Improving Emergency Response Times at 22 South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Sites
Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, UK – 18 February 2019 Chronos Technology, a leading international authority on GNSS jamming detection and resilient sync and timing solutions, recently welcomed Jesse Norman MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire to Stowfield House. Chronos’ business activity includes development of technology to detect interference and jamming to the GPS (SatNav) technology. Managing Director and Founder of Chronos, Charles Curry, briefed Jesse Norman, who is also a Minister of State for the Department for Transport, on the impact that jamming could have on the development of autonomous vehicle technology, and also its use by the freight industry to defeat drivers’ hours legislation, and the potential threat with Brexit looming where the use of GPS jamming could facilitate smuggling at the borders. GPS jamming is also used by criminals to steal high value cars; by commercial drivers to avoid their company’s fleet tracking systems; and young drivers to avoid higher insurance charges when they drive outside their low cost driving window. The photograph shows Charles Curry and Jesse Norman in front of a rack of timing equipment in Charles’ lab which has evolved from various Innovate UK projects.
GPS repeater systems
14 February 2018 Chronos Technology, working in partnership with 3tc, has installed GPS repeater systems to ensure full GPS coverage inside 22 South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue sites. 3tc supplies South Yorkshire FRS with its MODAS Professional software, a high performance mobile data system optimised to deliver operational efficiency through the use of robust real time communications. MODAS provides access to safety critical information, for example risk information such as if the site has known hazardous materials; as well as planning the most effective route to the scene of an emergency. MODAS, which ensures effective communication between the Control Room and appliances both when mobile and at their home station, requires GPS to operate and as a GPS signal is not always readily available inside buildings, fire crews were wasting valuable time, sometimes minutes, gaining a lock on GPS after they had left the fire station. Additionally, the Control Room lost visibility of the appliances when they were inside the station. Identifying an opportunity to improve response times to incidents and provide visibility of appliances at all times, 3tcTC approached Chronos to supply a solution to bring GPS inside the stations. Chronos, who has being supplying and installing GPS repeaters for both military and civilian applications for the last 22 years, set up a proof of concept installation at one of the F&R stations to demonstrate how a repeater brings the GPS signal indoors. Following the successful demonstration, Chronos installed GPS repeater solutions in line with Ofcom legal requirements, in 21 appliance bays during a three week period. Steven Locking, IT Manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said, “We knew immediately which stations Chronos were installing because as the appliances received the GPS signal, they popped up on the Control Room Terminals. He added, ”Control Room personnel are now getting reliable updates when appliances are at any station throughout the county. Chronos and 3tc worked quickly and efficiently without affecting our ability to mobilise during the rollout.” Duncan Smith, Business Development Manager at Chronos said, “GPS receivers fitted on fire appliances that have not been required to move outside for several days may not work immediately or may give misleading results when vehicles leave the buildings. The problem is easily solved with a GPS repeater solution which enables all receivers to function correctly, no matter how long they have been kept inside and out of view of the satellites.” He added, “Every second is critical so permanent connection back to central systems improves response times and information flows.” Graham Lancaster, Systems Consultant for 3tc Software, and Nikki Cooper, Project Co-ordinator, were heavily involved in the project. Graham stated, “It was a pleasure to work with Chronos and South Yorkshire FRS. The project ran smoothly due to timely and informative communications between all parties and as such, we have delivered a significant improvement for South Yorkshire FRS.” Chronos Technology is a specialist supplier of GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo & BeiDou) products and services for resilient positioning, navigation and timing. Chronos has unrivalled knowledge and experience in the supply and installation of GPS repeating equipment, bringing live GPS signals inside emergency services buildings and ensuring that vehicle satnavs have a lock on the GPS signal before leaving the building to respond to an emergency; and control centres have complete visibility of appliances at all times. 3tc Software Ltd has been developing innovative solutions for public safety users for more than 30 years. Spanning command and control systems, location matching software, business intelligence, station end software, mobile data software and incident recording systems, 3tc Software focuses on both development for future use and integration with existing systems to make organisations more efficient and reduce risk. www.3tcsoftware.com