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Police, Fire and Emergency Management – 000 ESTA

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Police, Ambulances, Firefighters

Dr WOODRUFF - Okay. This is a multi-service question and it is about a 000 ESTA system -

Mrs PETRUSMA - Sorry?

Dr WOODRUFF - It is an emergency communication information services system. It is a system established in Victoria. In Tasmania, if someone rings 000, Telstra answers first and they direct the person to one of three separate services: fire, ambulance or police but Victoria has established an Emergency Services Telecommunications Centre where all of those communications come together in one centre. It has police, fire and emergency and ambulance personnel in the centre and all call takers can respond. They are all there. It is not that there is not a lack of intelligence and expertise, but it has potentially, greater efficiencies in terms of a single telecommunication system and it has the potential for surge capacity in extreme event situations. During the fire season, police and ambulance specialists can respond to fire season calls and provide service supports.

I am not proposing this and I am not saying it is a gold standard, but will you investigate the values of an ESTA system for Tasmania?

Mrs PETRUSMA - I am delighted in Tasmania we actually have the ESCAD system. The Emergency Services Computer Aided Dispatch system and the 000 projects were completed, providing all emergency services - police, fire, ambulance and the Tasmania State Emergency Service with a common contemporary dispatch and call receipt system supported by a single business unit within the Department of Police, Fire & Emergency Management back in 2019. We have been on the ESCAD system since 2019 and that enables an integrated dispatch platform across all emergency services, as well as offering enhanced information-sharing across all emergency services dispatch centres.

The 000 system provides greater system redundancy, a contemporary call distribution system, significant noise reduction, a simple computer interface to make and receive calls, the ability to monitor activity and real-time reporting and it is going very well. It also ties in with my Lands portfolio into the EGIS system we have there where we can track all of them at the same time. There is a lot of work going across Government to make this a really integrated system project.

Dr WOODRUFF - My understanding from speaking to someone in ambulance dispatch is there is a separation for ambulances. Maybe, I have been misinformed. It was coming from the ambulance sector wondering whether there would be value in efficiencies across all three sectors.

Comm HINE - I am not sure if you have read the media is reporting significant issues with the Victorian system and there has been a review by the former Chief Commissioner, Graham Ashton. There are a lot of issues they need to resolve. I think our system is a much better system. We do have redundancies between ambulance, fire and police and we have practiced it and trained it. If one area goes down - whether it is a fire or alarm or whatever - we can actually replicate our systems right across the three emergency services. I think ours is a much better system. We do have those redundancies and the Government investment invested significant money to make sure we have a common operating platform.

Dr WOODRUFF - And surge capacity.

Comm HINE - And surge capacity that the system allows for. I think our system is better than the Victorian system. Obviously, ambulance may have their own views and I can only talk about having the common platform from a fire and police perspective.