Fire control room set to be in Berkshire

First published in Headlines

OXFORDSHIRE Fire Service’s control room could be run from Berkshire in two years’ time.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire Service and Royal Berkshire Fire Service are proposing the creation of a joint control room to receive 999 calls.

Next Tuesday, the council’s cabinet, and Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, will discuss the proposal to run the control room for both counties from Calcot near Reading.

Only 30 staff will be needed to run the control room, instead of 52 currently operating the control rooms in Kidlington and Tilehurst near Reading.

Calcot has been chosen after being considered the best location.

Oxfordshire chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said: “Neither ourselves or Berkshire would be moving ahead with this proposal if we did not have confidence that it was the right thing to do.

“I have every confidence that a joint control room in Calcot would expertly serve both Royal Berkshire’s and our needs here in Oxfordshire.

“It will be managed by expert fire officers and supervised by councillors from both Oxfordshire and Berkshire.”

According to the county council, the Kidlington facility is in a 1980s extension over a former single-storey fire engine garage, while Calcot is being created as a purpose-built facility.

A statement from the county council said: “The joint control room is expected to save £659,000 per year between the two fire and rescue services, with £229,000 per year of this reinvested in system maintenance.

“Over the 15-year life of the agreement it will save almost £10m and help protect the frontline of the service.

“The key aims are to deliver an enhanced service to the public and firefighters and create an effective and efficient ‘resilient’ system, following the end of the Government’s regional control room proposals.”

County council spokesman Paul Smith said the Kidlington base would be maintained as a ‘non-staffed fall-back option’ after it closed in spring 2014.

Under previous government proposals the Oxfordshire fire control room would have relocated to a regional control room in Hampshire.

Comments (1)

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7:43pm Mon 9 Jul 12

Myron Blatz says...

Frankly, am only surprised it wasn't relocated to Mombai, or Albania. as for the current Fire Centre at Kidlington, dare say the supermarket chains will be blazing away for the site - unless City Council tries to let more student flats get built for the people who run an educational factory atop Headington Hill?
Frankly, am only surprised it wasn't relocated to Mombai, or Albania. as for the current Fire Centre at Kidlington, dare say the supermarket chains will be blazing away for the site - unless City Council tries to let more student flats get built for the people who run an educational factory atop Headington Hill? Myron Blatz
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