Bouches-du-Rhône Fire Brigade Modernizes Response with I/CAD

To better manage large call volume and reduce emergency response times, Bouches-du-Rhône Fire & Rescue implemented a computer-aided dispatch system to enhance its capacity for managing large forest fires while increasing the availability of its firefighters and equipment.

The Challenge

The Bouches-du-Rhône region of France is not only favored by tourists, but is also an important industrial region. It is renowned for its large forest fires and demands a strong public safety organization like Bouches-du-Rhône Fire & Rescue.

The command and control center for the brigade in Marseille receives all emergency calls from within the department and responds to a wide range of events, including forest fires, accidents at sea, mountain climbing accidents, industrial site events, and medical emergencies, many of which involve tourists.

The brigade needed to speed up its emergency response time, provide automatic location identification and messaging from the field, enhance its capacity to manage large forest fires, and increase the availability of firefighters and equipment.

The Solution

To better manage its large call volume, Bouches-du-Rhône Fire & Rescue selected Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s industry-leading, computer-aided dispatch (I/CAD) system. The system incorporates various telephony interfaces, including automatic location identification and messaging using mobile phones. The system also integrates vector maps for the entire street network, main building footprints, and aerial photos of the region. This has enabled the brigade to modernize its safety procedures for faster and more efficient response and also improve the quality of information provided to local authorities.

Sixteen call-takers / dispatchers, two supervisors, and 22 remote dispatchers use the I/CAD system. All 67 fire stations are connected to I/CAD via ISDN analog / digital radio. A portion of the brigade’s fleet of vehicles is equipped with automatic vehicle location and mobile data terminals, allowing firefighters to update the status of the vehicle directly from the field. This resulted in a more balanced response to emergencies across the region and increased the availability of firefighters and equipment.

In addition to the I/CAD system, Hexagon partnered with brigade firefighting units to provide an advanced modelling and decision-support tool, known as FireTactic. The module uses meteorological data to predict a fire’s progress, enabling Bouches-du-Rhône to analyze situations and adapt its response in real time. This helps optimize firefighting and resources while reducing costs, increasing the brigade’s capacity to manage major fires.

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