There are are 46 Control Rooms in England, including
one at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's headquarters.
FiReControl is a national Government project being delivered
regionally to create nine new regional Control Centres replacing
the existing system.
Fire Control Rooms were reviewed in 2000 as part of the
Government's programme of reform and modernisation in the national
Fire Service. In addition to this, an independent review
of the Fire Service in 2002 was published entitled 'The
Future of the Fire Service Reducing Risk, Saving Lives'. Following
this, in 2003, the Government published their White Paper entitled
'Our Fire and Rescue Service' which recommended that the Fire and
Rescue Service move to a network of Regional Control Centres.
Why is the existing Control Room system
- Resilience - Fire and Rescue Services need to
be equipped to tackle everything from terrorists attacks to
environmental disasters. Each Control Centre must fulfil a robust
set of criteria to demonstrate they meet security and resilience
requirements which are now necessary. Each new Regional Control
Centre will be accredited.
- Best practice - currently Control Centres
operate differently from each other in terms of structure,
training, systems, technology, processes etc. However, the new
Regional Control Centres will all operate consistently using best
practice from current Control Centres.
- Networking - Regional Control
Centres need to operate as a resilient network, which has
the capacity to provide fallback support should any Regional
Control Centre cease to be operational.
What new services will FiReControl provide?
- Caller location - a member of the public
calling 999 and asking for the fire service will be identified
automatically saving time.
- Satellite positioning - this will tell Control
Operators which fire appliances, with the correct equipment on
board, have the shortest travel time to an incident.
- Computer-aided systems - this will enable
staff to locate and mobilise the nearest available apprpriate
resources automatically, using data-transmission
- In cab displays - firefighters on their way to
an incident will have constantly updated information
- A map showing the quickest route to the incident;
- Details of known risks and hazards in the building and/or the
- Floor plans and access details;
- The location of the nearest hydrants and water supplies;
- Relevant standard operating procedures for the type of incident
concerned i.e. how to deal with particular types of chemical or how
to dismantle particular types of car.
What stage is FiReControl at?
FiReControl was set up in 2004 by a large national
project team within Communities and Local Government. Under
the current planning assumptions the first Regional Control
Centre's will go live in spring 2011, with the full system expected
to be in place by the end of 2012.
In the North West, our Regional Control Centre will be based at
Lingley Mere Business Park, Great Sankey, Warrington, Cheshire.
For more information about the national FiReControl project please