Tasmania's ESCAD reaches first milestone

By Jonathan Nally
Thursday, 12 October, 2017

Tasmania's ESCAD reaches first milestone

In the first step of its rollout, Tasmania’s new Emergency Services Computer-Aided Dispatch (ESCAD) system is now being used by Tasmania Police.

The Tasmanian Government has committed more than $17 million to the ESCAD project, the contract for which was awarded to Fujitsu and local Tasmanian firm Synateq.

The system will eventually be used by all of the state’s emergency services agencies, providing for greater cooperation and visibility across the island.

“This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our emergency response departments, resulting in both increased safety for those on the frontline and more Tasmanian lives saved in emergency situations,” said Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management.

“An integrated communications and dispatch system was ignored by Labor during their 16 years in office despite numerous calls from stakeholders for its implementation, and it has taken a majority Liberal government to provide this important upgrade in our first term.”

The next service to start using the system will be Ambulance Tasmania, with a ‘go-live’ date of 28 November 2017, followed by the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service in 2018.

When Critical Comms spoke with Tasmania’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Scott Tilyard, last year, he said that the CAD system then used by Tasmania Police was built in-house nearly 30 years ago and that it had done an “exceptionally good job”.

“But it’s at end of life, so that was really a catalyst for us to look at a replacement system,” he said.

“And, of course, these days the question needs to be asked, what is the whole-of-government benefit we can get from this?” he added. “Rather than just replacing a system for police, we needed to look more broadly to a common system for emergency services and police.

“And certainly in some other places in the country that has already been done,” he said. “So it was agreed that we would move to a common system and it would be used by all of the services and, for the first time, give SES a dedicated CAD capability as well.”

Tasmania also operates an interim interoperability gateway, which enables the disparate emergencies agencies to communicate with each other.

Pictured: Rene Hidding, Tasmania Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, viewing the new ESCAD system.

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