After 8 years, £423m-£1.3bn, £52m on consultants and 5 years behind schedule the ‘FiReControl Project’ (Regionalisation of Emergency Fire Control Centres) was scrapped by the Government on 20 December 2010.
Paul Watts, Control Staff National Committee Rep (FBU Region 12 – Southern Region) said “This vindicates the professional opinion of Firefighters and Firefighters (Control), who have been the lone professional voice of the Fire Service in opposition to this fiasco, which has been a gross and obscene waste of public money. Fundamentally, technology will not save lives; it is the professionalism, skill and local knowledge that ensure public and firefighter safety.”
The last Government, along with many MP’s and local politicians have ignored the warnings and supported this failing and expensive project.
However, the fight continues as the Isle of Wight Council, who have consistently supported the failed FiReControl Project, now wish to pursue the moving of the Isle of Wight Fire Control Centre to Reigate, Surrey.
Andrew Cooper, Fire Control Rep, Isle of Wight FBU, said, “I would like to re-interate and endorse the comments of Peter Holland, President of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (of 20/12/2010) ‘We must pay tribute to the hundreds of control room staff across the country who have had to deal with major uncertainty over the last few years, but who have continued to provide our communities with a very efficient and effective service throughout this time.”
Andrew Cooper added “My colleagues professionalism, knowledge, skill, integrity and tenacity has been very evident over the past eight years, providing the exemplary level of service that Island residents, visitors and businesses deserve.
We look forward to local politicians learning the lessons of history that the FiReControl Project shows and retain the Island’s Fire Control Centre.”