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June 30, 2011

Wiltshire FRS and Police to use APD’s hosted CORTEX SICCS System

Joint communications service to reduce costs, improve service

By CBR Staff Writer

Mobile information and resource tracking offerings provider APD Communications has said that Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and Wiltshire Police are using its ‘hosted’ CORTEX Software Integrated Communications Control System (SICCS) service.

The new partnership is expected to allow both organisations to counter budget cuts, share services and better support over 600,000 citizens throughout Wiltshire and Swindon.

The hosted service enables Wiltshire FRS to share the Police telephony platform and gain access to Airwave’s full range of TETRA features for the first time, at a fraction of the cost of buying a dedicated ICCS, said APD Communications.

The Wiltshire FRS control room connects to the existing joint Fire/Police CORTEX system, which is partitioned so each emergency service has its own dedicated system, tailored for its specific needs, said the company.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service communications manager John Cox said the hosted nature of the CORTEX SICCS service combined with the ability to share services will help the organisation meet new budget cuts, secure ROI quickly, while improving the service.

"The joint service will also help from a strategic level – providing senior officers within both organisations with access to a complete view of incidents that involve fire and police. In short, the deployment will ensure citizens throughout Wiltshire and Swindon receive a first class service," Cox said.

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Wiltshire Police are able to make significant budget reductions by cutting the number of CCI (Command and Control Interface) ports they require from Airwave. The reduction is possible due to functionality within the hosted APD CORTEX SICCS system, which enables virtual reallocation of CCI ports between multiple organisations.

Use of APD’s latest generation pooling technology is already saving Wiltshire Police over £100k per annum, said the company.

APD managing director Steve Denison said, "Following the Government’s cancellation of the regional FiReControl room project, Wiltshire FRS looked at how best to modernise their operations to take advantage of the latest TETRA and telephony features, all within the current climate of budget cuts. The new-hosted joint CORTEX SICCS service allows Wiltshire FRS to upgrade the Devices based control room to provide staff with a range of new services without the need for an expensive new system."

"The deployment will enable control room operators to conduct their duties effortlessly, while providing Wiltshire FRS with access to a full range of the latest SICCS services. In short, because CORTEX can be hosted in this way and because almost half of UK Police forces already have CORTEX systems, this collaborative approach can be easily replicated elsewhere, offering both Police and Fire and Rescue Services the perfect joint solution to ensure budget cuts do not affect the service provided to the public," concluded Denison.

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