• Client

    Derbyshire Fire & Rescue

  • Sector

    Emergency Services

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Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is responsible for making the county of Derbyshire a safer place to live, work and visit by preventing fires and other emergencies, protecting people, property and the environment, and responding to fire and rescue emergencies.

It covers a geography of over 1,000 square miles, which includes a variety of urban and rural communities with a population of approximately 980,000.

The service currently employs approximately 360 whole time firefighters, 331 retained firefighters, 27 command and control personnel and 176 support personnel. It operates 31 fire stations, four area offices and a headquarters in Ripley.

It appointed Spectrum to provide a replacement solution for its end-of-life Nortel PBX systems, by utilising a resilient deployment of its existing Skype for Business infrastructure in its head office and across its remote sites.


  • Project design, configuration and implementation support
  • Centralised SIP connectivity at the new HQ and DR in an Active/Active load shared mode
  • First level failover capability between HQ and DR locations and SBCs
  • Second level failover at HQ and DR locations to PSTN and alternative SIP service
  • SBC deployments across all remote locations with SBAs for local Skype server resilience
  • Local inbound SIP connectivity for remote site resilience.
  • Consolidated voice services provision, billing and support


  • Enhanced connectivity and voice routing options
  • Access to latest technology
  • Real-time control of data usage
  • Enhanced network security
  • Cost saving though rationalisation

The Challenge

The opening of newly-refurbished headquarters, which are jointly shared with the Derbyshire Constabulary, in August 2016 coincided with the need for DFRS to replace its end-of-life Nortel PBX systems, which presented the opportunity to implement a new, upgraded multi-site Skype for Business deployment.

With the rapid development of cloud communication technologies, DFRS was aware of the need to invest in the latest connectivity and devices to futureproof their network infrastructure and gain greater control of their multi-site voice and data requirements.

Spectrum's Approach

A full voice and connectivity audit was undertaken to assess DFRS’ exact requirements, before we made a number of recommendations regarding the transition to the cloud.

A phased implementation plan was also prepared and executed, to support a smooth transition and end-user adoption in two stages – initially at the Ripley HQ site and, six months later, at its four area offices across Derbyshire.

Rationalisation of existing connectivity and migration over to a Spectrum IP telephony solution, incorporating SIP and ISDN services, took place, providing complete control over the routing of individual DDIs.

Integration of a Sonus Session Border Controller into existing infrastructure, enabled any-to-any connectivity between legacy PBX technology and SIP connectivity.

The Results

Spectrum delivered an easily-managed, resilient, feature-rich, highly-scalable and futureproofed telephony platform which is adaptable to suit the growing needs and capabilities of DFRS.

Consolidation led to increased flexibility and cost savings for the delivery of network services using Spectrum SIP products.

Employees now have access to a wide range of communication tools, which offer greater flexibility in call handling, interaction and internal team working.

These considerable benefits were combined with the design, procurement and complete lifecycle delivery offered by Spectrum.


"We made the decision to move our telephony platform to Skype for Business ahead of our move into our new head office, so our challenge was to find the right supplier who could manage our complex requirements and deliver the multi-site functionality we needed to connect our head office to our satellite area sites.

Spectrum came in and specified the project thoroughly, before coming up with a basket of solutions to give us what we needed.

It was delivered in two phases to ensure that it was functioning correctly and gave us exactly what we needed. The whole process was seamless from start to finish.

It has streamlined the way we operate our telephony, resulting in greater overall efficiencies and cost savings.

Bringing several individual carriers and suppliers together into one easy, simply, centralised billing portal means we can manage the account simply and easily.”

Pete Garyga
ICT Change & Project Team Manager at Derbyshire Fire & Rescue

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