Essex Ambulance and Sepura first to respond
Sepura is to supply TETRA radios to the East of England Ambulance Service for its new generation, emergency-response communication system. This is the first order from O2 Airwave for ambulance digital radios under the Department of Health’s (DH) national programme in England. The order was placed after an equipment assessment process involving ambulance and DH staff. It comprises a combination of vehicle-based gateway radios, lightweight hand-held radios and special features that were developed by Sepura specifically for ambulance services.
In 2005, the Department of Health chose the TETRA Airwave service, operated by O2 Airwave, as a replacement for its existing analogue radio communications systems. O2 Airwave and Sunguard Vivista drew up a shortlist of recommended terminal suppliers from which the various ambulance authorities would select.
The new regional East of England Ambulance Service serves a population of 1.6 million people spread out over 1,334 square miles. Before reorganisation, Essex was one of the best performing ambulance services in England, meeting all government response time targets. As part of the drive to maintain and improve this performance, the East of England Ambulance Service chose Sepura radios because of their unrivalled functionality.
In addition to working as a standard vehicle radio, the Sepura Gateway enables hand-held radios to connect to the network in areas where TETRA network coverage is poor or non-existent. Thanks to its higher power, the Sepura Gateway is able to connect to the network where hand-held radios fail. Keeping crews connected with their headquarters improves their effectiveness, their safety and the safety of those they are treating.
The benefits offered to ambulance crews and control rooms by Sepura’s special solution will enable crews in Essex to improve further their service to the public. The East of England Ambulance Service will be able to measure response times, identify areas where progress can be made and improve the safety of its crews. Sepura’s total solution can be installed in ambulances and a wide range of other vehicles, including rapid response vehicles and motorcycles. The Sepura solution provides the ambulance service with a single source of supply for equipment, training, accessories and support.
Digital Radio Operational Lead in Essex for the East of England Ambulance Service, Rick Davis, said: “As well as providing much improved coverage, the Sepura handsets were an overwhelming winner among staff when we looked at the options. The handsets’ functionality is excellent. The crews are particularly pleased with the way that they can call for emergency assistance with the press of a single button. This will greatly improve crew safety, and through the GPS functionality enable the location of individual crew members to be rapidly identified should they need to summon urgent assistance.”
Peter Hudson, Senior Product Manager for Sepura, explains: “We know the pressures that ambulance crews are under and have built our system to make it easier for them to do their jobs. For example, crews can work away from their vehicles, knowing that they can be contacted and tracked by the control room, using a Sepura gateway”.
Graham Matthews, Sepura’s Managing Director commented, “We are extremely proud to have been chosen to supply the first order under this prestigious and important national programme; it recognises our unique solution that was specifically developed for ambulance services. There are few more demanding communications requirements – lives can be literally at stake. This order not only recognises Sepura’s technical expertise, but also our focus and passion in understanding the needs of public safety organisations and in developing solutions to meet their requirements.”
For more information contact:
Rosanna Norman at Sepura Limited
+44 (0) 1223 877 283