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West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service Wins Technology Exemplar Award

Posted: 13 December 2011

West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service has recently transformed its IT assets to reduce costs and improve the quality of its service delivery.
Key to the success of this transition is 'CHIMP' - an, innovative, highly functional and cost-effective technological response to the increasing demands placed on gazetteer software which manages addresses in the modern emergency service.
CHIMP has been awarded with the 2011 National Gazetteers Technology Exemplar Award and following an audience vote at the Everything Happens Somewhere conference on the 3 November 2011 in Nottingham, the Overall Exemplar winner. The award recognised the innovative use of the National Gazetteers and the use of open source technology to realise significant operational efficiencies and cost savings.
CHIMP was designed to bring together previously disparate databases such as flood data from the Environment Agency, water hydrant information from water companies and telephone kiosks from BT. CHIMP includes data extraction, transformation and load tools. Using the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) as a base CHIMP has been used to create or modify over 1 million pieces of data to assist in the correct identification of locations during emergency call outs and other brigade duties.
Created using open source technology it is estimated that CHIMP has resulted in savings in the region of half a million pounds per annum on software licences and other supplier costs. In addition CHIMP has already been used to target, administer and prioritise over 120,000 Home Safety Checks across the West Midlands and Staffordshire and has enabled a recent 'Risk Area Modelling' project to inform and visualise high profile policy decisions.
"We had a bold, all encompassing vision for our corporate gazetteer expressed through a comprehensive list of clearly defined objectives. By realising and exceeding these expectations we have delivered an NLPG based solution capable of serving one of the busiest fire control rooms in the UK. We have also created something that can be adopted and developed by other emergency service and partner organisations," commented Tim Needham, Software Architect, West Midlands Fire Service.
The 2011 Exemplar Awards were presented by GeoPlace and aim to share, reward and celebrate best practice, which brings service improvements and efficiencies through the effective management of address and street information. Winners of the 2011 Exemplar Awards will be documented into a case studies booklet that will be made available via the GeoPlace website.


GeoPlace contact:
Gayle Gander
Head of Marketing
[email protected]
T 020 7747 3500
Notes to editors
GeoPlace is a public sector limited liability partnership between the Local Government Group and Ordnance Survey. GeoPlace's role is to create and maintain the National Address Gazetteer Database and the National Street Gazetteer for England and Wales, providing definitive sources of publicly-owned spatial address and street data to the market through Ordnance Survey. Through agreement with Scotland's Improvement Service Company, the plan is to extend the coverage to Scotland.
National Address Gazetteer Database
The National Address Gazetteer Database, managed by GeoPlace, is the data storage and internal set of processes bringing together the existing local authority sourced Local Land and Property Gazetteers (LLPGs) together with Ordnance Survey, Valuation Office Agency and Royal Mail data from which the AddressBase products are produced
Local Government Association
The Local Government Association is a political organisation that is run by its members. The LGA always strives to agree a common cross-party position on issues and to speak with one voice on behalf of local government. It aims to set the political agenda and speak in the national media on the issues that matter to council members
Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey is Great Britain's national mapping agency, providing the most accurate and up-to-date geographic data, relied on by government, business and individuals. Ordnance Survey utilises the National Address Gazetteer Database in the creation of the AddressBase range of products available for use in both the public and commercial sectors.
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