to enhance service levels while improving public and firefighter safety.”

“The NFCSP will benefit from increased efficiencies through the deployment of a secure, shared infrastructure for telephony, airwave radio and data centres.”

The region’s call operators will also have combined training to standardise working practices and network knowledge, skills and experience.

John Aldridge, chairman of the NFCSP strategic board said: “The partnership will now be using the latest in control and command technology, which provides the platform for an enhanced service across the region.

“It will provide the three services with an awareness of overall operational activity and resource use across the control rooms.

“This will enable the quickest, most appropriate response to an incident – regardless of geographical boundaries – and provide our communities with better protection. By sharing a technology platform, we are able to increase resilience across the region – if one service is under pressure for whatever reason, the others will be able to provide full support.”