MID and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are pleased to announce its procurement of the ‘IRIS Core’ Incident Command and Situational Awareness software platform, which it has been developing over the last three years with its partner UnBlur – a company recently recognised as one of Europe’s top 5 tech start-up companies.

MAWWFRS Transformation2020 Programme Lead, Group Manager Steve McLinden stated;

‘I am extremely proud of the partnership we have developed with UnBlur as it has enabled us to collaboratively develop this ‘bleeding edge’ incident command and situational awareness platform, designed to be used at all types of operational incidents. Through a ‘collaborative innovation procurement process’ approach, we have been able to develop this solution which has allowed us to create a bespoke platform to meet the operational needs of our firefighters, whilst supporting the introduction of new digital technologies within the sector such as tracking, drones and body-worn cameras. The ability to integrate these technologies into the IRIS Core solution enables the sharing of real-time risk critical information and post-incident review capability, which has previously been extremely difficult to achieve.’

A key element of success has been the collaborative partnership approach that has developed a strong and effective relationship between MAWWFRS and UnBlur. CEO and Co-Founder of UnBlur, Alfonso Zamarro Junquera said;

“Unblur focuses on developing tech that helps first responders in the front line make decisions and that is something we cannot do on our own. Collaboration with the Fire Service is crucial to ensure we create something truly useful to ensure that the tools they are offered are adequate for their work environment. At Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service we encountered a visionary team, very proactive and forward-thinking. We are very proud of the work we’ve been doing during the last 3 years to make IRIS a reality. Unblur’s team is very excited to deploy this technology and see how it will help firefighters in their daily work. The work doesn’t finish here. We are still working together to make this technology even better, but also to interact and complement our work with the many other initiatives MAWWFRS are leading in innovation. We believe MAWWFRS is a great reference internationally, and we are very excited about the path ahead.”

The IRIS Core solution forms an integral part of the wider MAWWFRS Transformation2020 Digital Innovation programme, which has been designed to enhance firefighter operational safety, situational awareness and decision making. The IRIS Core platform has been developed through direct engagement with our staff. This will allow for system growth and integration of emerging technologies, such as real-time internal tracking of firefighters at incidents, which is being developed through the GovTech Catalyst Challenge led by the T20 Programme. Additionally, working with the software company Fracture, the integration of interactive 3D building plans has been created using the existing business fire safety CAD plans.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies commented;

‘Through my role within the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) I am committed to developing new technologies to enhance firefighter safety and I am extremely proud of the work my Transformation2020 programme has delivered over the last 3 years. We are at an extremely exciting phase following extensive research and development with our collaborative partners and I am confident this work will significantly improve the way in which crews operate at complex and challenging incidents, whilst also making them safer and delivering better outcomes for the communities we protect. I am also extremely interested in seeing the advances in post-incident learning and investigation the IRIS Core solution will provide us.’

MAWWFRS are currently undertaking the final phases of end-user field trails and infrastructure implementation prior to Service-wide rollout.

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