Center Parcs is a perfect selection of holiday villages, with 20 stunning villages throughout Europe set in acres of beautiful forest surrounded by lakes and streams. Whinfell Forest is one of the prime locations in the UK. With stylish accommodation, restaurants and a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities from badminton to sailing, Winfell Forest has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday. With 863 lodges in 500 acres of pine forest, effective communication and dispatching is essential for the 140 staff who work there daily, especially on Mondays and Fridays (change-over days) where up to 4,000 guests depart, and up to 4,000 new guests check in.

An ageing analogue system to replace

Whinfell Forest's analogue system was 14 years old - as old as the holiday park itself. One particular problem was that staff were unable to communicate adequately from one extremity of the park to the other. The site was large and sloping, and radio coverage was poor.

The issue was consistent - staff were sent to a location that was key to the operation of the village, but were unable to communicate with their supervisor. Under the analogue system, the channel was always occupied and there was no spare capacity to handle an emergency call. 

The decision was made to replace the existing system with the following requirements:

  1. Full radio coverage in the whole village and superior audio quality.
  2. Two voice channels in one frequency and smooth dispatching between supervisor and staff.
  3. Superior robust handsets could match the demands of the working environment.

A modern DMR system with two voice channels

After examining various options, and conducting some trials, the team chose the Hytera system, to be supplied by Derbyshire based radio company Zycomm, a UK-based Hytera Distributor.

The equipment was installed in June, 2012 with 142 PD78X portable radios, 6 MD78X mobile radios and two RD98X repeaters.

To make effective use of the talk-group capability, the digital system was based on a pair of DMR repeaters, each of them providing up to two voice channels through its two timeslots. One of them covered emergency services – fire, security and the medical and technical services. The other repeater covered daily operational services such as housekeeping, leisure and food and beverages.

Benefits

Hytera’s products and system helped all 140 staff in Whinfell Forest work in a smarter, more relaxed environment thanks to the following features:

  • Digital Technology – Hytera’s advanced DMR Radio technology meant full radio coverage, enhanced voice quality and doubled frequency capacity. The client could arrange the repeaters and frequency properly to handle the daily work, with spare capacity to handle emergency calls.
  • IP67 Rating – There was a tropical-style swimming pool area in Whinfell Forest, with water heated to 30–32 degrees. The on-duty lifeguard shouldn't have to worry about disconnecting their radio before diving in. Hytera’s robust DMR hand portables, which was IP67 environmentally protected, met the team’s requirements.
  • Text Message and Job Dispatching – The text message and job dispatching applications provided by Hytera's application partner Zycomm made work more efficient. The staff on the helpdesk could take calls while they are typing jobs into a system. They can then send out the jobs to the right person. The storeman could receive message like “need a 20 amp fuse, I’ll be there in five minutes” and prepare them in advance.
“The maintenance guys, particularly, are not the easiest people to please, but they are all loving it. Generally, it’s been a big success.” 
John Summers – Technical Services Manager
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5 January 2017

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