City of Edmonton Fire Rescue Service Emergency Systems Evaluation Study

Strategic Planning Services for Next Generation and Beyond

The City of Edmonton Fire Rescue Service has been responsible for Fire and EMS dispatch for the last twelve years. Alberta Health recently decided to reassume responsibility of EMS dispatch and as of Feb 2011 moved dispatch operations to a new facility. Edmonton FRS decided that the time was opportune to conduct a complete review of systems and technology that provide emergency fire dispatch to the City with a view to replacing the CAD and supporting technology systems while preparing a long term plan for the future.

Case Study Details

The Challenge

The centre’s dispatch system was twelve years old and needed a significant update. Likewise the telecommunication system and infrastructure was aging and had not been updated in several years. The Records Management System in use was custom built when the CAD system was installed and was no longer meeting the needs of the department nor the City for management reporting. The agency was also outgrowing its current space, network, and power infrastructure capacities.

The Solution

BH Group Inc. was asked to investigate the systems and technology involved with the provision of fire dispatch and response, compare performance to best practices, and make recommendations on enhancements, replacements, or alternatives where appropriate. BH Group Inc. worked with the various stakeholders and other agencies in the City to; evaluate current levels of service, benchmark them against industry best practices and existing standards, provide recommendations for upgrade and/or replacement, prepare budget estimates for each viable alternative, and create a priority list based on goals and objectives defined in the City’s long term strategic plan.

The result

A full analysis of existing systems was conducted and interviews were held with numerous groups including employees, management, other agencies, City representatives, and other stakeholders. A needs assessment was prepared, an evaluation of current operational status, a gap analysis, and a final report detailing a number of viable operational alternatives with budgetary figures. The findings were prioritized and presented to the management team and employees to provide an opportunity to question the findings and recommendations. The recommendations list has been appropriated by EFRS as the long-term project priority list and BH Group Inc. is currently assisting the department in preparing detailed project plans and requirements analysis documents for each project.

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