Firefighters serving with New Zealand Fire Service will benefit from improved safety and communication while working in fire grounds through an innovative two-way radio solution.
The new solution from Motorola Solutions and Spark will enable the service’s 10,000 career and volunteer firefighters to stay connected to their colleagues in the field via reliable and robust voice communication.
Having attended around 73,000 incidents in the past year alone, New Zealand Fire Service needs the best tools for the job. The organisation will receive more than 4,500 new radios designed for use in the most severe fire ground environments.
A major feature of the solution is a cornerstone Motorola Solutions innovation, a remote speaker microphone that will be fully integrated within firefighters’ breathing apparatus. This will be combined with the radio’s convenient push-to-talk button, which enables firefighters to communicate easily and safely in the harshest conditions.
Paul Baxter, Chief Executive & National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, said, “Communication is critical to safety on the incident ground, and much of that communication comes from the use of incident ground control (IGC) radio. That’s why we were so exacting in our requirements for these new radios.”
“The radios will help us to resolve radio interface issues with firefighters’ breathing apparatus while also delivering improved noise cancellation and battery life.”
By using a combination of single and multiband radios operating across both VHF and UHF bands, the solution aligns with the fire service’s vision of leading integrated fire and emergency services for a safer New Zealand.
“This radio solution enables us to move away from using a mix of models and frequencies and toward a nationally consistent standard that will make it easier to work with our emergency service partners,” Baxter said.
Murray Mitchell, Director ICT for the New Zealand Fire Service, said, “We wanted a solution that is safe, easy to use and doesn’t distract firefighters from their work during critical incidents.The design features incorporated in these new radios will help our firefighters work more safely and efficiently.”
Spark will provide in-country support including service management and a customer support desk.
Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles said: “Radios are life-saving tools for our emergency services, and great team communication can be the difference between a managed incident and a disaster. We are very proud to play a part in improving the on-ground experience for our Kiwi Fire Service heroes.”
Motorola Solutions Managing Director for New Zealand and Australia Steve Crutchfield said the solution drew on his company’s experience in providing tailored, mission-critical communications for public safety agencies all over the world.
“Firefighters depend on reliable and robust voice communications in emergency situations so they can concentrate on the job of protecting our communities and potentially saving lives,” Crutchfield said.
The radios are part of a five-year contract, giving New Zealand Fire Service operational and cost certainty throughout the life of the contract.
The contract also provides access provisions for related government agencies wanting to take advantage of the new radio technology.