Emergency services could share control room

CONTROL room staff for all three of Northamptonshire’s emergency services could be housed in one building under new plans.

Currently Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police have separate control rooms in Northampton for co-ordinating 999 calls, while East Midlands Ambulance Service directs paramedics from its base in Nottingham.

However, senior Northamptonshire county councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage has presented a proposal to the Home Office for control staff to take calls for all 999 services from one location in the county.

Cllr de Savage, who is the cabinet member for community safety, said: “We should be able to co-ordinate better through system changes and combining our sites so we have smarter ways of sharing our knowledge.

“What we’re looking at is a shared blue light control room.

“We would be protecting our community better rather than having a disparate fire, health and police response and the investment might well improve our response times.”

Cllr de Savage said Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently the only county emergency service which will routinely contact the other control rooms on behalf of the caller.

He added: “Currently it costs us a lot of money for the fire service to co-ordinate a response from the appropriate services.

“With what we are talking about it would be a single call to mobilise all the emergency services that are needed.”

No site has yet been identified for a combined control room, but existing county council-owned buildings would be likely to be used if the plans are given the go-head.