East Zealand Fire and Rescue Service

What was once many manual processes and various binders in vehicles will now be replaced by a new IT solution from SimaTech. This will result in far better overview and monitoring capacity, as well as better, faster and more accurate information to the entire crew before they arrive at the scene.
Søren Rasmussen, Chief of Operations, and Klaus Hansen, who is Operations Consultant, explain the new IT system.
The new IT system was primarily purchased to create greater overview, higher and broader information for the crew carrying out the work, and also greater openness in the form of quality assurance for citizens and companies. Very easy we will be able to document that promised dispatch times have been respected and that the right vehicles are being used in relation to the agreements in place with the individual municipalities. It provides a sense of security for both residents and companies in the areas and is very much taken into account when new and relocating companies choose where to locate.
Søren and Klaus explain that the IT system consists of two components – an office component and a vehicle component.
The office component contains task history and travel history. You can see the exact route that the individual vehicle followed on a map on the screen. You can also see whether there were delays and even the reason for the delays. 

“Causes of delays are important to know, e.g., because they allow us to regularly improve our work going forward. Therefore, it is also possible to correct causes that have no relevance. Causes are also used when the different companies in the area are to be invoiced for, e.g., false alarms. This whole reporting and cause-registration will become far simpler and more effective," says Søren Rasmussen.

The vehicle component, which runs on robust tablets that are mounted in each of the vehicles, is able to contain a wealth of information and systems. You have access to GPS navigation, where the best route to an accident or fire is provided on a map. A professional version of what we know from ordinary GPS navigation for personal vehicles. The difference, however, is that the route is already planned in the system based on the job information that is automatically sent to the vehicle from the dispatch center. It is also possible to enter your own information on the map, such as fireworks depots and permits to use facilities for sleeping. While it is possible to enter an address, etc., in the traditional manner, naturally it saves a lot of time that the route has already been calculated when the trip begins.

"Valuable time is saved here, so we reach the site faster than before," says Klaus Hansen.

From binders to a system that automatically updates the vehicles with the newest information
Klaus continues: “Previously, each vehicle had a number of binders containing meeting plans. The meeting plans contain information about the conditions that the emergency crew must know about when carrying out their task. For instance, in connection with a fire at a company, it is important to know where the fire hydrants are located, where any hazardous chemicals or pressure tanks may be located at the company, where keys are located, etc.
All these binders will now be replaced by the new IT system. The system ensures automatically that all vehicles are updated with the newest information. The updating of the vehicles takes place immediately when the new information is uploaded into the system from the office. On arrival at the scene, a pop-up screen appears, showing relevant documents and information concerning the location. You can also see the location of the important information in the form of symbols on a map. Not only that, you can also see the area surrounding the scene of the accident. If there is, e.g., another company nearby where there are chemicals or other conditions to factor in, or if there is a school that needs evacuating in the area, you can see it immediately on the map.
“Before, it was only the incident commander who had access to such information. Now, all vehicles will get the information at the same time, and all staff are thus informed better and faster when the work at the scene begins. This is clearly a benefit," says Søren Rasmussen. He adds that the new law whereby the nearest available vehicle must take the job will easily be resolved and documented with the new solution.
Better service for residents and companies

Klaus Hansen says that the system will give them a correct overall overview of what once was spread out over multiple systems. There is better and faster information for everyone involved in the work, and much more precise data to work with – not just in relation to the municipality, but also in relation to the ongoing internal efficiency planning.

“Moreover, we have sharply cut down on binders, as well as the time it took to find and maintain the information in the binders," he says with a smile. Søren Rasmussen adds: “We will be able to improve service for residents and companies. The system has contributed to greater security and fast assistance when you need it. Companies can also benefit financially from our data, because the size of their insurance premiums can depend on how fast they can get help in case of fire, for instance.

The problems we used to have, and which were the reason we started looking for a new solution, is going to be resolved by the new system, and we are really happy about that," explains Rasmussen. “There are already plans in place for the next stage," he says. “For instance, there are other authorities that need access to relevant information. We are also working on a better and more automatic integration with ODIN and a more automatic invoicing process for, e.g., false alarms. We also want to be able to register who is in each vehicles, because we are required to report these things in ODIN," he conclude.

About East Zealand Fire and Rescue Service:
East Zealand Fire and Rescue Services assist with fires and accidents in the municipalities of Roskilde, Greve, Stevns, Køge, Tåstrup, Ishøj, Solrød and Vallensbæk.
East Zealand Fire and Rescue Service covers an area of 930 square kilometers with a population of 325,000.
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