Jordan Eggington – Wednesday 23rd February 2022 – 8am.
“As an organisation that looks to promote digital integration and enhanced capabilities, we look forward to utilising our new devices alongside our multi-agency partners, particularly with significant events coming up such as the Commonwealth Games in the region this summer.”
Real-time aerial footage will be transmitted directly to ambulance crews in the West Midlands as part of a multi-agency response to major incidents. It’s as West Midlands Ambulance Service, along with West Midlands Fire Service, have invested in Enterprise Control Systems’ (ECS) downlink receivers, which will allow staff to see live video footage from National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopters and airplanes.
The Airborne Data Link (ADL) will provide Commanders with enhanced situational awareness, aiding critical decision making in the event of large-scale operations. The Trust’s Emergency Preparedness team reviewed the recommendations that were citied in phase one of the Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry, which led to this project being implemented into daily practice.
The Trust has invested in two receivers, which will be kept in Incident Command Vehicles, providing Commanders with a bird’s eye view of incidents, and allowing them to assess situations and direct resources accordingly. If required, the output from the NPAS aerial footage can also be streamed back to Strategic Commanders back in our control rooms by connecting the receiver with a laptop.
Tactical Incident Commander, Cameron McVittie, said: “Learning from incidents is at the forefront of our command development as an organisation, and the addition of the airborne data link into our command toolbox will be a fantastic asset to ensure that as a multi-agency command team, we can make the best decisions to keep our patients and staff safe at incidents such as water rescue, significant fires or marauding terrorist attacks. Not to mention, to create further synergy between ourselves and our JESIP partners on the scene of incidents.”
Cameron added: “As an organisation that looks to promote digital integration and enhanced capabilities, we look forward to utilising our new devices alongside our multi-agency partners. Particularly with significant events coming up such as the Commonwealth Games in the region this summer.”
Group Commander Richard Moore, of West Midlands Fire Service, said: “We’re really excited to be linking up with our ambulance and police colleagues for this downlink project. It’s the latest innovation in our drive to keep our communities safe with a digital and data-driven approach. We’ve been trialling our own drones for a year, so appreciate how an aerial dimension can complement our work on the ground. The NPAS partnership will help our decision making as we bring incidents to a safe resolution.”
NPAS tactical flight training officer and mission systems expert, PC Neil Cuffe, said: “All our aircraft have the capability to transmit high-quality footage to officers on the ground and incident control rooms via the downlink system. This is invaluable in assisting commanders to make critical decisions on how to appropriately direct resources and manage the scene of an incident. It is widely used by police forces and will be hugely beneficial for fire and ambulance colleagues as we work together to protect the public.”
Colin Waite, UK Police Business Development Manager at Enterprise Control Systems: “The ability to receive live high-quality video and data has always been key for the security and emergency organisations we work with. Now with more collaborative and joint operations, not only is it essential to have interoperable voice communications, but the ability to share situational awareness information which will be key in being able to resolve incidents efficiently and safely.”