When a fire breaks out in the heart of London, every second counts for the emergency services. To speed up its response times, the London Fire Brigade has adopted a new mobilising system that tracks the location of its fire engines and any caller dialling from a mobile phone. In the past, vehicles were dispatched based on the closest fire station, rather than their actual proximity to the incident. Now, the people manning the phones can track all of London's 155 fire engines on a screen, allocate the appropriate team and track its progress towards the scene. Such a system also means that the operator can reassure callers by telling them the vehicle's exact position and estimated time of arrival.
Developer Capita says the mixture of GPS tracking and real-time status information is "similar to taxi apps like Uber." In addition, the new system allows the London Fire Brigade to determine the location of 999 calls made from a mobile phone. If the caller is struggling to explain where the fire has broken out, for instance if it's noisy or they're somewhere unfamiliar, this system will help the operator to dispatch the closest team of firefighters. Further information can then be relayed to the vehicle while it's en route. Capita's new system also provides information on over 7.5 million addresses, up from the "over 80,000 street records" that were available before. A hefty increase, and one that could prove pivotal for the 263 incidents that London firefighters have to deal with every day.
[Image Credit: Flickr Vision]