Wiltshire claims emergency service firstc

7 Sep 00
Wiltshire this week claimed to be on course to open the country's first custom-built joint communications centre for all three emergency services.

08 September 2000

The joint control room, which should be up and running by the end of March 2002, should improve co-ordination between fire, police and ambulance services. The services will use an integrated command and control computer system, which should improve response times and cut costs.

The Wiltshire project is one of three government-funded pilots to test joint control rooms. The equivalent project in Cleveland is more advanced, with police and ambulance staff already working side by side. But the £5m Wiltshire project will be the first to house the operation in a purpose-built building with a new command and control system.

The third project is in Gloucestershire.

The emergency services said the project came closer to reality this week with the launch of an artist's impression of the new building. But the project's up-beat message comes just a few months after a Home Office report rejected joint emergency service control rooms for the fire service, calling instead for the creation of bigger regional fire control rooms.

Dennis Lauder, chief executive of Wiltshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said there were major benefits for the ambulance service. 'It means we can buy into infrastructure that allows us to have state-of-the-art technology. Some things, such as satellite tracking, wouldn't otherwise have been affordable for us.' He added that co-ordination on multi-service incidents would be 'far more improved'.


Did you enjoy this article?