County fire crews first to use SAFE hi-tech system

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HAMPSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is one of the first in the country to use a new system to help fight fires.

The system has been developed by Astrium GEO-Information Services and shows crews on the ground information about the property on fire, such as gas cylinder storage.

It also gives vital information about nearby properties, gas main locations, and any nearby rivers which could be used to fight large fires, and other information.

It means that potential dangers can be accounted for and avoided, while showing where extra water can be found.

The system is called the SAFEcommand, and has been installed in all 130 fire appliances across the county, based at 52 fire stations including Fareham and Gosport, Havant and east Hampshire, and Portsmouth and Southsea.

Paul Ingoldsby, from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, who has worked with the Astrium public safety team on the SAFEcommand project, said: ‘We want to be the best fire and rescue service in the country, and are committed to making life safer for everyone by reducing risks in our local communities.

‘It will dramatically speed up the time taken to update our records, and ensure that our front-line staff have access to critical information that can enable faster responses in emergency situations.’

Paul Warner, Astrium GEO-Information Services’ director of public safety, said the centralised system meant information could quickly get to crews.

He added: ‘Key benefits for emergency services include improved access to the latest incident information, improved response times and the accurate real-time location of resources.’