More UK Fire & Rescue Services than ever before are choosing global experts Excelerate Technology to deliver their mission critical mobile command solutions.

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue are the most recent to start taking advantage of the benefits of the communications applications provided by Cardiff-based Excelerate.

Across the UK, the Emergency Services are busy trying to deal with the challenges of widespread flooding, which has become a more regular occurrence in recent years.

Providing a detailed Common Operational Picture

One of the key challenges during flooding is that many Local Authorities cannot obtain a full view of the incident ground where the flooding has taken place, and often do not have the ability to call upon a Police helicopter to capture images or send information back to local resilience forums.

This is where Excelerate’s technology has become integral, allowing the provision of a detailed Common Operational Picture that uses highly sophisticated incident ground or vehicle-based command communications.

Wayne Stringer, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Technical Support Manager says: “Excelerate’s applications and solutions have given us the ability to remotely manage an incident and send information live to another location, whether it is gold or silver command, where the Commander can visually interpret the information to make judgment calls.”

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Recent flooding in South Wales. Image provided by Wales Online

Alongside their new command vehicle, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue also have a number of Rapidly Deployable COFDM (Coded – Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) Cameras, which have been positioned on aerial platforms. With the use of Excelerate’s Enhanced Resilience Satellite provision, the live video stream is then sent back to Commanders in real-time, allowing them to fully understand the situation, and allowing them to make practical decisions such as where to close roads and make key interventions.

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Bedfordshire Fire Incident Command Unit

New Command Vehicle for Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service

The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s new command vehicle is an exciting first for the island and Station Commander Dean Haward is looking forward to getting to grips with the technology.

“Public and firefighter safety is at the heart of our service vision,” says Dean. “So to manage an incident effectively Commanders must have the most relevant and accurate information available to them.”

Excelerate’s satellite technology will provide a resilient communications link from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters command suite to the incident ground.

Strategic management is assisted further by the ability to share real time information between tactical and strategic managers. This immediate access to information speeds up the response to the incident and aids planning for potential escalation.

The service has also decided to boost the general communications resilience across the island by deploying a static satellite on its headquarters.

Dean adds: “The static satellite forms part of our plan for managing incidents during periods when other ICT solutions may have failed. It will provide vital support for our tactical and operational Commanders in the field.”

Excelerate has worked closely with all stakeholders at the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service throughout the process to create a holistic product with technologies designed to integrate seamlessly with each other.

Dean says: “Our relationship with the Excelerate team has been synergetic from the first meeting. The team has sat down and listened to our needs and any changes to our requirements have been met with very positive feedback.”