WMAS becomes first Trust in England to implement new control system

Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 11th July 2023 – 1.00pm.

When you say ‘ambulance service’ to most people, the first thing they think of is an ambulance on blue lights and the staff in green saving lives.  

While that is undoubtedly a vital part of the service we provide, it isn’t the only part.  The team that work in our control rooms are just as important as without taking the 999 calls, finding out what is wrong with the patient, dispatching the ambulances and providing clinical advice, the crews on the front line wouldn’t be able to do their jobs.  

For those dispatching ambulances to patients in their hour of need, their job just became a little easier with the introduction of a new piece of communications equipment that makes it easier to co-ordinate the resources being sent to patients.   

After around a decade of using our original digital Integrated Command and Control System (ICCS), the Trust has become the first in England to introduce a new upgraded system.   

Integrated Emergency and Urgent Care & Performance Director, Jeremy Brown said: “It is part of the national Ambulance Radio Programme (ARP) and sees a state-of-the-art control room solution (CRS) introduced which provides enhanced communication, using voice and data methods and provides greater resilience to the service.   

“The communications links are quicker, are easier to use and it also gives us an enhanced major incident capacity which makes working with other ambulance services as well as police and fire services much easier.  It’s almost like going from an old analogue mobile phone to a smart phone.”  

Controller Abdul Rahman, who dispatches ambulances to incidents, said: “It is much more intuitive than the previous system and is like using a tablet device.  As well as being faster, it confirms what you have done so you can see that the information that needed passing has definitely got to where it needs to go.  Everything that you need is there and we get a lot more information than we previously had had which makes my job easier.  It’s just easier to use.”       

Mr Brown added: “Thank you to all of the staff involved, the trainers and the IT and communications staff who made the transition run so smoothly.  We are already seeing the advantages which will ultimately benefit patients.”    


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