Surrey & West Sussex Fire Services launch Capita’s emergency video software

Date Published

29/04/2021

Reading time

3 mins read

Surrey and West Sussex are the two latest fire and rescue services planning to go live with Capita’s 999eye live video-streaming and location-finding service.

Supporting 50 fire stations across both counties and covering an area of almost 1,400 square miles, 999eye enables emergency operators to have ‘eyes’ on the scene to help assess the severity of the incident and ensure the most appropriate response is quickly mobilised. The service is set to go live this weekend, on May 1.

When a 999 call is received, the caller will be asked if they would like to provide a live video stream of the scene using their smartphone. Using 999eye, the control room operator will send a text message with a secure, one-time-use link that opens a live stream direct from the smartphone to the control room.

The software will then send the caller’s GPS to the emergency control room to pinpoint their exact location. In the case of some fire emergencies, due to distress or uncertainty, the location and circumstances can be unclear when communicated over the phone to an operator. 999eye reduces the potential for confusion by providing a real-time picture of the incident and its whereabouts.

Multiple users can view the 999eye live streams, if required, including control room supervisors, senior officers and the responding crew attending the scene. As such, the software will also enable emergency operators to advise on public safety and warn people away from potential danger. 

No app is required from the user and no other data is taken from or stored on the caller’s phone.

Paul Eggleton, managing director of Capita Secure Solutions and Services, said: “It’s great news for the people of Surrey and West Sussex that their fire and rescue services will go live with our game-changing location-finding and video-streaming software. 999eye is an example of digital innovation working hand-in-hand with local fire and rescue personnel to facilitate the quickest and safest response possible in the event of an emergency.”

Dan Quin, deputy chief fire officer, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our operators are under pressure to collect detailed information as quickly as possible from the second a call comes in. Having access to a live video stream of events as they unravel will help evaluate risk, support decision making and deliver better services to our communities."

Jon Lacey, assistant chief officer, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have been working with Surrey Fire for a year now as a joint mobilising service serving our communities. The implementation of this new live-streaming feature in our control room is another example of the benefits of working together as a joint service.”