Agenda and minutes

Venue: Members Room - Headquarters. View directions

No. Item


Operational Response Scrutiny Review - Use of FIRS Software in the Decision Making Process

To consider a presentation by the Area Manager for Operational Response, concerning the following:


“Scrutiny of the use of FIRS Software in the decision making process around Operational Response matters”.


This presentation was originally due to take place at the Scrutiny Review on 5th March 2019, but it was postponed and re-scheduled for 9th May 2019.


Members were provided with a detailed presentation in response to a request from Members to scrutinise the use of Fire Incident Response Simulator (FIRS) Software, in the decision making process around Operational Response matters.


The Area Manager for Operational Response – James Berry, informed Members that the request for this scrutiny review had come out of the presentation previously provided to the Scrutiny Committee, around an overview of the Operational Response function and discussion around why our fire appliances and Community Fire Stations are where they are.


They were advised that the purpose of this review, is to provide Members with re-assurance that the decisions made with regards to operational response matters, are based on robust data; and to provide Members with an opportunity to probe further into how response proposals are devised.


Members were informed that many Fire & Rescue Services often make decisions and changes; and then reflect on those changes after implementation, to determine if they were good decisions or poor decisions. However, by using the FIRS Software, MFRA are able to use modelling to predict the potential impact of a proposed change before it is made. They were also advised that for nearly every change made, when the predicted results are compared to the actual results following implementation, we are usually in a better position than predicted.


Members were introduced to Paul Terry and Rob Hanson from the Strategy & Performance Directorate, who manage and use the system on a daily basis.


Members were provided with some background information regarding Process Evolution – the company who designed Fire Incident Response Simulator (FIRS) and a range of other systems utilised by MFRA; and used to formulate proposals for the IRMP. Members were informed that MFRA were Process Evolution’s first customers back in 2004; and we have continued to work with them ever since. They were also advised that the vast majority of emergency services, now utilise systems provided by Process Evolution.


Members were informed of the range of evidence based tools, provided by Process Evolution, which are used to help MFRA optimise where, when and how resources are deployed.


With regards to FIRS, Members were informed that it is loaded with 3 years’ worth of data, including data for when appliances were not available. It is also loaded with the locations of stations and appliances, information regarding shift patterns, boundaries; and response standards.

Members were advised that FIRS also integrates with Maptitude mapping software; and Simul8 – which is the tool that runs simulations using the historical data, to predict future performance.


The presentation provided Members with an example of outputs from the software, demonstrating that the outputs can be displayed in graphical format that is easy to interpret.


The presentation then went on to explain the maintenance process for the FIRS system. Members were informed that at the start of each financial year, the system is loaded with the previous years’ data; and the oldest data set is removed. A data cleansing process is also undertaken and data  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.