STORM command and control system selected by Kent Fire and Rescue Service to drive further collaboration

22 September 2014: Kent Fire and Rescue Service has signed a 6 year contract for the STORM command and control system that has been used by Kent Police for the past 10 years. This extends the existing collaboration between the two Services and will deliver a more resilient and efficient 999 service for the people of Kent and Medway.

Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, has today announced a new 6 year, £900k contract with Kent Fire and Rescue Service to provide it with the SteriaSTORM command and control system. SteriaSTORM has already been used by Kent Police for the past ten years.  This new landmark contract, with a go-live date of February 2015, will enable the two emergency services to work together more effectively and to share information relating to the mobilisation of resources in response to incidents as they arise.  This will deliver a more resilient and efficient 999 service for the people of Kent and Medway, maximising the benefits of having two of their emergency services co-located within the same control room and utilising a collaborative command and control system.

Underpinned by Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, SteriaSTORM overlays real-time information about the location of emergency services resources onto detailed electronic area maps.  This enables control room operators to make rapid decisions and deploy the appropriate resources where they are required.

With SteriaSTORM, Kent Fire and Rescue Service will benefit from a modern, tried and tested solution with greater functionality and resilience than their current mobilisation system which is long overdue for replacement.  Sharing a common infrastructure with Kent Police will also be much more cost-effective for Kent Fire and Rescue Service. 

SteriaSTORM will provide both emergency services with:

  • A shared system to ensure the right resources are rapidly mobilised
  • Enhanced sharing of information to arm both emergency services with the facts they need
  • Improved resilience and interoperability

Having both services on a common platform will prove invaluable if an incident requires both police and fire services to attend.  Both services will have a common view of the situation, so, for example, there won’t be any risk of duplication, or errors relating to two different incident addresses.

Steria is currently the only command and control solution supplier to have successfully delivered multi police force collaborative solutions in the UK. This latest deal takes this position to the next level, delivering a "Blue Light" collaboration that encompasses both Police and Fire & Rescue Service, providing a fully integrated system for Kent. This innovative configuration maximises the multi-agency strengths offered by SteriaSTORM, providing a robust platform from which to deliver effective command and control solutions on a multi-service basis.

Chris Bates, Managing Director of Defence and Emergency Services at Steria, said, “The UK’s Emergency Services are delivering mission-critical support in an unprecedented era of austerity where every penny counts.  In the face of an ever-increasing need for collaboration, Steria has successfully delivered multi-force command and control solutions within the police market, so this inter-Blue Light deal bringing Kent’s police and fire services together is a logical extension of that model.  The two services are of course natural partners and collaborative solutions will achieve real improvements in practical joint working, deliver tangible savings and ultimately provide a more resilient, cost effective service to the people of Kent. It is a model that we truly believe in and have high hopes of developing across the wider Emergency Services in the future.”

Steve Demetriou, Director Major Projects and Resilience, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, said, “We were looking for a mission-critical solution that delivers real improvements and benefits on the sharing of information on a  day to day basis and during major emergencies, and SteriaSTORM will give us that.  It will enable us to share information with Kent Police, whilst still preserving the integrity each service may need during security incidents.  Our aim is to ensure Kent is a safer county for our residents and businesses."