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Parity provides new portal for Fire Gateway launch


Fire Gateway launches to provide citizens and businesses with closer links to England’s Fire Services.

Parity, the IT and Business services company, have announced that Angela Smith, Minister for the Fire and Rescue Service, has now publicly launched the Fire Gateway portal, after a successful pilot period.

Parity built the portal in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), England’s Fire Services and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, which led the project. The portal brings together a collection of fire safety resources and services aimed at providing premises owners with the information they need in order to comply with the fire safety Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) and general information about fire safety in the home.

The Fire Gateway will also enable citizens and premises owners to access services online, such as requesting a visit from their local fire service, applying for licences to store flammable goods like petrol and fireworks and testing to see if they have the attributes to be a firefighter in the modern fire and rescue service.

“The Fire Gateway will help to build on the incredible work already carried out by the service across England,” commented Barry Dixon, County Fire Officer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. “It will provide a national online facility which will further help to educate, provide vital safety advice, allow the public to submit requests for services for our professional help and support, share information and build partnerships with communities and businesses, all of which will ultimately help to make homes and businesses throughout England even safer.”

The Fire Gateway portal allows citizens, businesses and schools to request an educational visit from the local fire authority to raise awareness of fire safety, as well as to request a home visit to assess the property’s potential fire risk. The portal also provides online forms allowing people and businesses to conduct a fire risk self-assessment of their home or business property.

The portal is a national e-government project designed to help save lives and modernise the fire and rescue services in line with recent e-government requirements. It creates a central area for the public to access information 24/7 and, for the first time, provides a secure network on a national basis making it easier to communicate securely between the 46 fire authorities in England. The large scale technology integration by Parity will make it easier for fire services to develop effective partnerships with each other and other community organisations.

The portal will focus on prevention and education, which in turn will help the fire service meet a public sector agreement (PSA) target which has been set to reduce the number of accidental fire-related deaths in the home by 20% and the number of deliberate fires by 10% by 2010.

“The Fire and Rescue Service has always been recognised for its excellence and professionalism when dealing with emergencies but it is now increasingly focusing on fire prevention work, to great effect,” commented Angela Smith. “The Fire Gateway has been developed to provide advice and support to the public to reduce the risk of fires occurring in the first place.”

“We are extremely pleased to have been able to deliver a complex public sector IT project of this scale to budget, to specification and with the ability to scale up to meet future developments, said Dave Conkleton, Managing Director of Parity Business Solutions. “The Fire Gateway portal has raised the bar for what the public can expect from e-government initiatives and has set a new precedent for the way services and education is delivered to the public. We have very much enjoyed being part of such an exciting and successful project.”

The project has been funded by the DCLG for £2.2m and includes three years of support from Parity.

About Parity:
Parity, uniquely for its size, offers a full range of IT services to major companies including:

Business process consultancy, change management training, management training, technology training, programming training, development and management of complex IT systems, oracle and Microsoft technology and application skills, permanent and temporary IT staff

Customers across the group include Alcatel, Allianz, British American Tobacco, CISCO, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Department for Work & Pensions, Glaxo Smith Kline, HBOS, Hewlett Packard, HSBC, IBM, Ministry of Defence, Department for Health, O2, Perot Systems, Royal Bank of Scotland, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, The Cabinet Office, T-Systems, Invest NI, Northern Ireland Electricity, The Charity Commission and Scottish Power


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