Control room equipment – FOI18069

By May 11, 2018News

A request for information about control room equipment – FOI18069

Ref: FOI/18069

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 9th May 2018

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

  1. How many seats do you have in total in your control rooms? How many of them are for call taking, dispatching and switching tasks?

Reply

As a major emergency service provider, you will appreciate that we must ensure that the security of our control room are appropriately protected. Releasing detailed information about “how many seats do you have in total in your control rooms? How many of them are for call taking, dispatching and switching tasks” in response to your request and other similar requests under Freedom of Information has wider implications that we must consider.  By this we mean that disclosing this information may prejudice our ability to maintain our own and national security. We believe that maintaining security and ensuring public safety in a national and local context takes precedence over this request.

We accept that this type of information is of interest to commercial companies and to researchers but believe that it is not in the greater public good to release detailed information.

We do not imply that release of this information alone would necessarily be immediately detrimental, but taken with other information we consider that it could have an adverse effect on our capability, effectiveness and security. Given the current security climate in the UK we recognise the necessity to take a precautionary approach. In this situation we have also taken account of whether the release of this information, could, if put together with other available information, cause damage. After consideration we concluded that this type of information cannot be divorced from its context and looked at in isolation. In some circumstances, releasing this information could give rise to prejudice that would not otherwise have existed, because, taken together with other information requested, it could disclose a composite of information which is more sensitive than its individual parts taken separately.

We are therefore refusing your request under several Freedom of Information exemptions, s24 National Security, s36 Effective conduct of public affairs, s44 Prohibition on Disclosure.

In taking this decision we have taken note of the Centre for Protecting the National Infrastructure Guidance on disclosure of sensitive information, which states

“…. that national security is paramount and should be considered carefully in any government or commercial decision to release or disseminate information to the public”.

This guidance continues to state that careful consideration must be given before disclosing ‘precise information which exposes an organisation’s information or process control systems to the threat of an attack’.

Some of these exemptions are subject to the public interest test. This means that we must consider whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the public interest in refusing to disclose. We have considered that it is in the interest of the majority of the public to protect systems from harm, in order to support us to ensure public safety. We have also decided that the likelihood of damage to our control room need not be immediate as the impact would, in an emergency situation, be potentially serious.

We also considered whether release of this information is in the public interest in terms of explaining our decisions, ensuring accountability, or providing transparency into our handling of public finances. We have concluded that the detail of this information is not necessary to meet the public interest or reassure public concerns. As a result, we have decided that the public interest is better served by not disclosing this detailed information.”

Request

  1. What is the brand of the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software used in your control rooms?

Reply

VISION

Request

  1. How many seats are dedicated for it?

Reply

Please see reply to question 1

Request

When it was installed?

Reply

Nov 2008

Request

What is the cost of the CAD system, cost of integration and installation, and cost of maintenance and support?

Reply

Intergration and installation – £329,747.60

Maintenace and Support – £48757.52

Request

  1. What is the brand of the Evidential Voice Recording system for radio and telephony? How many replay stations are available for it?

Reply

Please see reply to question 1

Request

When it was installed?

Reply

Nov 2015

Request

What is the cost of the Evidential Voice Recording system, cost of integration and installation, and cost of maintenance and support?

Reply

£4673.09

Request

  1. What is the brand of the Telephony system for emergency and non-emergency calls from the public? How many call taking positions are available?

Reply

Please see reply for question 1

Request

When it was installed?

 

Reply

Emergency  – Nov 2015

Non Emergency – May 2016

Request

What is the cost of the Telephony system for emergency and non-emergency calls, cost of integration and installation, and cost of maintenance and support?

Reply

Emergency – We do not hold this information system as it was purchased by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue therefore this request is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information.

Non Emergency – £65000

Request

  1. What is the brand of the Voice dispatch system for radio communications with operational units? How many seats are dedicated for it?

Reply

Please see reply to question 1

Request

When it was installed? What is the cost of it, cost of integration and installation, and cost of maintenance and support?

Reply

Please see replies to question 4

Request

  1. What is the brand of the Contact Management System, the software used to manage the contact between public and call taking positions? How many call taking positions are available? When it was installed? What is the cost of it, cost of integration and installation, and cost of maintenance and support?

Reply

None

Request

  1. Do you have broadband devices deployed to your field officers?

Reply

Yes

Request

What brand are they? Which Operating System are they using?

Reply

Please see reply to question 1

Request

How many devices do you have at the moment? When were they procured?

Reply

Device – 94

Procured – Sep 2016

Request

Do you plan to buy new devices soon, if so when?

Reply

No

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

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