Executel Scoops Fire Service Contract

North East voice and data specialist Executel has fought off stiff competition from communications providers across the UK to win a prestigious contract with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

Gateshead-based Executel has been awarded the significant service provider contract which covers the provision of IP telephony, low cost routing/billing services and wholesale line rentals.

Due for completion later this month, Executel’s telephony solution will link the headquarters of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service in Framwellgate Moor with 15 remote stations spread across County Durham and Darlington including two new builds in addition to a hosted data centre located at Silverlink in Newcastle.

The net result being that the organisation’s geographically dispersed sites are connected to a single corporate voice network, which in turn enables them to operate and communicate in a cost-effective manner as if under the one roof, whilst also benefiting from free internal calls between all sites, fewer line rentals and reduced maintenance for outdated systems.

Of the investment in new technology, Lee D’Arcy, Telecommunications Manager for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We receive approximately 16,500 emergency calls each year, responding to over 8,500 incidents. As a service, we operate from 15 different locations and it is therefore essential that our communications network is fit for purpose and reliable. We are delighted with the progress so far with the roll out of the upgraded system which has already brought significant improvements in terms of reliability and cost.“

Executel Account Manager, Craig Hutcheson, added: “County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service was looking for a standardised communications infrastructure with the flexibility to support its geographical spread.

“We have therefore taken the organisation’s existing telephony platform and built on it – rather than replacing it – to deliver a solid foundation of IP features and applications, desktop solutions and call management.

“Moreover, given the potentially critical nature of some of the calls coming into the Fire and Rescue Service, we have focused heavily on resilience and back up for the telephony solution provided. Fire stations have strict measures in place that ensure the re-routing of calls to a secondary controller in the event of a system malfunction as well as failover connectivity direct to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) in case a problem occurs with the fire service’s Wide Area Network.”

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