Thursday, 30 October 2008

Computer problems delay regional fire control opening

THE controversial scrapping of Westcountry county fire brigade control rooms to be replaced by a single centre in Taunton has been indefinitely delayed.
The new centre (pictured) will direct firefighters to incidents across the counties of Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Avon, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall.
It was due to be operational in October of next year, but the Government has now said ‘technical problems’ mean its opening will have to be delayed.
A spokesman for the Communities and Local Government Department (CLG) blamed computer and display problems for causing delays.
The CLG was unable to give a new date has been given for the regional control centre to start operating.
The delay has caused concern that individual fire brigades may see their costs increase through having to continue to fund their own control rooms for longer.
The centralised control centre will be able to handle up to 165 calls an hour and one of its walls will feature a giant screen detailing all ongoing incidents and the locations of all crews.
South West Fire Control Services Ltd chief executive Julie Burnett said: “The time-span we had left to us was not sufficient.
“We are actually quite pleased that the CLG has listened to us and given us the time we need to make sure the data we use is correct and reassure the public of their safety.”

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