South and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authorities have named Systel as the supplier of their new command and control system in a contract worth £3 million.
The ground-breaking joint procurement is part of a major collaboration between the two fire and rescue authorities, which is mostly funded by a Government grant.
The new contract will save the authorities £400,000 year, which they say will be reinvested to help to protect frontline services.
The state-of-the-art equipment to receive 999 calls and mobilise emergency vehicles is expected to be fully operational in 2014.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman Coun Jim Andrews said the contract was ‘excellent news’ for local people.
He continued: “We are getting a high quality new system to handle 999 calls and despatch fire engines, at very little cost to local taxpayers.”
“Additionally, the service and maintenance agreements which are built into this contract mean we will save £400,000 per year compared to our existing arrangements.”
Systel is an experienced French operator that already provides emergency mobilising systems to 43 fire services around the world.
In addition to the new Systel mobilising system, both authorities will be investing in upgrades to other control room technology.
South Yorkshire is improving its existing control room facilities, while West Yorkshire will be moving to a new control room.
South Yorkshire deputy chief fire officer Mark Shaw added: “This new system is at the cutting edge of mobilising technology and ensures we will continue to provide a first class 999 service to our local communities.”
“By working together we are not only delivering significant efficiencies at a time of severe financial constraint but also adding resilience for times of peak activity.”
“The new system will operate across two control rooms in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire where control staff will be able to answer each other’s calls and despatch each other’s fire appliances should the need arise.”