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Unisys Sounds Internet Protocol Alarm

4 July 2005

Unisys Sounds Internet Protocol Alarm for New Zealand Fire Service

Unisys has won a new contract to supply, operate and support a new IP-based alarm monitoring and messaging system for the New Zealand Fire Service so that it can better manage emergency alarms.

The Signal Transport System Message Handling Server (STSMHS) will allow the Fire Service to migrate its current Alarm Transport Service (ATS) infrastructure to an IP-enabled alarm message handling system. The system activates and automatically responds to alarm events and routes and monitors messages, all of which help prepare and safeguard New Zealanders from fire and the damage it causes.

Unisys designed the Fire Service’s current ATS system, which runs over Telecom’s X.25 packet switching network.

The Fire Service wanted to migrate to a lower cost IP-centric environment and capability, particularly as the X.25 network is to be phased out over the next 24 months.

Under the new contract, Unisys will develop, integrate and provide training and support for the custom-built alarm management communication solution. It will install third party PC and LAN hardware and software, and maintain and support applications software and hardware platforms. It will also host and operate a first and second level help desk from the Unisys Data Centre in Kapiti.

“The New Zealand Fire Service undertook a tough and robust tender process and we are very satisfied with the result,” says Dr Paula Beever, Director Fire Risk Management, New Zealand Fire Service. “We believe Unisys has the experience and capability to deliver this system on time. We are likewise confident in Unisys’ technical skills and project management ability.”

For the Fire Service, the new message interface protocol will support a greater range of messages and enable the Fire Service to obtain and analyse a broader range of event information. It delivers a simultaneous real-time routing of alarm event messages and high availability. While it will reduce the overall cost of managing alarms, it allows the Fire Service to retain a centralised alarm handling service but also decentralises alarm capture and transmission to multiple service and network providers.

“We designed and currently provide the system used by the Fire Service,” says Brett Hodgson, GM Outsourcing and Infrastructure Services, Unisys New Zealand. “We understood the infrastructure and operational requirements they were looking for and were confident of our ability to deliver without a partner.”

“We’re delighted with this opportunity to further demonstrate our competency in mission critical and life-dependent solutions,” adds Brett.

This system will enable the Fire Service to better manage its emergency services delivered by 1,500 full time fire-fighters, 8,000 volunteers and 3,000 rural personnel with 900 appliances in 435 fire stations around New Zealand.

Along with its role of extinguishing fires when they occur and promoting fire safety, the Fire Service aims to reduce the incidence and consequences of fire and to provide a professional response to other emergencies. As well as protecting life, the Fire Service’s automatic fire alarm system protects the property of over 17,000 directly connected fire alarm owners in New Zealand.


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