Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has appointed digital innovation agency Brandwidth to take on a major new innovation brief.
Following a competitive five-way pitch with 120 respondents, Brandwidth won the bid thanks to its specialism in solving complex technical challenges.
Brandwidth will now partner with the fire and rescue service to develop an x-ray style solution which will give fire commanders the ability to ‘see through walls’ to protect firefighters in high-risk scenarios using an AR visualiser.
The £500k project is funded by Innovate UK and SRBI, in conjunction with GovTech Catalyst and the Government Digital Service.
The visualiser will plots the firefighters’ location in real-time and flag abnormal motion information, painting a live picture of the environment that a firefighter is moving around in – without the need for access to pre-existing floorplans.
Brandwidth have also suggested that the service use a highly innovative combination of sensors, to deliver the appropriate tracking information which will relay the real-time location of firefighters.
As well as being invaluable in emergency situations, the tool will also provide a robust audit trail and enable the fire service to better understand what actually happens in often turbulent scenarios. Following tragedies like 2017's Grenfell Tower fire, the hope is that firefighters can learn and improve their practice.
Jason Jones, CEO at Brandwidth, said: “It’s been a humbling experience working with the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and we’re delighted to have built such a strong partnership with them. Our close relationship has enabled us to create a cutting-edge, potentially life-saving solution to their everyday challenges.”
The solution could also be adapted to track anyone working in high-risk or hostile environments, from the police and ambulance services through to security personnel.
Steve McLinden, group manager at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our fire commanders often have very little information about where a firefighter is, once they’re deployed beyond the threshold of a building. This highly innovative solution from Brandwidth should transform our ability to track and protect our firefighters in high-risk situations.
“We were really impressed with Brandwidth’s collaborative approach to our brief. They worked closely with us to help define our challenges and agree a clear direction, with a direct interface between the tech requirements and our end users, the fire commanders and fire fighters on the ground.”