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Central Scotland Fire and Rescue LAN

Highly Secure Wireless LAN solution - Seamlessly transmitting crucial data, from vehicle to depot, and improving emergency service

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Background
Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Services (CSFRS) manage a total of 18 fire stations in the Central Scotland area from its headquarters at Maddiston Station, Falkirk.  These headquarters are situated only a short journey from most of the Services’ fire stations and within minutes of the giant Petro-Chemical complex at Grangemouth, which ranks among the largest in Europe. This in conjunction with the large number of docks and timber yards in the region, make the Central Scotland area one of the largest fire risk areas in the country.

CSFRS receive approximately 10,000 emergency calls per year, for fires, road traffic accidents and other incidents.

Challenge
CSFRS was looking to deploy a highly secure, integrated and centrally managed wireless LAN to seamlessly and efficiently transmit critical emergency data from various types of ICT equipment. 

The network was required to meet very stringent security requirements as well as provide wireless service, initially, to 18 locations. Additionally it was paramount that the solution was scalable and flexible to be able to respond, grow and adapt in the future.

The key deliverable of the network was to quickly identify when a Fire Engine entered any station, at which point the network would authenticate with the Fire Engines embedded PC to collect the emergency data and transmit it immediately to a central location. In addition, the network would be required to provide access for corporate laptops within any of the given locations.

Solution
Boston Networks designed a resilient wireless LAN to deliver high performance and end-to-end security between vehicles, depots and the central location.

The solution uses ‘thin’ wireless access points at each of the 18 stations, all of which are remotely managed by a centrally located, secure, wireless controller.

In addition the following features have also been incorporated:

  • Centrally managed VPN connectivity
  • Capacity to provide coverage for other uses, including laptops, handheld devices, tablet PCs

Moreover, by uniquely integrating security components the solution is both highly robust and secure to guarantee the swift transmission of critical emergency data.

Benefits
Boston Networks delivered a truly scalable solution, which is capable of almost doubling in size. The Wireless LAN provides the best value for CSFRS by integrating security components and requiring the minimum number of access points per site as well as granting remote access for flexible workers.

The intelligent network quickly identifies when a vehicle enters any one of the 18 fire stations and seamlessly transmits the critical onboard emergency data, straight to a central location.  Such a seamless process greatly speeds up the flow of communication thus improving the response of the emergency service.

Key Features 
The bespoke design has simplified management and proven cost effective for CSFRs:

  • Any fire engine may authenticate against the system at any fire station location.
  • Expansion of the system is simple
  • Added resiliency by identifying if any access points was to disconnect or appear offline
  • Centralised management 

Client Testimony
"Boston Networks has done a very professional job designing and implementing our Aruba wireless networks and we would be happy to work with Boston Networks in the future".

Steven Brown, Senior Technical Consultant 

18

Stations Remotely Monitored

Centrally 

Centrally Managed VPN

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