Acoustic Protection in critical environments

Due to the sensitive nature of this story and the confidentiality that our clients demand, this case study is ‘generic’ though all the facts are true.


The Challenge

The Fire Command and Control Centre call handlers of this Fire Service were struggling to hear callers due to the background noise from fire alarms when fires were being reported by the public. The call handlers routinely increased the volume of their headsets above a safe level to hear callers. On one particular occasion, the noise level was such that a 999 call had to be abandoned. This was a situation that could not be repeated.

The Solution

The Fire Service approached us to discuss what alternatives were available to ensure a safe working environment for staff and ensure that emergency calls were handled and responded to quickly and efficiently.

We recommended the installation of an acoustic protection device called Soundshield, confident that it would provide complete acoustic safety to call handlers and enhance call quality in this critical environment.

The Benefits

Since this award-winning barrier device has been installed call handlers are protected from all acoustic incidents.

Soundshield intercepts and removes the background noise of alarms and sirens during calls, allowing clearer, more effective communications and a more rapid response to the public. Indeed communications between the control room and fire engine crews have also been improved. Soundshield works seamlessly between telephone and radio systems, removing fire engine sirens so that call handlers can speak to the crews on the ground more effectively.

Hearing damage to call handlers from malicious calls has also been eliminated. As the Soundshield detects and removes alarms, it also removes bells and whistles frequently used to provoke an acoustic incident by troublesome callers.

Uniquely, Fire Service management are now able to demonstrate their duty of care to staff and compliance with the European Noise at Work Directive through the use of Soundshield’s Soundstat software. Hearing damage amongst their call handlers has become a ‘thing of the past’. Staff can now take calls in life threatening situations without having to jeopardise their own well-being.

Soundshield is the only product in the international marketplace that delivers this performance, and as the sole European distributor for Polaris, we are proud that we could deliver clear, safe calls to such an important service.