County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s (DDFRS) Fire Investigation Team have teamed up with Orcuma Ltd to build software to help identify trends, patterns and problem areas as to where fires are likely to occur. FIRsT (Fire Intelligence Reporting Tool) is the first piece of software in the UK designed for fire investigators.
Fire Investigation Manager, Lee Aspery said, “We were looking for a piece of software which would allow our officers to capture and record notes, witness statements and images in a much more efficient way than we could before.
“To keep the public safe we also needed to respond more strategically to problems like arson – understanding developing trends, patterns and problem areas at the earliest opportunity to allow ourselves and our partners to better co-ordinate our efforts and make better use of resources.
“Through working with Orcuma we’ve been able to design a system which does exactly what a modern fire service needs it to do – we have technology which allows us to automatically compile reports and securely share information between investigators working from 15 stations across Darlington and Durham.
“FIRsT even gives us the power to analyse fire investigations to pick up trends and hot spots”.
Orcuma co-founder Richard Whittaker said; “We design innovative customer management software which has positive impacts on people’s lives. We’ve seen dedicated public service professionals struggling to use software which wasn’t built with their needs in mind and in FIRsT we have software that will make their processes easier, helping them save lives and better serve their communities.
Lee Aspery believes that FIRsT is already making a difference.
He said: “In one recent case after a fire which destroyed a car, our team found that property had been stolen from the vehicle before it was set alight and established the cause of fire as arson. All the evidence was forwarded instantly to the police at the touch of a button – before that could have taken hours or days, in a criminal investigation where every second counts.
“FIRsT gives Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service the means to develop ‘as live’ intelligence on deliberate and secondary fire setting within the communities of County Durham and the Borough of Darlington.
“It also allows Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service to interact in a real time manner with a host of other agencies. Previously, Intelligence gathered by differing agencies was disparate and lacked viable cohesion, not to mention the issues relating to data sharing and security. The software from Orcuma facilitates this data sharing in a secure platform, allowing mapping overlays from differing agencies who need to share common intelligence for the benefit of a safer community.”
For more information, go to www.orcuma.com