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Fire Chiefs Approve Cambridge Move

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10:59am 18th April 2012
(Updated 5:53pm 18th April 2012)

Plans to move Buckinghamshire's fire control room to Cambridgeshire have taken a step forward today.

At a meeting earlier, fire bosses decided to go-ahead with the move, which would see us share a joint control room - saving £600,000 a year.

The Fire and Rescue Service had already rejected the idea of teaming up with Oxfordshire and Berkshire for a Thames Valley control room.

The decision still has to be agreed by bosses in Cambridgeshire though.

If it does go ahead, Buckinghamshire's authority has promised to make every effort to redeploy its current control room staff.

In March, the Buckinghamshire & MK Fire Authority then secured a £1.8m government grant to pay for the set-up costs of its control room project.

At the time the Bucks Fire & Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Adrian Crook told Mix 96: "We are pleased to note the support from the government for our preferred option of a combined control room initiative with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

This will deliver many benefits and efficiencies, including the provision of enhanced emergency call-handling technology, improved fire and rescue service interoperability and local and national resilience. It will also create sustainable savings, thereby relieving pressure upon local taxpayers. "

Mr Crook added: "The funding means we can implement this plan without financial impact upon our own resources and frontline operational firefighting resources.”

The plan to share a control room follows the cancellation in 2010 of the previous government’s FiReControl project, which would have replaced the 46 fire service control rooms in England, including Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's control room in Aylesbury, with nine regional centres.

Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority say a partnership with Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service "appears to offer the best combination of service, value and readiness.

It is making every effort to redeploy control room staff affected by the proposal. As a first step, substantive recruitment into any role that control room staff have the skills to do, or could have with a reasonable amount of training, is being filled on a temporary or fixed-term basis."

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