A new tool to provide accurate, up-to-date information about the availability of volunteers, and others, to respond to fire and emergencies is expected to be ready later this year.

Our priority is to move the 70 or so brigades currently using Volunteer Availability Communications System (VACS) to the new AMS. In the meantime, existing VACs terminals are currently being replaced with new devices (called Station Kiosks) to provide greater reliability for VACs users now, and they can use these to run the replacement system, AMS, when it becomes available.

The intention is that the AMS will then become available nationally to stations that wish to use it.

Last week Intergen was confirmed as the developer of the national system. The design for the AMS will be based on the small scale prototype developed, and tested, by the AMS Reference Group earlier this year.

With the project reaching this important milestone, Nigel Lilley, the project’s ‘business owner’, AMS Reference Group member, and Chief Fire Officer, Rolleston, is now in Wellington a few days a week working on the AMS.

“It’s a newly created temporary role, but will consist of working very closely alongside the vendor,” says Nigel. “The team and I will be continually testing the project build and approving the user experience right throughout the build. It’s really important to get this right to work for every brigade up and down the country.”

The AMS is intended to:

  • Make it easy for operational personnel to flag their availability ahead of time
  • Give leaders visibility of the availability for a brigade, group, skills at a local, regional and national level
  • Allow operational personnel able to easily indicate their response to a fire or emergency, allowing a brigade to have visibility of the people and skills who are responding.
  • Provide local leaders with sufficient information about the personnel (and their skill sets) responding
  • Make it easy to communicate directly with different groups or brigades as needed.

Find out more, including the project’s timeline and a list of who is on the AMS Reference Group, here.

We’re building an AMS that you can easily update on your phone. This is what one feature of it may look like.

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