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Excelerate announce contract wins

05 August, 2013

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service choose Excelerate Technology communications solutions for new mobile command vehicles.

Bedfordshire FRS

Excelerate Technology Group will supply, integrate and support advanced communications solutions and services for a new incident command vehicle.

Wayne Stringer, Technical Support Manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who has chaired the working group dealing with incident command and defining the requirements for the new command vehicle, commented: ‘We looked at a wide variety of existing vehicles, used by fire and rescue services around the country, to ensure we had fully researched the capabilities of the current market. This helped us to design a command vehicle that would be sure to meet our Service’s current and future operational needs. The working group included members of our workshops, working alongside our emergency response and IT departments; and this helped to clarify the direction we needed to take, both in terms of fire and rescue scenarios and other emergencies. We also looked at the specific requirements for the vehicle, and how it would best support us at the wide range of incidents we attend, and thus improve our capabilities.

‘Once all of the research had been completed. a technical specification was produced, clearly defining our requirements in the form of a tender document.   This ensured that during a lengthy tender process, the Service had a clear direction and idea of the demands required to provide the vehicle.

‘The key driver for the vehicle is based around interoperability and the ability to display a variety of relevant information to the large screen in the briefing area.’

The tender was issued earlier this year and was won by Excelerate Technology Group and Bott Ltd. The vehicle will be based on a Mercedes long wheelbase, high roof chassis and will have the full range of communications solutions provided by Excelerate Technology Group:

· Mobile satellite broadband based on the highly robust Enhanced Resilience Satellite Network, designed specifically for the emergency services and available exclusively from Excelerate;

· Wireless dual thermal rapid response and body-worn cameras (using the COFDM standard) for use in a wide variety of situations providing real-time video and situational awareness from around incident grounds and aerial platforms;

· The Digital Dashboard Management Interface (DDMI), a unique solution developed by Excelerate’s Research and Development department enabling emergency responders to concentrate on their primary roles by simplifying their use of technology and systems for optimising command and communications efficiency across the incident ground and between multiple agencies.

The service will also benefit from MESH communications capability, extending and enhancing wireless coverage across incident grounds, and the addition of GPS positioning for improved monitoring and management of personnel and fire fighting assets.

The new mobile command vehicle is due to be delivered to the Service around September 2013.

Devon and Somerset FRS

The tender for the three new command vehicles was issued earlier this year and awarded to Browns Coachworks Ltd of Northern Ireland  - with Excelerate Technology Group chosen as communications solutions supplier.

The three new vehicles, intended to help support improved operational response for a wide variety of different types of incident, will be based throughout the large Devon and Somerset operational area, with one based at Western Command (around Plymouth), another at Central Command (around the Barnstable area) and the third in Somerset Command (around the Taunton area). The acquisition follows a successful earlier procurement of major communications upgrades, also from Excelerate Technology Group, for an Enhanced Logistical Support vehicle prior to the 2012 Olympics.

Steve Purchall, a station manager working in the Response and Resilience department of Devon and Somerset FRS, who has been closely involved with the specification and procurement of the new command vehicles, said: ‘We learnt a lot from the upgrading of our older command vehicle with new technologies prior to the Olympics, IT-wise, training-wise and operationally. We are now much more aware of what the various technologies can do and what we want from the IT. We know these solutions deliver great benefits.’

After acceptance testing and training the new mobile command vehicles are expected to go on the run by the end of 2013.

Commenting on the tender, Nicola Savage, the company’s sales and marketing director, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Browns Coachworks Ltd and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to support the introduction of these three new mobile command vehicles featuring cutting edge satellite broadband and incident ground management applications for improved operational performance.'

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