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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Region gets fire control shake-up
Artist's impression of the fire control room
Reactions have been mixed to plans for a regional control room
One control room in Wakefield will deal with all fire emergencies in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire by 2009.

The plans were unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister's office on Wednesday.

Work will begin at the Paragon Business Village in 2007 and means existing fire control rooms in the region will be closed with a loss of about 100 jobs.

Steve Cluderay of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said officers needed more information from the government about the "massive project".

He said they did not know when the Northallerton control room would be closed or how the fire service locally would benefit from the saving cuts being made - if at all.

"We're not expecting this to be a quick and easy transition," he said.

"This is not a day for celebrating because we have staff who are naturally upset and concerned about the future."

Fire chiefs in Humberside and South Yorkshire also expressed concerns about the impact on staff and said they would work hard to ensure a successful transition and continued community safety.

"It isn't going to provide an improved service, it isn't going to make firefighters' jobs any easier and it's going to cost more
Sean Cahill, FBU

Announcing the decision to replace existing control rooms in England with nine regional centres, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister minister Jim Fitzpatrick said there was a compelling need to modernise the system.

"In the post 9/11 world, and in the wake of the events of 7 July, we need control centres that are resilient enough to deal with a terrorist attack or any natural disaster," he said.

He said they recognised the implications for existing staff and said they would continue to keep them informed of developments as they happened.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) for Yorkshire and the Humber said the reasons for moving towards regional control centres were "significantly flawed".

Sean Cahill of the FBU said it was not practical to have one centre dealing with a 6,000sq mile area populated by more than five million people.

"It isn't going to provide an improved service, it isn't going to make firefighters' jobs any easier and it's going to cost more," he said.

Fire plan protests reach capital
20 Jul 05 |  Oxfordshire

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