WH Bence Coachworks Ltd

Challenges of Electric Vehicles to the Emergency Services

With the ever developing market for electric vehicles, the Emergency Services sector has had to take an active interest in how these can be used in the fire market.  London Fire Brigade and Avon Fire Brigade have actively used electric vehicles for staff and safety inspection when not for critical service.  However with the approaching Low Emissions requirements in London, larger commercial vehicles must also now be included.

The challenge for the Emergency Services is the availability of products suitable for commercial use and provide that longevity solution for on-scene incidents.  Many of the OEM chassis suppliers are starting to develop products for the commercial vehicle market, however only demonstration models have been visible so far, with current availability of fleet vehicles unlikely to be seen until 2022 at the earliest, from suppliers such as Volvo and Mercedes. 

WH Bence have taken an active role in trying to create hybrid systems (code name Godzilla),  which bridge the gap between the current diesel powered systems and the future fully electric units, integrating the latest high-output battery packs working alongside energy efficient generator systems to create bespoke, hybrid power solutions.  This allows many of the Emergency Services to reach carbon footprint requirements and offers a vast fuel saving, along with reducing the requirement for regular generator servicing.  These hybrid systems can be easily integrated into a variety of coach-built and pre-manufactured vehicles and can be sized according to the power requirements for each variant of vehicle.

System Feature and Benefits

• DC power from 1Kwh to 400Kwh

• AC power from 1Kwh to 390Kwh

• Silent running

• Rapid return to service 

• Resilience to catastrophic failures

• Vibration resilient

• Ability to remote access and control the system

These types of systems work well with the latest developments from Bence, which includes low voltage low power, fanless solid-state processors for command and control vehicles and low voltage lighting to support critical system use. 

Customisable one touch operation is built in. 

Intuitive operation is built in.

Award Winning Private Network

With ever more congested networks for emergency services to try and use in major cities, Bence looked to simplify and provide uninterrupted communications through a stand-alone network.  Last month the collective team of Bence Command, Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service, CellAntenna and Druid Software won the International Small Cell award for innovation for their private 4G LTE network.  

The solution provided to Tyne & Wear created a long range secure private LTE network offering more than 50Mbps uninterrupted communications for voice, data and video.  The solution was specifically designed to offer a modern approach to creating a private communications cordon for a major incident.  The cell is designed to be integrated into any mobile platform and can actually be a stand-alone deployable solution so can be used by a range of first responders on scene.  The encrypted network protects all on-scene data transfer and if the local major networks are down or lost, back-up satellite provision can be provided to allow data transfer across the country for counter-terrorism data collection.

Tyne & Wear have made the most of the solution, integrating the latest body worn cameras, high level drone footage and communications into the network.  Bence were able to provide the latest High Definition body worn cameras with the latest DGI Inspire with Infrared camera solution.  

“This type of small cell gives Emergency Services a huge spectrum of development with products for the incident ground going forward”, says Oliver Brown, Managing Director of WH Bence. 

System Features and Benefits 

• Unprecedented Private LTE range

• The highest private LTE data rates

• Software user configurable

• Multiple thermal HD optical cameras can simultaneously connect

• Multiple HD BWC can simultaneously connect

• Multiple UAVs can simultaneously connect

• Unprecedented  Private LTE building penetration

• Integration of Police, Train and County CCTV systems. 

The state of the art command unit at Tyne & Wear has been deployed on numerous incidents across the North-East, offering support to other emergency services in critical situations.