Halifax fire may go high-tech for faster responses
Deputy Fire Chief Roy Hollett says new technology could benefit fire service
The Halifax Fire and Emergency Service wants to review its dispatch system to see if there's a more efficient way to respond to calls.
It's put out a call for a consultant to study the current operation and see if it can be updated.
Deputy Fire Chief Roy Hollett said there's probably new technology available that could work more smoothly.
“The end result is to make sure we’re providing the best service and the safest service to the residents so that when we do respond, still following our safety procedures, we can get there in the most expedient time possible. But when we get there, we also have [to have] the correct information, ensuring that we’re going to the correct address and that we’re actually going to a fire call versus a rescue call [so] we’re sending the right trucks,” said Hollett.
“Depending on the type of call there could be two trucks, three trucks, a rescue unit, trench rescue — whatever the event is. What we want to do is ensure that this process is as efficient as possible.”
Currently, information from the 911 call centre goes through a couple of different dispatchers before the information is announced on a PA system — and that's not always clear. Hollett said there are better ways.
“Some of the trucks have a [Mobile Data Terminal] — and it’s a computer in a fire truck and the information is sent right to the computer. So the station officer has to open up the laptop and read it and it’s right there,” he said.
At the moment, fire and police share communications equipment.
Updating the technology may mean fire services gets their own system — that's a change that would have to be approved by Halifax Regional Council.
The fire service has just put out a call for a consultant. It hopes to have a report within six months.