Dealing with emergency calls
A centralised system for the receipt of emergency calls operates from the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Control Room in Northallerton, which means that all 999 calls for the fire service, made from anywhere in North Yorkshire and the City of York, will be connected to the one control room, not to local fire stations.
The control room has been on the current site since 1974, with the existing Control opening in 1997. The Fortek Vision computer assisted mobilising system is utilised within Control, together with an elaborate communications network which enables the service to deal quickly and efficiently with all emergency calls and is staffed 24/7 by trained personnel.
Airwave Radio is used to give county-wide coverage through a network of radio cells, with fixed radios and mobile data terminals making risk and hazard information on hand to crews on fire appliances. Additionally, hand-held radios, mobile telephones or pagers are used to communicate with officers. Systems are in place to provide radio communications with partner agencies and neighbouring Fire Authorities to enable interagency liaison and interoperability on local, regional and national levels.
Retained, or “On Call” Firefighters carry alerters, which are activated when the appliance from the station at which they are based, is mobilised.
The Control Room duty manager is responsible for supervising the receipt and handling of emergency 999 calls, the dispatch of appropriate resources to incidents and responding to requests from crews at incidents. This is whilst managing the availability of resources, planning and implementing movements of resources to ensure that the Service has the maximum amount of cover available at any time and liaison with partner agencies.
A mobile Incident Command Unit, equipped with communications facilities, is crewed jointly by Northallerton control room personnel and attends large or protracted incidents.