Capita’s PageOne Responder two-way pagers assisted West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to continue to meet the needs of the public during the January floods when a retained fire station became submerged under 5ft of water.
Mytholmroyd Fire Station was unable to receive alert messages from the command and control room to mobilise its staff due to it being flooded. The floods also caused severe infrastructure damage across West Yorkshire, with landlines down and no mobile coverage in the area. The only remaining network providing adequate coverage was PageOne’s national paging network.
PageOne Responder pagers are capable of operating in dual-frequency mode with SMS fall-back which offers triple-resilience message delivery to ensure critical alerts are received by staff wherever they are. The device listens to both the on-site local paging frequency as well as PageOne’s national paging network, and messages can be automatically diverted via SMS if the pager is unable to detect a paging signal. This ensures that messages are always received and acknowledged, providing real-time updates on staff status and availability.
West Yorshire Fire and Rescue Service chose to initiate messages via Connect, PageOne’s secure cloud-based messaging solution. Combined with SmartGroup technology, Connect provides a fast and effective way to broadcast high-volume alerts by sending messages to one unique number pre-programmed with a list of devices such as mobile, email, pager and landline. In this instance, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service populated their SmartGroup with Responder pager numbers, allowing them to quickly distribute alerts to on-call staff.
Richard Crossley, Communications Supervisor, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “PageOne Responders ensured that we were able to carry out a critical service in a time of crisis due to the extensive flooding in January. Knowing that messages will still get through to our teams even when the landlines are down, through PageOne’s network, provides reassurance and the ability for us to focus on assisting members of the public who need our help. We are still on high alert due to the threat of more adverse weather and we will continue to use the Responders to guarantee our teams are able to stay connected and deliver a high standard of service.”
PageOne is continuing its work with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service with further plans to expand the Responders into other stations, such as Skelmanthrope and Slaithwaite.
Nigel Gray, director, PageOne Communications, said: “PageOne Responders were designed for this exact purpose – to provide resilient communications when they are needed most. Our Responders combine the strengths of paging and GSM/GPRS to deliver a powerful two-way messaging capability. This means that not only can people receive messages from the pager, but they can also respond and provide updates on their status and location to help control rooms manage their resources more effectively.”
PageOne currently supplies services to two thirds of Fire and Rescue Services across the UK.
Image courtesy of M. Taylor