The role of the Fire Services Commissioner was established in 2010 to work consultatively with the Victorian fire services to achieve continuous improvement, drive reform and, most importantly, ensure an integrated approach to the delivery of services.

The Victorian Fire Services comprises the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Melbourne Fire Brigade (MFB) and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).


Like the divisions in any large organisation, the CFA, MFB and DSE operate as relatively autonomous entities with their own personnel, systems and processes.

This operational autonomy is reflected in the collection and management of fire incident data. There is no integrated approach to the storage, management and dissemination of this data.

The absence of a single consolidated view of fire data diminishes the ability of the Fire Commissioner to achieve reforms such as developing a state-wide methodology for the assessment of fire causation or the creation of targeted community safety programs.


The Fire Services recognised the opportunity to implement a proven search and data analytics solution allowing users to quickly search and comprehend vast quantities of data from each agency, and potentially from external data sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics or Victorian hospitals.

A pilot implementation was proposed focusing on the Community Fire Safety reform agenda and, specifically, the identification of fire causation.


In June 2012, the CFA, MFB and DSE submitted 10 years of fire incident data to the Fire Causation Data Pilot. This wealth of data was crawled and indexed and, for the first time, displayed within a single consolidated view.

Over a series of workshops with contributing agency representatives, Immersive refined the search and analytics interface to make the data more comprehensible. This was achieved through the construction of data visualisations and dashboards.

The pilot was presented to the Fire Commissioner and heads of fire services and immediately approved for release to production for multi-agency access.

Immersive implemented Oracle Endeca Information Discovery solution to unite these data sources and provide the Victorian Fire Services


A single, shared view of fire causation data fosters common goals across the agencies and provides the Fire Commissioner with a mechanism to better integrate the delivery of services.

The immediate benefits of this proven ‘Big Data’ technology include:

  1. Improved ability to perform specific and ad hoc data queries
  2. Improved ability to comprehend data through maps and graphic representations of data
  3. A holistic view of incident data from a state level down to an individual incident level.
  4. Evidence-based decision-making at all levels
  5. On-the-fly report generation.
Longer term benefits include:
  1. Targeted prevention and education programs
  2. The identification of data deficiencies
  3. The objective assessment of performance, programs and policies