Fire service rings the changes

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



(2004), "Fire service rings the changes", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Fire service rings the changes

The North Wales (UK) Fire Service is installing a Cisco IP Telephony solution in a bid to improve voice and data communications throughout the brigade. It is designed to reduce operational costs and provide additional functionality between the brigade HQ at Rhyl, division HQs and remote fire stations. The system is being designed and implemented by Total Network Solutions (TNS), a provider of voice and data solutions.

Says TNS: “The centralised IP telephony architecture will enable North Wales Fire Service to realise significant cost savings as well as providing users with higher levels of functionality. Every telephone at every location will become an extension of the main system, so calls between brigade locations can be made at no cost. This will enable at least 10 PBXs that are currently in use to be taken out of service, with a corresponding reduction in maintenance and support costs.

“Productivity improvements will be delivered by a range of integrated IP Telephony applications that will be available to all users, The Omega IP provides personal messaging functions including unified messaging, which enables users to access all their voice, fax and e-mail messages at the press of a button. It also allows direct dialling from address books in Outlook to enhance the directory services available to users from each installed IP telephone. In addition, incoming calls can be instantly and transparently routed to the required person, regardless of their current location”.

The new converged network will, TNS adds, enable brigade staff to be more effectively deployed. “The ability to perform most network management functions centrally via browser-based administration tools will enable the IS/IT team to respond faster to requests for support and reduce the cost of implementing new applications. It will also eliminate all costs associated with adding and moving extensions”.

A factor in making the decision to award the contract to Total Network Solutions was that it held the BS7799-2 security standard accreditation. Compliance to this standard is, says the company, becoming mandatory in the public sector where suppliers have access to business or mission critical network infrastructures handling key data. It provides a framework for effective information security management, and helps to mitigate against system failure and data loss.

According to Roger Pickin, IS/IT manager for North Wales Fire Service: “Total Network Solutions is delivering a converged voice and data network that will provide an enhanced telephony resource, giving greater operational effectiveness and significant cost savings. It will underpin the work of every section and department”.

This IP Telephony installation forms part of an overall restructuring of the IT and telecoms networks for the North Wales Fire Service. Total Network Solutions is upgrading the brigade data wide area network infrastructure, and installing a converged voice and data network, based around the Cisco AVVID design structure (Architecture for Voice, Video Integrated Data).

Related articles