A CROSS-COUNTY project to improve fire service efficiency took another step forward this week.
The £3.6million shared control service project will see Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire and Rescue working out of a shared emergency control room at West Midland’s headquarters on Vauxhall Road in Birmingham and is expected to be up and running in 2014.
The most recent phase of the project - announced in 2011 and expected to be fully operational in 2014 - saw the team in Staffordshire this week adopt the ‘Vision’ system, to record and monitor incidents and mobilise crews.
Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Len Bloomer said: “Staff in the control centre received extensive training on the new system before it went live this week.
“The technology is more efficient than the system that we previously used in Staffordshire and enables seamless mobilisation and management of both Fire and Rescue Authorities,” he said. “Developing a shared control centre is a major, sensitive project which is why we have worked closely with our colleagues in the West Midlands to ensure a smooth two-part transition.”
Mr Bloomer said continued work with the West Midlands team would help develop common operational procedures, ways of working and staffing levels as well as ways to share data that would increase understanding of risk across the broader area covered by both services, improving the safety of the community and the firefighters.
“We will continue to work with our partner to introduce common operational procedures, ways of working and staffing levels.”
The new local model, announced in 2011, is due to be phased in over two stages and aims to ‘maximise efficiency and increase resilience’, prioritising communities in both areas continue to receive a first class fire