COMPUTER experts have helped firefighters create a unique piece of software to help tackle blazes before they begin.
Sunderland software business Orcuma teamed up with Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Investigation Team to build the database, which spots trends in fires.
The Fire Investigation Service, which protects more than 600,000 residents, used to rely on paper reports, which were time-consuming, expensive to store and difficult to share with partners such as the police.
Instead, they worked with Orcuma to create FIRsT (Fire Investigation Reporting Tool) – the first piece of software in the UK designed exclusively for fire investigators.
Lee Aspery, fire investigation manager, said: “We were looking for a piece of software which would allow our officers to capture and record notes, witness statements and images in a much more efficient way than we could before.
“To keep the public safe, we also needed to respond more strategically to problems like arson – understanding developing trends, patterns and problem areas at the earliest opportunity to allow ourselves and our partners to better co-ordinate and efforts and make better use of our resources.”