Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is the second-largest fire service in England. It protects more than 2.6 million people over a 1300km² area and employs 1200 firefighters across 42 fire stations. From April 2014, it will become one of four fire services to fall under the responsibility of North West Fire Control and will work in closer collaboration with its neighbouring services in Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire.
The GMFRS fire-ground staff had been using analogue radios for seven years. However, the radios had reached the end-of-life and communications were unclear, especially when used in Breathing Apparatus (BA), high rise buildings and tactical ventilation scenarios. With high fault and failure rates, GMFRS was also faced with spiralling repair costs and lengthy lead times for repairs. Ultimately concerns were growing over increasingly ineffective fire-ground communications, which could result in firefighter injury and a risk to the general public and property.
Long-term supplier Radiocoms Systems Limited recommended MOTOTRBO™ radios with IMPRES™ audio accessories to help suppress ambient noise, amplify loudness and improve voice intelligibility. After various tests it became clear that the MOTOTRBO radios were the best devices to meet all GMFRS’ requirements. The audio coming from the noise-cancelling microphone is crystal clear – even communications from officers wearing BA – and firefighters can now hear instructions clearly through the noise-cancelling earpiece. The move to MOTOTRBO has improved the service’s firefighting capabilities and efficiencies, as well as public and operational safety. It also ensures future-proof efficient cross-border communications with the other fire services in the North West.
‘The MOTOTRBO radios offer mission critical clear communications, decisively also for BA wearers and officers operating PPV fans and UHP lances. The radios offer improved functionality, flexibility and coverage. The robustness of the radios, the excellent noise-cancelling accessories, the long-life IMPRES batteries and the service element, all also contributed to our decision to deploy MOTOTRBO. Our firefighters’ feedback has been exceptional. They now know that their messages will be heard clearly, first time.’ Mark Scoales, ICT Senior Radio/Voice Comms Analyst, GMFRS