Case study

G-Cloud SME helps fire and rescue service save thousands of pounds

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service used the G-Cloud framework to help them upgrade their telephone system.

close up of fire and rescue truck


Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s telephone system was using out of date technology, and each of the 24 individual station sites had their own phone system. This had led to a very complex telephony environment with high running costs - every call made was billed as an external one.

BT also no longer had staff that could fix the old equipment, which created a significant risk to the business.

It was clear to Gavin Harris, Head of ICT, Nottingham Fire and Rescue Services that they needed to simplify and update their voice infrastructure system.

The solution

Through the G-Cloud framework they chose risual to help them develop a new high-performance telecommunications network.

This provided the opportunity to take advantage of new communications technology and remove costly legacy telephone systems.

A unified communications solution using Microsoft Skype for Business was chosen as it provided a host of benefits including:

  • reduced maintenance and line rental costs
  • excellent connectivity for multi device and channel communications, including text-based chat, video and audio calls
  • integration with old technology at fire stations to ensure an easy transition
  • a mechanism for distributing calls from publicly facing numbers to relevant departments and groups

risual’s approach was described by Gavin Harris as:

“a revelation for us, the way they work and their knowledge meant they were designing the solution to deal with problems before they could even become a problem”.

The new system also features:

  • integration of Skype for Business with fire station PA systems, so staff at headquarters can “call” an entire station to ensure emergency messages are heard by everyone
  • increased security as centralised staff can operate every site’s gate system and speak to visitors to verify their identity, which also reduces overheads
  • call re-routing at peak times to allow staff to answer phones for other departments
  • when a citizen calls a local fire station, if no one is available to answer, headquarters can pick up the call and will know which station is being dialled ensuring quicker response times

The results

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is seeing a huge reduction in costs thanks to the new system. They have also seen an increase in staff productivity and flexibility, as staff can now answer each other’s calls, and are no longer reliant on a site administrator at every location to respond to calls 24/7.

Gavin Harris commented:

“People are getting to grips with instant messaging and the rewards are being reaped already. We will save thousands and thousands of pounds in call costs. We will get more productivity from our workforce and the solution allows us to centralise the workforce and work a lot slicker. The G-Cloud framework made the procurement process very quick and easy, and ensured we were getting good value.”

Find out more

Take a look at the G-Cloud framework on the Digital Marketplace or call us on 0345 410 2222.

Published 19 August 2016