Location tracking for emergency services

Airwave has launched a location tracking service that for the first time allows police forces, fire and rescue services and ambulance trusts to share their GPS (global positioning system) location data using a secure national platform without having to install new hardware or software.

Feb 19, 2014
By Paul Jacques

Collaborate, which uses Big Data technology, will enable real-time analysis of more than one billion records generated each month that will allow more efficient, evidence-based decision-making and immediately identify opportunities for greater efficiency.

Unlike any other location tracking systems, Collaborate is available to all blue light agencies, which can share real-time location data with each other, on a permissions-only basis, without having to deal with the cost and challenge of installing, testing and maintaining new IT systems as it uses the existing Airwave Network and Airwave service management portal.

Sussex Police is one of the first forces to use the new service and Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones, head of the communications department, said: “We are excited about the potential for efficiency gains across the force using the Collaborate service. We have worked with Airwave to develop real-time dashboards which show how often police officers return to stations during the course of a shift. This highlights opportunities for more efficient resourcing patterns, which will ensure our officers remain more visible in Sussex.

“In addition, we will be deploying Collaborate as part of the Sussex and Surrey ‘Blue Light Collaboration’ project, which means location information for key resources will be shared between police forces, fire and rescue services and ambulance trusts.”

Airwave has invested more than £1 million in secure, Big Data technology for Collaborate, which it says will deliver a level of intelligence to customers that has not been seen before.

“The entire proposition is secure and designed so that customers can choose exactly what information they want to share,” explained says Euros Evans, chief technology officer at Airwave. “Ultimately, it’s all about using evidence-based decision-making to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your resources whether they are vehicles, or radio users in the field. The importance of seeing, in the control room or in the field, where resources are at all times – even those of neighbouring users – means that you can easily see which responders are the closest to an incident, match current demands, cut response times and reduce disruption.”

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