The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Command and Control Mobilising System (CCMS)
1. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was created in April 2013 as a successor to the eight Fire and Rescue Service’s (FRSs) that existed previously. Each of the eight predecessor FRSs had its own control room providing for the receipt of calls, mobilising resources, communications and associated functions.
2. The SFRS initiated a change programme known as ‘Command and Control Futures’ (CCF), ratified by the Fire Board in September 2013. The principal intention of CCF was to deliver:
- a rationalisation of the eight legacy control room structure into a three site control room model with one each located within the three SFRS Service Delivery Areas, and
- the procurement and provision of what was described as a new technical platform for the control rooms to replace what had been assessed as ageing systems.
3. The CCF site relocation element has been achieved, however the provision of the technical platform has not been achieved despite being subject to procurement and contract award. The awarded contract was terminated in December 2022, four years after award.
4. As Chief Inspector, I had concerns regarding the impact this lack of progress might mean for the operational functionality of the Service. After discussion with the Director General for Education and Justice within Scottish Government, I initiated a short focussed HMFSI inspection to consider the operational consequences of the decision to terminate this contract.
5. The inspection terms of reference influenced the factors that we examined. These are:
- the rationale behind the SFRS decision that a new mobilising platform was required;
- the system specification considered by the SFRS;
- the suitability of systems in place for mobilising SFRS resources;
- the resilience of the existing systems;
- the contingency arrangements for system failure;
- the revised plans and associated timescale for procurement of a new mobilising system following the decision to terminate the contract.
6. We undertook that the outcome of our inspection would report assurance where appropriate, and raise concerns where we felt this was appropriate.
7. I wish to thank the SFRS employees who participated in the visits and interviews for their contribution.