The Ghent Fire Brigade in Belgium has accepted delivery of Cassidian’s fire mobile information system FMIS 500. Cassidian won the contract to deliver and install the system in March 2012.
The overall deal covers the integration of the FMIS 500 application solution into 69 fire trucks and into the central command and control room. The system consists of a set of back-office software applications enabling frontline personnel to manage and rapidly access up-to-date and accurate information for emergency and operational needs.
It also includes software systems for mobile use in vehicles, ensuring the effective deployment of command and control information to mobile resources in the field.Cassidian is the prime contractor and end-to-end integrator of the system.
The integration of the back-office software applications with the existing command-and-control room is performed via customised interfaces developed by Astrium Services and the local subcontractor Ferranti, which will also supply the I/Tracker Intergraph software for vehicle positioning. The four-year contract includes all related deployments as well as the maintenance of the system.
The fire fighters in operation will benefit from the new system by having constantly updated information immediately available at the incident location, which will help them in difficult situations. Staff at the central command-and-control centre will receive real-time status updates and positioning information from the ongoing operations, allowing them to get a clear picture of the ongoing operations and make the appropriate decisions.
The FMIS 500 application is currently being used by 95% of fire brigades in the UK. Thanks to the software solution, the customer will be able to transfer updated data (e.g. files, maps, drawings) from the command-and-control room to vehicles at the incident location by transmitting information over a General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) connection or any other bearer such as satellite, LAN/WAN and TETRA.
In addition, the system allows each single vehicle in operation to send various status messages, requests and positioning information to the central command-and-control room. All members of the fire brigade will have access to the same updated data, as all central data are automatically loaded in the vehicle via WIFI as soon as it returns to the fire brigade.
‘We see this contract as an important starting point with regard to other potential modernisation projects in fire services worldwide,’ said Eric Lardinois, managing director of Cassidian in Belgium. ‘The Brandweer Kazerne Stad Gent is one of the biggest fire brigades in the northern part of Belgium. The final decision for our application was made on the basis of a proven technology already in use in the UK for many years and developed specifically to meet the operational needs of fire fighters. I’m convinced that other fire brigades will be attracted by this solution too.’