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Update on Special Interest Groups

Since our rallying cry back in November, some of the SIGs have made excellent progress with a significant number of volunteers participating, reviewing and critiquing material. Not all the SIGs are progressing at the same rate however – they are all very individual in terms of objectives and timelines and the doors are still open for further contributors.

SIG001 - Testing of Analogue Alarm Systems on Digital Networks

The activity of SIG001 Testing of Analogue Alarm Systems on Digital Networks is to assist the forward planning and risk management of TEC services offered by TSA members, through encouragement of structured testing to examine the impact of digital telecommunications upgrades on TEC systems.

In this first phase we are focusing on the testing of current (analogue) alarms on a mixture of old and new networks. We do not know yet whether analogue alarms will be able to continue in operation after the A2D changeover (2025), but we at least need to know where the biggest issues are, and hence where we should prioritise our efforts.

We consider that a common test specification is needed, so that informed decisions can be made across multiple technology providers of both alarm products and Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs).

We have researched the subject, the risks and challenges, and we now need to translate these learnings into a definition of testing.

The next step is to agree the scope of testing, so we are now asking our SIG001 group to consider a number of points relating to. Followed by a Q&A call and the creation of a technical summary of the proposed test combinations by end of February.

This test summary will be sent to suppliers with a follow up briefing call asking for review and comments before publication and ensuing comms.

This is a process that has started and will continue to roll out over the coming months – the more data that is gathered the more robust and informative the results. Therefore, if you’d like to jump in to review and contribute we are accepting new contributors - please show your interest to

SIG 003: Operational Guidance on Interaction with Emergency Services

Following the wider launch of this group as part of the Special Interest Group project and the great feedback we received from the workshop at conference, the work on SIG 003: Operational Guidance on Interaction with Emergency Services is progressing well.

There was some strong content for two triage tools developed by a small editing group of service providers, which is being supported by representatives from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC). The members of this particular group has now grown significantly, with 26 organisations views being represented.

This wider group has now had chance to review the work so far and made constructive comments, AACE and NFCC have also had opportunity to comment and offer good advice. There is an editing group meeting in February to continue to develop the tools to enhance and fill the gaps within them, which will then be presented to the wider group for further comment. The group is now also being supported by the Northern Alliance of Ambulance Services (a collective of 4 ambulance services in the North of England), who are funding a full time project manager to work with the group, which aligns with their wider strategy to reduce the volume of unwanted conveyances.

It is intended that the triage tools will be completed by November, where they will be formally launched at TSA’s ITEC 2020 conference and integrated as part of the Quality Standards Framework audit process.

SIG 003 group is still open for people to join to critique and contribute to the work, so please contact the TSA Admin Team to register your interest -



For more information on TSA's SIG Campaign



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