West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service is responsible for providing services to 2 million people in local communities and businesses, over an area of 800 square miles in the north of England. The fire brigade is at the forefront of cutting-edge IT solutions for public safety organisations, but needed to improve collaboration between teams and within departments.

The vision that emerged around creating a digital hub for information storage and retrieval also involved making it easier to work with statutory partners, including other emergency services and local authorities.

The new digital information hub, built using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 by specialist Microsoft partner Black Marble, gives West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service a central location for its business assets and information for the first time.

The specialist teams within West Yorkshire’s Fire & Rescue Service —for example, officers who are working on fire investigation projects—find the collaboration technology especially useful and value the ability to tag photographs for easy retrieval. Previously, information about, for example, arsonists, was held in silos, resulting in delays in following up suspected arson attacks using manual cross checks. With all this information held in one data repository, it is much easier to search and conduct enquiries across the organisation.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service is now working smarter with a single digital hub for document storage and retrieval, combined with an environment to handle development of business-critical applications and is delighted to share its experience and learnings with other fire and rescue services that are visiting West Yorkshire to see how the solution works and why user adoption has been so rapid.

You can read the full story of West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service's digital hub using SharePoint Server 2010 here.

Posted by Dan