A smooth FSR introduction: Warwickshire FRS implementation story

The project started in June 2018, with the initial rollout taking 1 month for the on-call stations, and 3 months for the wholetime stations, followed by several months of optimising the configuration. We are currently in the 5th year of the contract.

Throughout the implementation project and the business-as-usual stage, we have built a strong partnership between the Warwickshire and FSR teams. Our team consisted of a project manager, rollout specialists, consultants, data integration specialists and software developers. They worked side-by-side with the Warwickshire operational leadership, subject matter experts, IT-experts and system champions, getting together physically as well as leveraging the efficiencies of online collaboration. As it is illustrated in the quote below, the system is easy to use and firefighters require very little training to use the system effectively. Still, as part of every implementation we provide training (often through the train-the-trainer model) supported by guides, videos and other training materials.

“As Resource Manager I invited on-call firefighters to sign up to FSR. I have delivered next to no training. This is all down to how intuitive and user friendly the system is. The communication with FSR has been first class. Any queries I or the team had were very quickly resolved and the agile way of working has been hugely important to deliver the product we required. FSR have consistently delivered a high quality service.” - Martin Swinden, Warwickshire F&RS

One integrated off-the-shelf SaaS solution for Fire and Rescue Services

We provided Warwickshire with a cloud-based commercial off-the-shelf ‘Rostering and Availability’ SaaS solution that can be configured flexibly to accommodate all of the different duty systems, ranging from on-call to wholetime to support staff, dual contracts and mixed crewing stations. All in a single integrated solution, with 700+ stations using the same and most up-to-date version of the software, maintained by our engineering team. The online software can be accessed using a web browser and/or smartphone app. 

Adaptability to different crewing systems and organisational requirements

Our ability to adapt and support different rota systems has helped WFRS do efficient resource planning throughout the years. They operate different duty systems across the service, which we were able to successfully set up in FSR. In addition to their standard wholetime 2-2-4 stations with varying shift start and end times, they use our system for Self-Rostering. This allows wholetime crews to flexibly select the shifts they want to work as long as it is within their contract rules and appliances are kept on the run. Other variations to standard duty systems like Day Crew Plus, Peak Demand and Flexi-Duty were requested and delivered. A good example of our joint software development effort was the implementation of the appliance degradation model to maximise availability in on-call stations. Our system was initially procured for their Wholetime, On-call and Fire Control staff. After a very well-received initial implementation, we have had the privilege to further support WFRS with other teams, including Officers, Fire Protection, Co-responders, Ops Room, SFU for Commonwealth games, and COVID testing sites. These examples prove our ability to change configuration in line with organisational requirements. It also provides evidence of how Leicestershire F&RS can leverage the use of our system to plan and manage different resources efficiently.

Advanced reporting and service-wide data

Fire and Rescue Services need to keep accurate and up-to-date data about their availability and staff for tactical planning. With data being spread across many different systems before implementing FireServiceRota, Warwickshire found it challenging to get an accurate understanding of their Service performance. Our system provides WFRS with a real-time overview and forecast of their appliance crewing levels in different formats: a geographical map for Fire Control Staff, and a service-wide dashboard for Resource Planners and Managers. It displays details of the skills that are missing to get to a full crew and Station-specific dashboards showing local crew and appliance availability. In collaboration with WFRS, we adapted our software to support the HMICFRS reports. On an operational level, WFRS was interested in providing the tools for managers to care for their staff. FireServiceRota allows crews and managers to keep track of their contractual compliance: shifts worked, leave allowance and overtime performed. This supports dual-contractors too. Recently, we enabled the Working Time Directive module for WFRS which is used to keep track of resting periods for staff (fatigue management).

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