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Improving Resilience

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
(Angela E. Smith)

Today, I am pleased to announce that following an open competition and an extensive evaluation process undertaken by Communities and Local Government, members of the fire and rescue service, LGA and CFOA, Thales UK/EADS Defence and Security Systems Ltd. has been selected as the supplier for the FiReControl infrastructure services (technology). The contract, worth an estimated £200 million over eight years, underlines the Government’s commitment to invest in the nation’s resilience and supports a modern fire and rescue service which is equipped to deal with incidents of every size. Contract signature is expected to take place in the next few weeks.

At the heart of this project is the ability for the control centres to back each other up and to provide information direct to the Fire and Rescue Service, which some of the present systems cannot do. The choice of the right supplier for this project’s IT requirements is therefore vital.

Thales UK/EADS Defence and Security Systems Ltd. will be responsible for developing and running the IT systems that will deliver control services to the fire service—giving firefighters as much information as possible to help them tackle the incident they are attending—and ultimately aiming to further reduce deaths in fires. They and their partners have an excellent reputation for delivery and we are confident that they will provide a high-quality solution for the fire and rescue services. Many elements of the proposed IT solution are already being used in a range of applications in the UK and elsewhere. A phased transition to the new system will ensure that the FRS will continue to provide a high-quality service throughout.