West Sussex Fire and Rescue

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service - FireWatch case study

West Sussex invests in FireWatch to drive improved process automation, system integration and reporting capabilities, and to support management of staff absences

Background

The main role of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS), a specialist department of the County Council, is to reduce the risk of people in West Sussex being killed or seriously injured.

WSFRS also works to minimise the impact of emergencies on business and the environment. This is done through a combination of emergency response and targeted safety initiatives to prevent accidents and emergencies happening in the first instance.

FireWatch has also provided us with greater visibility of absence levels by automatically populating the personnel system with the required data when sickness calls are received by the Central Command Mobilisation Unit.

The Challenge

Initially, the long-term objective of WSFRS was to support core personnel functions using the Local Authority's SAP system.

In the period before SAP rollout, the plan was to replace an existing legacy personnel database with an interim HR solution that would also enable the production of timely and accurate CLG returns.

FireWatch® was selected to fulfil this short term requirement. However, once deployed it proved so successful that it was elevated to assist in meeting long term IT objectives, including addressing process management, integration and reporting challenges.

The key reasons why FireWatch was successful in helping West Sussex meet business challenges are as follows:

  • Provides a fully integrated solution for competency-based safety and HRM
  • Offers the flexibility to configure modules to meet with on-going legislative and operational changes
  • Supports the delivery of Training & Development and the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP)
  • Helps the Service meet Government reporting requirements

The Results

West Sussex has deployed FireWatch to support personnel, rota management and training/development and has seen benefits from the integration of previously isolated departments, and the ability to produce quickly and accurately the required annual Government reports.

FireWatch has helped West Sussex to increase visibility and tracking of absence levels through automatic logging of sickness calls within its personnel module, and to ensure compliance with minimum officer duty cover across differing rotation patterns.

Project Manager Mark Swanton, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said:

"FireWatch has enabled us to move from an antiquated, three-screen personnel system that had two or three users to a fully-integrated system that joins up our core human resource functions, including Personnel, the Command Mobilisation Centre, Training, Health & Safety, and the Service Intelligence and Commanders Groups.

"We have automated manual procedures, our departments no longer work in isolation, duplication of work to enter information into multiple systems has been eliminated, the paper pile is greatly reduced and we can easily pull off all the required CLG returns on time and with accuracy.

"FireWatch has also provided us with greater visibility of absence levels by automatically populating the personnel system with the required data when sickness calls are received by the Central Command Mobilisation Unit. Previously, this took six or more weeks to filter through because it had to be manually entered into the system."

Key benefits:

  • Increased visibility and tracking of absence levels through automatic logging of sickness calls within personnel module

  • Ensured compliance with minimum officer duty cover across differing rotation patterns

  • Ability to reflect and support on-going changes such as rank to role, IRMP and Training & Development

  • Improved team-working and systems integration across previously isolated departments

  • Automation of paper-based manual processes to save significant time and reduce operational costs