Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service launches state of the art incident control units

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled the latest additions to its fleet. An Incident Command Unit (ICU) together with its sister appliance, the Multi Role Vehicle (MRV) have been developed in partnership with Excelerate Technology.

Press Release (PressBurner) Jan 27, 2009 - Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled the latest additions to its fleet – the Incident Command Unit (ICU) together with its sister appliance, the Multi Role Vehicle (MRV).  Both vehicles have been developed in partnership with Excelerate Technology, the UK’s leading supplier of satellite and wireless-based data, voice and video solutions for the emergency services.  

The state of the art unit will attend incidents across the county. They are packed full of the latest satellite and communications technology and are designed to function as standalone command and control facilities – in fact, senior officers can run Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service operations from the ICU if necessary.

The launch took place on Friday 23rd January on the Long Walk in Windsor. Windsor MP, Adam Afriye, Reading West MP Martin Salter, Slough MP Fiona MacTaggart and The Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead joined Dr Paul Bryant, the Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Fire Authority Members, Chief Fire Officer Iain Cox, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Olaf Baars, who led the ICU project, together with officers from other fire and rescue services.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Olaf Baars, said:  “These vehicles will play a key part in ensuring that we are able to meet our statutory duty under the Civil Contingencies Act to maintain operational functionality regardless of circumstances.  The multi-role vehicle will be used for community outreach work in helping us work with our communities to make them safer but it can also function as forward incident command unit and communications hub when required.  

“The ICU provides a 21st-century platform for incident command, not only in terms of its technological capabilities in terms of operations but because of its capacity to act as a multi-agency command centre, linking directly to police and other emergency response organisations.  I would like to thank the Fire Authority for its support for this major project and to the suppliers themselves for their hard work and commitment in developing these impressive vehicles.”

According to David Savage, CEO of Excelerate Technology, the company that has been responsible for some of the largest and most advanced mobile command and control vehicles for fire and rescues services throughout the UK:  “We are pleased to have played such an active role in helping RBFRS become a leading pioneer in the development and application of innovative communications solutions for emergency planning and management applications.  The Royal County of Berkshire will be one of the first regions to achieve true interoperability with sharing of information well on the way to fruition.”

Huw Owen, business development director for WH Bence, the coachbuilder responsible for the vehicle itself, said:  “As one of Europe’s leading specialist vehicle designers, we were delighted to be approached with this commission by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue.  This project was enjoyable and challenging to work on, from the very start of the design process to the handing over of the vehicle itself, because this was a very demanding specification.  It was essential that only the highest quality standards of build quality, fabrication and finishing were applied and the experience of our in-house teams shows in the final result.”

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Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 10:51am
Additional Tags: 
mobile satellite, emergency services, incident response, command and control