SEPURA and IMASS make communications run faster at Great North Run
New communications technology from Sepura digital TETRA radios and Imass GIS mapping was in live action for the first time at this year’s Great North Run to enable ambulance crews and race organisers more quickly to reach runners and spectators in need of help.
This brand new control centre concept was set up to monitor precisely the location of each of the 130 Sepura radios used by ambulance crew, mobile paramedics, medical centre, race doctor and race organisers, many of whom were using bikes and buggies for added mobility.
Completely portable, it can be installed quickly and easily for any police, fire, ambulance or utilities emergency.
The system used the highly accurate and market-leading GPS capability within Sepura’s radios to link the control room to ambulance personnel of the North East Ambulance Service, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance Service and advanced mapping provided by Imass. This mapping identified precisely where each medic or race official was situated.
Sepura TETRA radios are currently being rolled-out to all ambulance trusts across the UK and were used in the previous three years of the Great North Run that starts in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
The world’s biggest half marathon, with over 36,000 runners and a crowd of over 30,000, needed a high performance medical team to treat runners and spectators requiring medical assistance and benefited from the communications technology provided by Sepura and Imass.
Simon Swallow, one of the event managers for North East Ambulance, said: “We have continually strived to improve the speed and efficiency of communications at the Great North Run, to enable the medical control personnel to dispatch emergency vehicles and medical resources as quickly as possible to a casualty.”
“Sepura and Imass technology allowed a rapid deployment to each incident so that the ill or injured could receive expert attention faster than ever before.”
“On screen in the control room we could see the exact location of a casualty and which ambulance had the shortest access route to get them to the medical centre most quickly.”
Imass, one of Sepura’s Application Partners, coincidentally located in Newcastle, specialises in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) technology that enables precise mapping, using Ordnance Survey information.
The control room technology is known as the Imass Automatic Resource Location System (ARLS). Initially developed by Imass for emergency services and homeland security organisations, it tracks resources, both people and assets, and also provides a messaging capability.
The system has two key components: firstly a GIS visualisation system, which utilises MapInfo as the core GIS and secondly a communications gateway.
Utilising the internal Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality within the Sepura radios, it tracks on Ordnance Survey information, the location of the mobile resources.
Benefits which the control centre offers:
-Assists the controller to know exactly where resources are and to navigate to incidents or to other locations;
-Monitoring the progress of resources on route to an incident helps to confirm arrival and provides an accurate incident location where this was not initially known;
-Assists in the analysis of the response to particular incidents;
-Provides an overall view of resource deployment and operational coverage
This is the fourth year Sepura has assisted the Great North Run. As well as supporting the control room, its radios enabled all users to benefit from push-to-talk functions including Talk Groups that allow defined teams to communicate in unison. In addition, data capability enabled further rapid messaging.
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Sepura plc is a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of TETRA digital radios, used predominantly by the emergency services around the world and in the transport, utilities and local government sectors. It is the market leader in more than 20 countries.
The TETRA standard was developed mainly for public safety professionals. It facilitates reliable radio communication at all times and offers secure voice and data – free from the possibility of eavesdropping.
Founded in the UK in 2002, Sepura has rapidly expanded across the world with a network of 60+ regional partners that sell and support locally its market-leading products in over 80 countries.
It joined the main list of the London Stock Exchange in August 2007 and in the year ending March 2007, generated revenues of 52m and EBITDA of 12m.
Sepura’s development expertise is focused entirely on TETRA radio terminals, and the company offers the broadest range of TETRA products available. It is often first to market with innovative products and features and is the world market leader in the supply of surveillance and other specialist TETRA radios and accessories.
TETRA is the acronym for TErrestrial Trunked RAdio, a world-wide standard for digital private mobile radios developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). TETRA has the advantage of being spectrum efficient whilst also offering the end user improved voice quality, secure encrypted communication and comprehensive data capabilities.