Helping empower Queensland firefighters with new technology
“Imagine yourself in a 4WD in the middle of the bush, you’re with two other people, there’s lots of smoke, flames, animals going everywhere, you’ve lost track of your location, and can’t communicate with anybody beyond the vehicle. Put yourself in that space…” When the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) came to us after one of the worst fire seasons Queensland had ever seen, and with the job to help empower people in similar situations as above, we were determined to help.
“This project has been a catalyst for change in our agency.”
After the QFES gained funding, they were able to upgrade their technology. Tony, the Chief Superintendent for the Rural Fire Service / QFES and Paul, Manager of Operations for the Rural Fire Service (RFS) saw this as an excellent opportunity to upgrade their information flow technology. As a vital part of emergency response and collaboration, information flow unites teams and empowers people with a better vision and understanding of what’s happening when fighting and responding to fire threats across the QLD region. QRFS volunteers were the focus of the project. Paul and his team developed new applications that allow volunteers and others on the front line to connect with live intel collected by others and add to that live intel from any location. Over seven hundred tablets were purchased and needed to be fully functional and delivered ready for the RFS teams across the region.
The project’s goal was to connect and empower everyone across the RFS and keep teams on the same page in real-time. QFES is a multi-layered organisation, meaning change can be challenging, especially when dealing with new technology and various age groups. Roll out of new tech is a significant process, even for the simple things – this was a multi-focused project that we at Truis were proud to be part of.
“Truis have been excellent. Throughout the process, I have brought in questions left of field, and they have jumped on the journey and helped me solve them without any hesitation.”
We wanted to keep things as collaborative and straightforward as possible throughout the project. First, we began by taking the time to understand Tony, Paul and their objective. From there, we put together a test device, refined it, and pitched it to the QFES team. After everybody was happy, we mapped out our process to ensure everybody was on the same page before moving forward.
The Truis team provided project management, software and configuration, hardware configuration, logistics, deployment and protective equipment for each device. We used Meraki, a cloud solution that allows users to manage their network of devices via a simple and secure single platform. And, to add an extra layer of protection, Sophos Antivirus was included with the 700 tablets.
After the tablet and equipment preparation, we handled the logistics and shipped them to multiple locations across Queensland to be installed in the QRFS vehicles. All of the logistics and preparation was performed in-house by the Truis team at our headquarters to ensure a smooth and secure process. With each device delivered, we included a flyer that clearly explained how everything worked. We also provided ongoing support through an on-call support service to ensure complete confidence when rolling out each device and educating users.
“Working with Truis was like an enjoyable and secure rollercoaster ride into the unknown.”
By taking the time to properly connect with the QFES team, we were able to help turn an overwhelming situation into a catalyst for change in the RFS in Qld. But more importantly, the people on the ground who protect us from fire threats now have greater decision-making capabilities and can have a better understanding of what’s happening where.
Since the tablets have rolled out, 12 more apps have been developed. It’s been a team effort, and here at Truis, we are happy to help enable new opportunities for the QFES and enjoyed working with Paul, Tony and their team.
“Rural Fire Services are paradigm-shifting, and Truis has been a critical partner in making this shift.”