West Midlands Fire Service enhances incident management with Unblur’s digital command system

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The West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has announced an expansion of its collaboration with Unblur, a technology firm specialising in incident command software.

Following a successful six-month trial, WMFS will extend the use of Unblur’s IRIS Core system to more areas in Birmingham, marking a significant step in revolutionising incident management and firefighter safety.

Enhanced situational awareness and safety

The trial, initially conducted in the Coventry & Solihull Command area, demonstrated the effectiveness of IRIS Core in integrating with WMFS’s existing IT systems.

This integration covers a range of functionalities including command and control, mobilisation systems, and water hydrants data.

The successful trial led to an expansion into Birmingham City fire stations, and now, further into Birmingham North and South areas.

Robust trial and implementation

Throughout the trial, Unblur worked closely with WMFS officers and firefighters, ensuring a seamless integration of the IRIS Core system.

This system, known for managing incoming data at the scene, assists commanders by presenting essential information in an efficient manner, thus speeding up decision-making processes.

Paul Dunnell of WMFS highlighted this collaboration, stating: “The process of trial and test has been extensive and incredibly robust, with the team at Unblur working closely with us throughout to ensure that any challenges along the way were quickly overcome.”

Anticipating a transformative impact

Dunnell further commented on the benefits of the new system: “The new system will significantly enhance our operational response and increase protection of our firefighters with improved situational awareness and critical analysis of real-time data and risks.”

This sentiment echoes the broader goal of the initiative – to improve firefighter safety and operational efficiency through advanced technology.

Unblur’s commitment to emergency services

Alfonso Zamarro, CEO and Co-founder of Unblur, expressed satisfaction with the partnership’s progress, noting the importance of real-time situational awareness for firefighters.

“Firefighters in WMFS will now benefit from technology that provides real-time situational awareness that can be shared across all responding agencies,” he said.

The IRIS Core system also facilitates better coordination with GPS tracking and a JESIP dashboard for efficient decision-making.

Upcoming roll-out phases

The roll-out will be further enhanced by the introduction of new devices from Zebra Technologies, supporting the IRIS Tactics app.

These devices will provide incident commanders with advanced tools like risk mapping, streaming body cameras, and GPS tracking, further augmenting the capabilities of the WMFS in handling incidents.

About Unblur

Founded in 2016 in Barcelona, Unblur is at the forefront of developing innovative technology solutions for emergency services.

Their flagship product, IRIS Core, integrates advanced technologies like wearables, sensors, drones, GIS, and artificial intelligence to enhance public safety operations.

Unblur’s footprint extends beyond WMFS, with operations in several other UK fire and rescue services, including the London Fire Brigade, Mid and West Wales, Shropshire, and Hereford and Worcester, as well as the Fire Service College.

IFSJ Comment

The collaboration between West Midlands Fire Service and Unblur signifies a transformative shift in how fire services approach incident management.

By integrating advanced digital solutions into their operations, WMFS sets a precedent for other services in the UK and globally.

The adoption of IRIS Core not only enhances the safety and efficiency of firefighters but also exemplifies the growing importance of technology in emergency response.

This move reflects a broader trend in the fire and safety sector towards embracing digital innovation to meet the complex challenges of modern-day incident management.

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