Fire and Rescue Services in England, Wales and Scotland will continue to use Airwave’s secure and resilient Firelink service until at least December 2019, the company announced today (14 May 2015).
Firelink’s main aim was to procure, deliver, install and support a national radio system that meets the wide area communications needs of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS). All FRSs now use the national Airwave TETRA two-way radio services, which enables fire services to communicate not just with each other, but also the police and ambulance services.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has approved a “major extension” of the Firelink Project Agreement – originally signed in 2006 – for a further 36 months. While the contract has been extended until end-December 2019, they have a further option to extend for an additional 12 months until end-December 2020.
Airwave’s Network and Service were borne out of the need for all emergency services (police, fire and ambulance) in Great Britain to have access to a secure and reliable communications network with unrivalled coverage across the length and breadth of the country.
John Lewis, Airwave COO, said: “We have worked with every fire and rescue service in Great Britain to establish an in-depth understanding of each customer’s unique needs and ways of working. The Network’s built-in resilience is frequently called on when our customers need it most.
“For example, during the January 2014 floods when parts of the country experienced wide-spread power cuts, our customers could continue to communicate as the Network remained operational – the only network to do so!”
“Reaching 99% of Great Britain’s landmass and maintaining 99.97% availability over the past year means we are well placed to continue to working with them to deliver the mission critical service that they need, both now and well into the future.”