Emergency Services 'should Share Control Rooms'

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mikey4444 | 06:56 Tue 26th Jan 2016 | News
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My reaction is that I am amazed that this hasn't been done before !


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The Government's primary motivation in introducing this is not to provide a better service, but to save money.

From the users perspective, reporting a burglary or needing help with your heart attack or your house on fire are all different concerns. A central switchboard which then diverts your call to the relevent service you require is the more efficient option. The alternative, your call being taken by an operator trained for another service, just delays the response.

If I am having a heart attack, I do not want my call to be answered by the fire brigade.
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Gromit...I may have got this wrong but I think the plan is for all three services to share the same room.
Seems a good move, on the face of it. Some areas already do it. You can be sure we'd have heard if they had problems.
Mikey, If this Gov is that hell bent on saving money they should make a start by taking their own sarnies into the H.P. shut the Bars, give all the trollops a bike to get around, is it necessary for D.C & his cronies to make all these so called flights? these dead legs that you see asleep in the H.P. get rid, It's case of, You the public save us money but we will spend & you can not say or do a thing about it, Hypocrites the lot of them.
Question Author may have noticed that I rarely miss an opportunity to have a go at the Tories ( ! ) but I think that this makes sense, on an operational level at least.
I suspect that the envisaged savings will be ficticious as well. There will be an increase in mistakes, wrong dispatches and services being sent from the wrong location.

Labour tried something similar and it was a complete fiasco wasting half a billion pounds...

// A project to set up nine regional control centres for fire and rescue services in England was a "complete failure" and wasted £469m, MPs say.
The public accounts committee said the Firecontrol scheme had not achieved any of its objectives and that eight of the centres were empty "white elephants".
The plan to replace 46 smaller control rooms was scrapped in December 2010.
Fire Minister Bob Neill said Labour must be held accountable for the "comprehensive failure".
Margaret Hodge, who chairs the MPs' committee, said the project had been "flawed from the outset" and one of the worst wastes of public money for many years.
"The taxpayer has lost nearly half a billion pounds and eight of the completed regional control centres remain as empty and costly white elephants."
She said the project - launched in 2004 by the Labour government - had been terminated in 2010 "with none of the original objectives achieved and a minimum of £469m being wasted".//
Yes I agree and it's time we had a national police force as well. All the different forces each with there own Chief Constable and management teams is ridiculous.
A lot of the projected savings will come (or won't) from new state of the art IT Systems, that in reality, do not work.

// Essex Fire Service is in turmoil this week as its new ‘state-of-the-art’ control system that mobilises fire appliances for emergencies collapsed after repeated and multiple faults.

Essex Fire Service began using the new state of the art mobilising system when it moved to its new control room earlier this month. The system, intended to select which fire appliances to send to incidents, has been failing and sending the wrong fire appliances to fires and other emergencies.

Some fire appliances have been listed as ‘not being available’ whilst in fact firefighters are ready and prepared to attend incidents as usual.

Fire appliances across the county have been sent to wrong addresses and in some cases fire engines from Harlow have been sent to Colchester.

Service managers began by describing the situation as ‘minor teething problems’ and even suggested the control staff were making ‘user errors’ – until the system finally collapsed completely. Fire control operators were forced to revert to 1950s –style methods, jotting notes on pads and informing fire station of emergencies by phone.

The Secretary of the Essex Fire Brigades Union (FBU), Alan Chinn-Shaw said :

“We are extremely concerned about these system failures in control. We have over 100 examples of problems with the new system and this is inevitably resulting in delays to fire appliances arriving at fires and other emergencies. This shambles is resulting in unnecessary risks to both the public and to the firefighters attending these incidents.

”The service was warned prior to the system being brought on-line that it wasn’t ready for use. Until these major problems are corrected the system is not fit for purpose.”

Firefighters across the county have been contacting their fire service managers informing them of major problems and examples of the wrong fire engines being sent to emergencies causing severe delays.
Question Author
I agree Eddie....I have never understood why we have so many Police seems a monstrous waste of money to me.
^Hardly surprising that unions resist any & all change. I'm surprised at you being such a Luddite, gromit.
Todays Daily Mail highlights a case of a child dying because the NHS 111 system failed.

// The call made by William’s mother was found to have been poorly dealt with by the call adviser, who would have had just a few weeks of training.
He was deemed to have been hurried at times, ‘interrupting on occasion’ and failing to notice that William’s mother was describing abnormal symptoms such as the limpness in his arms and the fact he was staring into space.
The call handler also failed to realise the significance of William’s loud crying in the background. 
The computer programme ‘did not cover’ this nor the drop in body temperature from very high to low, which is an indicator of sepsis.
Disturbingly, the report found that even when operating properly, the 111 system would not pick up William’s illness.
For us it is a debilitating life sentence that we re-live every day 
This failing was identified as a root cause of William’s death in the initial ambulance service report.
That report said the tick-box style system, called NHS Pathways, ‘does not appear to be sensitive to a number of key factors … specifically, the deteriorating signs and symptoms of the paediatric patient, the assessment on pain, and sepsis red flags’.
NHS England now plans to issue warnings to health chiefs to act over the dangerous flaws in the 111 system. //
It's a shame that the tragic death of a child is being weaponised .
I am all for new technology helping to improve our lives.

Unfortunately big public sector IT systems procured by the Government seldom work. The Government have written off over £550million Universal Credit software because it does not work.

Also, I don't think Fire Brigade 999 calls are taken by operators in the Fire Brigade Union. To an extent, they are upset because the mistakes are making their job harder, and serving the public worse.

It is an example (from todays news) of a new call centre operation failing because the staff have been 'dumbed down', which in effect is what is proposed in Mikeys post. A computerised tick box system will replace call operators who actually know what they are doing. That is not good for the safety of the public.
Why is it that when the government tries to save money, ie our hard earned money confiscated by the government, It always seen as a bad thing in some quarters?

Fire, ambulance, Police and Rescue are literally life saving services. We should not accept an inferior service to save a bit of money. Safety should not be compromised if it puts the public at risk.

I would much rather the useless and politicised Police and Crime Commissioners were scrapped. We wasted £75million electing them. Less than 15% voted, so every vote cast cost £14. Their ongoing annual cost is something like £80million. That means we have wasted half a billion pounds with very little to show for it. They should be scrapped immediately.
My figures are way out above.

// Their ongoing annual cost is something like £80million. //

Greater Manchester is £105million alone this year. Susiex is £250million, and there are 39 other areas with a PCC.
^Can't let you 'get away' with that, gromit.
You're quoting the total cost of policing not the cost of the commissioners.
If we take Sussex, the commissioner is paid c.£85,000 out of the total cost of the commission staff of c.£800,000.
And from that you'd have to deduct the cost of the 25 strong Sussex Police Authority + their staff, that used to do the same job.
(but then I expect you're well aware of all that)
I know some people on here liked it when their marxist, common purpose, fellow travellers infested every police authority. That's why the police were becoming 'not fit for purpose'. Let people (who care) vote and I'm sure we'll see some improvement.
Apologies for he figures, I still do not know what the real figures are. As the head of the BBC research unit wrote:

// "There were huge variations in the levels of transparency on this data from PCC to PCC," says Ed. "Some of them were helpful; but the vast majority had labyrinthine websites, many had failed to publish much of the information they were required to under statute and press officers were sometimes difficult to get hold of.
"It is difficult to see how an interested member of the public would be able to get hold of this information, which is meant to be freely available." //

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