A new shared fire control room for West Midlands and Staffordshire fire and rescue services went live this week, Monday March 31.
The two organisations have merged their fire control rooms into one shared service which operates from Vauxhall Road in Birmingham. From there control staff are handling emergency calls and managing the resources sent to deal with incidents for both areas.
A total of 70 staff are employed at the new shared fire control, which is expected to handle up to 70,000 emergency calls per year.
The move to the new shared control service does not affect members of the public, who should continue to ring 999 should an emergency occur.
Alongside fire control in the new shared service is the Home Safety Centre which receives and manages calls about general home fire safety and takes bookings for home safety checks from the communities of Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
Deputy Chief Executive for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Becci Bryant said: “The years of planning by the project team and the professionalism of the control staff ensured that the transition to the shared fire control service went very smoothly.
“The advances in technology and the more effective and efficient ways of working in the new shared service has revolutionised the role of fire control here in Staffordshire and the West Midlands.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer for West Midlands Fire Service Phil Hales said: “Shared fire control going live this week is a real milestone. Fire control staff do a fantastic job and are the first point of contact when a member of the public dials 999.
“The new shared fire control will help to provide an enhanced service to the communities of Staffordshire and the West Midlands. Because of the skill and dedication of those involved the project has been completed on time and within budget.”