'Delivering lower cost incident management through technology'

Tuesday, 08 March, 2011

BAPCO 2011 delivers collaborative solutions and future emergency planning for a uniquely challenging financial context

Arguably, the range and scale of present threats to business continuity and public safety has never been greater on the domestic and international level. At the more extreme level, the last few months alone have seen a range of extraordinary situations, with both national and global impact, from the rescue of the Chilean miners to the appalling devastation caused by the terrorist bomb in Moscow Domodedovo airport. At the same time we learn that the afflictions caused by the natural disaster that was the earthquake in Haiti have still not been effectively addressed. In every event, multiple public service agencies and authorities are charged with saving lives, protecting property, maintaining the peace and delivering business continuity and service delivery. Effective communications technology is central to every aspect of the process, but at the same time human behaviour - both front line staff and public - must be taken into account if systems are to be effective, and all this must be designed to meet government directives to deliver more energy efficient services, with a reduced budget.

All such incidents require collaboration, co-operative planning and effective delivery from all quarters of public safety communications, including local and central government, the emergency services, utilities, transport, fire authorities, MOD, British Army, Department of Health and the police. The April BAPCO conference and exhibition brings together experts engaged in every stage of the technical, financial, logistical and strategic delivery, to discover new solutions and technologies, debate, learn, and plan for the unknown future.

The Annual BAPCO 2011 Conference and Exhibition takes place 13th - 14th April 2011 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The two-day event offers a comprehensive conference programme and exhibition, a wealth of networking and learning opportunities for attendees, and a unique opportunity to assess the latest technologies, services and thinking that will shape strategy, procurement, planning implementation and interoperability for a secure future from over 100 suppliers.

The BAPCO conference programme is now finalised, and features high-level speakers who will address the fundamental issues facing the secure and emergency communications business. As all services and departments are tasked with delivering security, resilience and protection of people and property, at a time of increasingly diverse and challenging threats, the theme for this year's conference "Delivering Lower Cost Incident Management through Technology" takes this head on. A series of in-depth sessions address the practical and strategic issues facing those charged with delivery, presented by experts in their field. Designed to educate, inform and provoke debate and collaboration, the conference addresses how to deliver success at a time of exceptional demand, unanticipated threat and financial restrictions.

At the leading edge of technology, solutions and inter-agency thinking, BAPCO offers a unique insight into the future of integrated communication and information technologies designed to improve, plan and deliver public safety information communication and data services. The BAPCO conference and exhibition presents keynote speakers offering real life case studies, future-view information, support and solutions to the new challenges facing emergency planners and service delivery agencies.

Day one of the conference opens with Sir Ken Knight CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services and Chief Fire & Rescue Adviser in England & Wales, who offers his experience and perspective on the fresh challenges facing the emergency services and civil contingency responders in dealing with major incidents.

A programme of must-attend sessions for all communications officers and emergency planners follows over the two-day conference. The largest event ever held in the UK, the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics presents exceptional challenges and pressures in terms of technology, staffing, co-operation and resources for every authority and service actively engaged in the delivery of the event, as well as a key learning opportunity for all. Commander Richard Morris of the Metropolitan Police will provide a personal insight into the process and an overview of some of the challenges still to be met in planning for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Continuing the 2012 Olympics theme, Kevin Taylor, Head of Olympic Communications Project, Metropolitan Police will examine the mechanics of secure and consistent radio communications for the Games, through process, approval, planning, testing and co-operation, concluding with a future look at the final stages of the project and the handover to business as usual. Kevin will welcome questions and debate following the presentation.

Richard Bobbett, Chief Executive of Airwave has the task of delivering the first Games with its own private mobile radio service. This will be used by LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) officials and volunteers, and will support 34 competition venues, just shy of 15,000 athletes, 20,000 media and press, and over 10 million ticket sales over a 44-day period. In addition, the system must ensure that the emergency services, which rely on the Airwave service every day, can continue to operate efficiently and effectively.

The afternoon sessions cover a number of specific issues that must be understood and addressed in the current context, including the balance of maintaining mission critical front line services with cost reduction, and a practical presentation on the very present issue of cyber security from Edward Hamilton of Analysis Mason. Drawing on real life experience, this session provides an understanding of how the new threats differ from the threats of the past. Edward will offer practical input into the types of strategy delegates will need to consider for their own organisations. At the close of the day, Jeremy Kemp of PA Consulting draws on personal experience of managing large change projects in emergency control centres to take a hard-nosed look at structural and organisational change and the performance and budgetary benefits that can accrue. He will challenge delegates to apply radical thinking to their organisations and will take questions following the session.

Day two of the conference offers delegates a healthy combination of presentations on the technical and cost issues surrounding choice and implementation of new systems. It tackles the often-neglected question of staff and public acceptance and behaviour, and how best to marry the two - too often great systems fail because the human factor is not considered at the planning stage. The day begins with a presentation from Andy McBain of Motorola which will give delegates the tools to effectively measure and assess Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment to support planning, purchasing and programmes on the ground - essential knowledge in ensuring efficient maintenance and procurement of high value equipment. Delegates will gain fresh knowledge to inform procurement and use of high value kit, which is too often not factored in to either budgets or performance.

With the recent removal of FireControl from the purchasing process, this presentation will be of interest to all Fire and Rescue Services, as well as offering valuable learning for all delegates involved in the command and control system. Kieran Timms of Merseyside FRS offers an honest and illuminating picture of the journey from an underperforming and unstable command and control system, to an effective, efficient, new integrated network which reduced costs, improved user satisfaction and efficiency, and ultimately measurably reduced casualties. Duncan Swan of Analysis Mason then takes this to the next measure, with insights based on real situations into how cutting out inefficiency can deliver real ICT cost savings. This session also offers an illuminating view of how "green behaviour" can meet government requirements for improved energy and resource efficiency with an improved bottom line - and how to make it happen on the ground.

In a key presentation on EU funded Project SECRICOM, Shaun O'Neill will give a comprehensive update on the tangible technical benefits achieved to date, in crisis and incident management, and future implications including enhanced interoperability across borders, and how extended capability for communications offers scope for cost reduction in future procurement.

Alert4All is another key EU funded project. Christina Parraga Nielia of the German Aerospace Centre and Graham Peters of Avanti Communications will offer a fascinating insight into how the project will deliver mass-market alert communications to consumer devices, and take a look at the social behaviour trends and media (including social networks) that must be understood in order to manage alert messaging via new media with such an enhanced range.

In a complementary vein, a session entitled 'Next Generation 999 - Managing multimedia incident information', Murray Barker of Nice Systems takes a future view of how forces can prepare for the next generation of inbound emergency communications, and its potential benefits.

Running in tandem with the conference, as ever, the BAPCO exhibition offers delegates and visitors the chance to see and assess the future public safety communications systems, services and technologies that will shape operations, facilitate future inter-agency communication, save money on current and new lifetime projects, and help effective delivery, from over 100 leading suppliers.

On the exhibition floor this year, visitors and delegates will see all the major suppliers of technologies, consultancy and solutions for their businesses, and also a number of new names and innovative services for 2011.

First time exhibitors, Saadian will be exhibiting PagerSMS - a product that provides a unique SMS emergency alert system designed to reach key personnel during a crisis. PagerSMS delivers a text message with a distinctive alarm that rings continually until acknowledged by the recipient. Unlike traditional pagers, messages are two-way with delivery reports ensuring auditable results. Once a message is viewed, the system will automatically deliver a "viewed" receipt.

PagerSMS removes the need to carry two devices, thereby lowering costs and providing greater convenience to emergency response teams. A special pager SMS inbox is downloaded onto the phone to activate and store PagerSMS messages as they are received.

Benefits for Crisis Response Management:
• Shorter response times from key personnel
• Crisis management team have greater visibility on emergency response
• Greater reliability due to use of GSM network
• More convenience as only one device to carry
• Lower Cost as no need for two devices
• Audit trail of all sent and received messages

Deeside-based engineering company, Remsdaq Ltd's will be showcasing their added-value solution for station-end equipment that provides security, mobilising and asset management functionality in one neat wall mounted cabinet, together with a selection of their latest access control, security and mobilising applications and hardware.

Civica, a market leader in specialist systems and IT services designed to help organisations transform operational performance and efficiency, will be attending BAPCO 2011 together with partner General Dynamics Itronix. The event will provide a showcase for their latest flexible and rugged mobile computing solutions, from secure information access and management in the field, to powerful intelligence-led applications including automatic number plate recognition. Civica will be launching new applications including web alarm alerts and real-time convoy analysis, which enable more officers to share the information from ANPR systems, and increase the return on investment in such systems for police forces.

An exciting new development for BAPCO 2011 will see live demonstrations taking place in the exhibition hall with representatives from the Hampshire Fire USAR team and the Hazardous Area Response Team working together in a rescue scenario live in the exhibition. Look out for canine device detection, body identification technology, and an abseil from the roof of the exhibition hall. In addition, Excelerate will show off the latest in mobile command technology in the outdoor display at the front of the hall.

The BAPCO 2011 exhibition is free to attend and open to all emergency services and local and national governmental agency professionals engaged in incident management, civil contingency response, disaster relief, business continuity and information management.

For further information and to book exhibition passes or to view the full conference programme and register for the event, please visit

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