Shoothill are delighted to announce the launch of the West Midlands Fire Service Community Safety Strategy web application – click here to view.

West Midlands Fire Service are one of the largest full time professional fire services in the country, with responsibility for fire safety over a diverse area encompassing inner city urban areas with many vulnerable residents, many large industrial premises and rural areas, posing interesting challenges to the Fire service. To meet the challenges of enhancing fire safety in the West Midlands the Fire Service have been pioneering a community lead fire safety strategy which looks at ways of working with the community they serve to deliver first class fire prevention/education services and incident response that the West Midlands area needs. As part of this community engagement program WMFS wanted to release key data to the public to help them better understand their fire service and contribute to shaping it’s future. A broad application specification was released to competitive tender.

Shoothill were delighted to win the tender for this project and set to work using our award winning data visualisation experience to meet the brief. The three key requirements of the tender were:

1.) Make sense of the large amount of incident and planning data WMFS have accumulated over a number of years.
2.) Show how WMFS use ONS data to inform their prevention and response planning activities.
3.) Clearly explain the WMFS overall service plan and how it relates to all the activities WMFS undertake.

Shoothill began by analysing the entire WMFS incident response database since 2010, applying data cleansing and anonymisation where necessary, then a thorough analysis of all appropriate ONS statistical data such as deprivation, age profiles and unemployment rates was performed, finally Shoothill worked closely with WMFS to understand how all this data relates to service planning. The next stage of the process involved a wireframe and mocking up exercise using the ideas developed in the initial tender coupled with key outcomes from the detailed data analysis phase. This allows us to clearly communicate our design ideas for this project. As always the design phase was an iterative process based on customer feedback and user trials, once complete Shoothill began the software implementation phase.

To deliver the right kind of application Shoothill made extensive use of Google Fusion Tables allowing us to filter up to 100,000 incident records across 30 different datasets and render them on a map in real time. Service planning was overlaid against response data to help users understand how key decisions have been made. The whole application was designed and built with a mobile first design methodology with careful attention to accessibility on mobile devices. Finally during build a requirement to integrate the CSS application with WMFS website fire station locator was identified. This allowed the public to find their nearest fire station and review the assets at each station and interact with the station via social media. This allowed WMFS to enhance the individual fire station data available to the public and demonstrated the flexibility of the software developed by the Shoothill team.

Jason Davies, Team Leader of the Data Innovation Hub at WMFS, said:

“We were very impressed with the way Shoothill visualised data on GaugeMap and CheckMyFloodRisk, and consequently chose them in a competitive procurement process, to design and develop our online Community Safety Strategy. We enjoyed a positive and open relationship throughout the project, and we are extremely pleased with the final product, which is receiving glowing feedback from across the sector. We look forward to working with Shoothill in a number of different areas in the future.”