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Customer Story

Emergency Service Embraces Cloud

Antwerp Fire Brigade moves to Google Workspace for more efficient emergency management to better serve citizens in need
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Google Workspace

Public | Utilities


Antwerp Firefighters' Zone (BZA) is one of thirty-five Belgian relief zones. It serves the three municipalities of Antwerp, Wijnegem, and Zwijndrecht, covering an approximate population of 550,000 people.

More than 800 people work within BZA, including 20 officers, 90 non-commissioned officers, and 600 firefighters, along with 70 administrative and logistical support staff.

BZA is writing an ambitious plan for the future, with optimized management and operations and updated technology, alongside a new operating model to ensure it continues to protect everybody it serves.

Need to easily share information during emergencies
Switch to a cloud solution that excels on all platforms
Automate key actions, providing whole team with instant access

Rapid Reaction Critical

The Antwerp Fire Brigade officers and firefighters deployed in an emergency — onsite and in the crisis room —need to be able to access, distribute, and share detailed information throughout the team in real-time. This ensures the team reacts to rapidly-changing situations in an informed and effective manner.

During emergencies, it isn’t practical for firefighters onsite to use laptops. In the crisis room, setting up relevant files and folders took up valuable time during the most critical part of the intervention. The department needed a solution that allowed crisis room personnel to quickly set up files, and firefighters onsite to access them on mobile devices.

Allow Real-Time Collaboration

BZA chose to use Google Workspace to help its team work together effectively. Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Forms are now used to manage the flow of information for emergencies. 

Crucially, Xebia helped BZA implement Apps Script so that crisis room officers can quickly set up shared folders and files on the fly. Onsite, firefighters can use their mobile devices to access those folders and make edits, recording the details of the emergency and their response to it. Everyone on the team sees who has added which details and when, making end-of-intervention analysis a simple and painless exercise.

“Xebia became a part of our team during our partnership. Every aspect of our transition to Google Workspace was made simple for our firefighting unit, enabling us to focus on serving the public.”
Belgie Brandweer
Wout Quirynen Application Manager at Antwerp Fire Brigade

Automation Simplifies Emergency Response

Xebia worked closely with the BZA technical team to ensure the solution was suitable. Thanks to the App Script, documents and spreadsheets are now created automatically within folders, with contact sheets and event logs immediately available. Intervention names and dates are automatically added to each file, and a folder link is emailed to the team for instant access. Bystanders now provide feedback using Forms, making it simple for firefighters to collect and review information in the aftermath of an emergency.

Quirynen commented, “Our firefighters save time on essential admin so they can concentrate on providing emergency assistance where it is needed.”

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