FiReControl is a UK based project to reduce the number of regional control centres or RCCs used to handle emergency calls for fire brigades and authorities. Presently there are 46 control rooms in England that handle calls from the local public for emergency assistance via the 999 system. A new radio network - FireLink is being developed and built and it will be fully compatible with FiReControl. [ DFCLG - Fire and Resilience. FireLink: improved fire and rescue service radio communications (accessed 20 Sep 07)] ]

A number of reports influenced the Governments decision to combine the 46 control rooms into 9 regional control centres these included:
* Sir George Bain, The Future of the Fire Service: reducing risk, saving lives - The Independent Review of the Fire Service December 2002 [ Bain Report, The Future of the Fire Service: reducing risk, saving lives - The Independent Review of the Fire Service December 2002 [ ] Retrieved on 2008-04-06 ]
*Government white paper: Our Fire and Rescue Service [ Government white paper: Our Fire and Rescue Service [] Retrieved on 2008-04-06 ]
*Mott Macdonald: The Future of Fire and Rescue Service Control Rooms in England and Wales [ Mott Macdonald: The Future of Fire and Rescue Service Control Rooms in England and Wales [] Retrieved on 2008-04-06 ]

The FiReControl project was initiated in March 2004.

Current arrangements in existing Control Rooms

Each Fire and Rescue Service in England is responsible for accepting and processing Emergency fire calls in their own local authority area and with agreement emergency calls from other Fire and Rescue Service areas. These are answered by dedicated Fire Control staff who use computer aided mobilising systems to locate the nearest, available, appropriate resources and mobilise them to the incident. The Control staff maintain contact with the Fire crews, in most cases by voice radio whilst on their way and during the incident to provide current information and respond to critical requests.

Fire and Rescue Services can support each other with additional resources, although the Control rooms rely on different technologies and operational procedures and they are not physically networked, they support each other by taking calls and giving advice to a caller from outside their area, then the information is passed to the relevant fire service via telephone, fax or radio, depending on the speediest option. There are approximately 1500 Control staff employed in England, 350 on duty at any one time under the current County system, all staff are able to take emergency calls for their neighbours during busy periods such as severe flooding or multiple grass fires during droughts.

Future arrangements in Regional Control Rooms

The Regional control rooms expect to improve on the current arrangements by [ Communities and Local Government. [] Retrieved on 2008-04-06]
*Networking each of the 9 centres so they will be able to automatically back each other up in times of increased call pressure or failure.
*Providing purpose built, secure and resilient modern facilities.
* Ensuring each RCC will have access to the same information and the ability to manage and deploy resources on a local, regional or national level.
*Providing each RCC with caller identification location technology – which means the location a call is coming from will be identified automatically.
* Providing Satellite positioning equipment – which will monitor the whereabouts of each vehicle.
* Mobile data terminals - will be installed in cabs so firefighters have constantly updated information.
* Rationalise mobilising policies and procedures across all existing Fire and Rescue Services in England.

However much of the technology is said to becoming obsolete before it has been installed due to progress in technology and delays to the project. Some fire services already have some of the proposed equipment some 3 years before the final RCC goes live.

In support of the new Control Rooms an additional Government project called FireLink is delivering a new digital radio system called Airwave [ Airwave [] Retrieved on 2008-04-06]

Delivering the Technology

In March 2007; then Fire and Rescue Service Minister Angela Smith announced that EADS Defence and Security Systems had been awarded a £200m contract (over eight years) to supply the IT infrastructure for the regional control rooms.

Location of Regional Control Rooms

* Merton Industrial Estate, Morden, London Borough of Merton
* Waterbeach Research Park, Cambridge
* Belmont Business Park, Durham
* Lingley Mere Business Park, Great Sanki, Warrington, Cheshire
* Willow Farm Business Park, Castle Donington, Leicestershire
* Paragon Business Village, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
* Wolverhampton Business Park, Wolverhampton
* Blackbrook Business Park, Taunton, Somerset
* Kite's Croft Business Park, Fareham, Hampshire

Cut over to Regional Control Rooms

Cut over will happen gradually with groups of Fire and Rescue Services moving from local to regional controls in batches. This will make it easier to identify, isolate and address any problems that arise without affecting the quality of service provided to the public.

Order of cut over can be found at

Manangement of Regional Control Rooms

Each Regional Control Centre (RCC) will be run by an organisation known as a local authority controlled company. This company is jointly owned by all the Fire and Rescue Authorities(FRAs) in that region.

As of April 2008 regional local authority controlled companies have been set up in the North East, North West, East Midlands, West Midlands, South West and the South East. London does not need to set up a local authority controlled company because of its unique arrangements

Opposition to Regional Control Rooms

The Fire Brigades Union which represents firefighting personnel and Control staff at all levels within the Fire and Rescue Service across the UK, has launched a campaign against the regionalisation of emergency fire control rooms.The Union has stated that project has virtually no acceptance amongst the workforce which is of major concern to the directors and ministers. Members of the Fire Brigades union have grave concerns about the diversion of vital money to this unpopular project, the feasibility of having 30% less Control staff available to answer emergency calls across the Country during spate conditions. There are fears that the RCC 999 system will become swamped with calls and come to a complete standstill and the loss of local knowledge amongst the call takers is also a significant risk. Chief Fire Officers may have less control over service delivery in their County, which may be a concern to Fire Authorities around the Country. [ Fire Brigades Union [] Retrieved on 2008-04-06]


External links

* Fire Service on Line
* Department of Communities and Local Government
* Fire Brigades Union
* Airwave Solutions
* Mott Mac Donald

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • firecontrol — fire control n. The control of the delivery of gunfire on military targets. * * * …   Universalium

  • Servicio de bomberos en el Reino Unido — Un camión de bomberos perteneciente a la London Fire Brigade. El servicio de bomberos en el Reino Unido opera bajo acuerdos legislativos y administrativos independientes en Inglaterra, Irlanda del Norte, Escocia y Gales. Los servicios de bomberos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fire service in the United Kingdom — The fire service in the United Kingdom operates under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century …   Wikipedia

  • Chief Fire Officers Association — The Chief Fire Officers Association or CFOA is the professional body representing senior fire officers in the UK. The organisation used to be known as the Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association, it was formed in 1974 following local… …   Wikipedia

  • FireLink — or Firelink is new a new wide area radio system being introduced in England, Wales and Scotland for the fire service. It is expected to become fully operational in 2009 [… …   Wikipedia

  • PA Consulting Group — Ltd. Type Employee owned Industry Management Consulting Founded 1943 (Personnel Administration) Headquarters London, UK …   Wikipedia

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation — Sanskrit: बलस्य मूलं विज्ञानम् Strength s Origin is in Science [1] Agency overvi …   Wikipedia

  • London Fire Brigade — LFB redirects here. For other uses, see LFB (disambiguation). London Fire Brigade London Fire Brigade area Coverage Area G …   Wikipedia

  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service — (DSFRS) Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) area Coverage Area Devon and Somerset, excluding Bath and North East Somerset and …   Wikipedia

  • Naval Submarine Base New London — A student at Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS), repairs a simulated engine room leak in the school s damage control wet trainer at Naval Submarine Base New London. Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy s primary submarine …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.