Dorset Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS) Computer Aided Dispatch System
Background and Rationale for the CAD System
Dorset Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS) is investing £350m in the Fire and Resilience Programme to increase resilience, enhance capability and improve efficiency in fire and rescue emergency services. Currently DFRS operates 26 fire control rooms (stations) that are independent, each handling its own emergency calls, each with differing levels of technology, different IT systems, business processes and different ways of responding to incidents. In January 2013, the Dorset County Council (DCC) commissioned an independent review of efficiency options for Dorset’s Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) control rooms. The independent review highlighted modernisation of control room operations as a major area.
The review was also to determine if the original operations procedures have changed as a result of new requirements for resilience and management of larger-scale incidents that had emerged since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA. The review recommended amalgamation of 26 local control rooms to 9 Regional Control Centres (RCC). In October 2014, Dorset County Council initiated the Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADS) to replace the 26 local control rooms with a resilient network of nine purpose built Regional Control Centres.
With CADS, the 9 fully networked RCCs will have access to the same modern technology and data, including local information. Calls will be automatically transferred to another RCC if one fails or becomes overloaded.
Each fire station in Dorset is responsible for accepting and processing emergency fire calls in its own local fire rescue authority area and, with agreement, emergency calls from other fire and rescue service areas. Each emergency call is answered by dedicated fire control staff who use computer-aided mobilising systems to locate the nearest available, appropriate firefighting resources and mobilise them to the incident. There are about 200 control room staff employed in Dorset, with 52 on duty at any one time under the current county system. All staff are able to take emergency calls for their neighbours during busy periods such as severe flooding or multiple grass fires during droughts. The control staff maintain contact with the fire crews, in most cases by voice radio, whilst on their way and during the incident to provide current information and respond to critical requests. Currently Dorset Fire and Rescue Services employs about 500 fire-fighters who are extensively trained in firefighting, primarily to extinguish hazardous fires that threaten property and civilian or natural populations, and to rescue people from dangerous situations, like collapsed or burning buildings or crashed vehicles. DFRS fire fighters and control room staff are members of the fire brigades union which represents firefighting personnel and control room staff at all levels within the fire and rescue service across the UK. There are currently three chief fire officers in charge of Dorset Fire and Rescue Services. A chief fire officer is the highest ranking officer in British Fire and Rescue Services. The 3 chief fire officers are members of the chief fire officers association which is the professional body representing senior fire officers in the United Kingdom.
How the new CAD System is intended to work
The new Computer Aided Dispatch System involves the design and implementation of a complex IT system-of-systems that would provide:
o networked access to up-to-date information on the nearest and most appropriate fire appliances for any incident.
o a more resilient system that supports Fire Rescue Services (FRS) in responding to major emergencies
o enhanced capability for dealing with high volumes of emergency calls.
o call handling, mobilisation and incident handling system to deploy the closest fire engine or other equipment to the scene of an incident.
The Computer Aided Dispatch System (CADS) will also provide a resilient network of nine regional control centres in Dorset supporting the mobilisation of fire and rescue service equipment and personnel to incidents. Its main IT core systems will include the mobile data terminal system to provide firefighters with electronic safety information in the cab of a fire appliance including known risks and hazards in the buildings or locality, floor plans and access, detailed instructions on how to deal with different types of chemicals or other substances, as well as a geographic information system map showing the quickest route to the incident from the current location of the firefighting appliance. A touch screen keyboard will be the main interaction function and when a message is sent to the appliance the mobile data terminal system will activate sound and light to alert the crew. Fire fighters and officers will be able to use the status messaging system to send updates to the RCCs regarding their availability – for example changing their status from ‘mobile to incident’ to ‘arrived at incident’. In any case of emergency, it is vital for the control room staff to be able to send the correct firefighting appliance to an incident as quickly as possible. The automatic vehicle location system will allow the control room staff to identify the exact location of all individual fire rescue appliances within the perimeter of each fire station thereby enabling the nearest available appliance to be sent to an incident. Once the nearest appropriate appliance has been identified, the satellite navigation system will provide fire-fighting crew with route planning information and directions to incidents.
When an emergency call arrives at the control room, it is vital for the control room staff to quickly confirm the caller’s location. The enhanced emergency calls system will display the address where an emergency call was made using a fixed phone line while the automatic location for emergence calls system will show the location of a mobile caller on a map using GPS thus helping to identify hoax calls. In some cases, an emergency caller cannot be able to provide proper address details. In such cases, the control room operator will use the geographic information system that provides an electronic map to visually determine the location of an incident. The geographic information system will also enable the fire appliance crews to use the mobile data terminal system to view information about the surrounding area of the incident such as site-specific risks and hydrant data. It is incumbent upon Dorset Fire and Rescue Services to limit the risks associated with fire rescue by providing fire fighting crews and officers with relevant, accurate & timely information in advance of and during attendance at an incident. Fire fighting crews and officers need up to date risk and hazard information associated with the incident and its environment together with additional information on the management or containment of those risks or hazards. The full premises based gazetteer integrates a map based gazetteer with a premise based risk / hazard database for Dorset County Council. It is an electronic database that uses the national land registry and property gazetteer information. The gazetteer contains the latest information on all streets, motorways, towns, villages, hamlets and other features of interest to Dorset Fire and Rescue Services.
A key feature of the new CAD system is its capability to control and coordinate a chain of emergency activities from taking and identifying an incoming emergency call, to dispatching the right resources to the incident site and keeping the control room operators and fire fighting crews updated with teal-time information. Therefore at the core of the CAD system is the mobilization and resource management system which provides these capabilities including management and recording of incidents and prioritizing alerts by incident type and location. The mobilization and resource management system enables the control room staff to identify appliances, officers, crews and equipment, based on incident type and location so as to deal with incidents. It is capable of prioritising alerts by incident type, incident location and is fully integrated with the gazetteer and geographic information systems therefore enabling it to calculate the quickest route for each appliance from its current position to the incident location. The mobilization and resource management system calculates the quickest route in terms of time and takes into account, if available, information such as exclusion zones, road closures, motorway carriageway junctions, determining access to which direction on motorways, local traffic bottlenecks (by time of day), local bridge opening / ferry times and low bridges. Once the quickest route has been calculated, the mobilization and resource management system then sends the information to the mobile data terminal system for use by the appliance crew or sends sufficient information to the mobile data terminal for the mobile data terminal system to determine the same route.
It is possible for any authorized user to enter and update the mobilization and resource management system through the geographic information system details of road closures including location, time and date of closure, specific lane closure, restricted traffic, expected duration and source of closure information including contact details. If an incident has an exclusion zone the mobilization and resource management system will show that zone on the geographic information system and will send exclusion zone details to all resources associated with the incident, to any resources in the proximity of the exclusion zone and to any resources that move into the proximity of the exclusion zone. The mobilization and resource management system will have a consistent look and feel across all screens for access, menus, selection and error notification as well as a consistent set of screen navigation and access symbols that are common to all CAD Systems. Dynamic graphics used to display the position of resources on the geographic information system map will not conflict with the actual direction of travel of those resources.
The attendance system provides the mobilization and resource management system with real time information of fire fighters on duty and, where applicable, appliances they have been allocated to. The attendance system also provides the means of recording fire fighter attendance at a fire station and allocation to appliances with associated riding positions. The equipment asset register system provides the mobilization and resource management system with details of the availability, location and status of appliance. It also records both expected and actual appliance repair times. The hydrant database system provides the mobilization and resource management system with details of the location and status of hydrants for display on the geographic information system and mobile data terminals. The officer duty system provides the mobilization and resource management system with real time indication of the availability of officers and officer’s rotas. The chemical hazard information system provides a comprehensive set of information about hazardous chemicals and is accessible from the mobile data terminal system and from the RCCs.
The CAD system needs to meet Dorset County Council’s demanding system performance requirements, including high system availability of 99.9999%, i.e. only ~32 seconds per year of down time. It should also be able to handle large data volumes. The capacity of the CAD System network should be such that in the event of the failure of up to two RCC’s, the remaining seven RCC’s can assume their full workload between them without any degradation of performance and should continue to provide service to all fire rescue services headquarters, offices and fire stations. The network should have sufficient capacity to meet the voice and data traffic requirements of the core CAD systems. Control room operators will record all calls listed by terminal ID, terminal user ID, date and time. Records will be listed in descending date and time order, i.e. the most recent recording would be presented as the first recording in the list. All data generated or recorded by the CAD systems should be stored such that the content is not and cannot be changed in any way. All data generated or recorded by the CAD systems should be stored for a minimum of 6 years from the date of the incident for evidential purposes. All authorised users should be issued with individual user accounts and the level of permissions provided should be determined by the role of the user and associated with their account. Shared accounts will not be used. Users should not be able to perform actions for which they are not authorised and permissions should be assigned to their account, and security controls implemented, to ensure this. Remote access to the CAD System should only be undertaken when explicitly authorised. The CAD System shall be able to generate reports illustrating statistics and information related to penetration attempts or security breaches associated with malicious software. In particular, the reports should state where and when a potential attack occurred, the nature of the attack and the identification of the malicious code involved. The CAD System should be capable of performing manual, scheduled and real time scanning for all malicious software, including viruses and spyware. Scanning for malicious software (including viruses and spyware) must not degrade the performance of other applications. All communications should be encrypted as determined by the risk assessment using HMG guidance to prevent disclosure of information. The CAD System should employ intrusion detection and prevention mechanisms to ensure that attacks and potential security breaches are detected and prevented. All -authorised- users of the CAD system who have additional system privileges such as network/security operations centre staff, system, security, data administrators should be cleared to at least SC Level. To provide a strong audit trail of the actions undertaken by privileged users of the system, technical solutions such as WORM (Write-Once, Read-Many) technology should be used in the operation centres. There should be no physical access to this function except for those on a need to know basis Contract to Deliver the CAD System
In October 2014, your organization was selected as the Prime IT System-of-Systems supplier and contracted:
• to design, develop and install the core resilient IT systems.
• to procure and install IT hardware and software systems in 9 Regional Control Centres (RCC), 26 Fire and Rescue Service headquarters, 50 fire stations and 200 fire engines and other equipment
• to supply operational support services, including fault repair, maintenance and data back-ups until 2018, with an option for a further three-year extension up to 2020
Your organization’s contractual obligations include the following:
• design of all CAD systems
• procurement of equipment, software and 3rd Party systems
• any bespoke development and integration required
• configuration of systems
• installation and commissioning
• integration with external systems and services
• the development and provision of documentation
• establishment of support and operational arrangements
• management of the technical aspects of cut over from existing services.
• the loading of any DCC specified data sets into the system.
Equipment or software should be deployed in the following locations:
• headquarters and other buildings belonging to fire rescue services
• fire stations
• mobile data terminal systems (appliances and officer’s cars fitted with an mobile data terminal)
• management infomation systems at fire stations, RCCs & DCC.
Your organization is also contracted to provide training for RCC staff commensurate with their role. The training should include, but need not be limited to the following:
• IT systems and associated business processes & procedures required to perform standard business tasks
• advance technical skills for Expert users who will support business/user administration tasks
• induction for new recruits who have little or no knowledge of the jobs, and the new IT systems
• behavioural skills to achieve the new way of working in RCCs
• line management skills and capabilities to build, grow and develop teams
• effective and appropriate team building activities for all staff before they start in the RCCs
• physical, environmental, personal and electronic security awareness training
• technical and behavioural skills and scenario simulations to cover, but not be limited to, the following situations:
o major incidents
o disaster recovery
o systems failure
o collaborative working (with other RCCs and other emergency services).
Your organization is also contracted to provide training for all fire-fighters, operational and support staff, which is commensurate with their role which allows them to carry out their duties in relation to the CAD System.
As the Prime Contractor your organization must ensure all relevant statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements are explicitly taken into account in the design, documentation, implementation, management and operation of the overall CAD System. This may include, but is not exclusive to:
• The Computer Misuse Act 1990
• The Data Protection Act 1998.
• The Human Rights Act 1998
• The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
• The Electronic Communications Act 2000
• The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
• The Freedom of Information Act 2004.
As the Prime Contractor your organization must also ensure that the overall CAD System is in compliance with legal restrictions on the use of material in respect of intellectual property rights, and on the use of proprietary software products.
Due to its scale and complexity, the CAD System has been conceived as an interoperable large-scale complex System-of-Systems. Your role is to produce a high-level requirements specification to demonstrate the concept of operation of the proposed system Your Coursework Task:
(Q1) Due to its complexity, the CAD System has been conceived as an interoperable complex System-of-Systems (SoS). Requirements Engineering for a SoS requires a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches”. Top-down aspects identify the SoS type, its goals and requirements. Bottom-up aspects identify constituent systems with capabilities to meet the goals and requirements of the SoS. Therefore, identifying a SoS type at the conception stage is key as it influences the entire Requirements Engineering approach.
Your first task is to identify what type of a SoS is the CAD System. Please give a detailed explanation justifying your decisions with examples, (10%)
(Q2). Since the CAD System has been conceived as a complex System of Systems some constituent systems will need to be developed while others will be acquired of-the-shelf. At the SoS-level, The CAD system will interoperate with a range of other existing systems. This presents complex system architecture. As a systems engineer it is your role to identify all KEY constituent systems – to be developed or acquired of-the-shelf. For each key constituent system briefly describe/list its core capabilities/functions or how you perceive its users will be using it (20%). To function optimally, the overall interoperable SoS must interact with other operational application systems. It is also your responsibility to identify these supporting applications systems, i.e. just identify the system and what it does (6%)
(Q3) As a System-of-Systems, CADS has stakeholders at the SoS level, at the constituent level and at the user level. These stakeholders have different or even conflicting interest on the system as whole. This presents a complex stakeholder environment. It is your role as a systems engineer to identify all KEY stakeholders, i.e. all stakeholders that either own or have an interest in the system; are affected by the system or will benefit from this system. For each stakeholder, please give a brief description of their interest in the system or how they will benefit from the system or how they will be affected by the system, i.e. their role (20%)
(Q4) An interoperable System-of-Systems like CADS has requirements at the level of the entity that is being composed, i.e. at the SoS level, requirements at the constituent system level and requirements at the user level. The SoS level requirements are emergent properties of the overall SoS and are met by the capabilities of the constituent systems. Define at least 5 (FR or NFR) SoS Level requirements for the system and at least 5 (FR or NFR) constituent system level requirements. For each requirement defined, use the VOLERE requirement shell focusing only on the Unique ReqID, Description, Rationale and Fit Criterion (20%).
(Q5) For each stakeholder group identified in (Q3), define 1 Functional Requirements (FR) and 1 Non-Functional Requirements (NFR). For each requirement defined, use the VOLERE requirement shell focusing only on the Unique ReqID, Description, Rationale and Fit Criterion (20%).
PLEASE NOTE: For NFR, use the correct type and the appropriate measurement criterion. Marks will be deducted for INCORRECT definition of requirements including incorrect unique identification and type!
(Q6) Traditionally, there are many requirements acquisition techniques available. Some techniques are suitable to acquire requirements from specific stakeholder groups. Choose 2 stakeholders identified in (Q3) and their requirements identified in (Q5) and for each stakeholder group which acquisition technique would be suitable to use. Please justify your technique selection by a brief demonstration on how you will use the chosen technique. (4%)
Please make your assumptions clear.