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Control Project

5th April 2012

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is installing a new state of the art mobilising system and putting in place new staffing arrangements that will make our control room more cost effective, whilst enabling shorter response times.

Other fire and rescue services are outsourcing this function but our view is that if we can make our control room as cost effective as it can be then we can justify continuation of a local fire and rescue control room to serve people in the City of York and North Yorkshire.

As part of a root and branch review of the control room, it has been identified that staff reductions can be made, partly due to the new technology and changes to the staffing arrangements but also because we no longer need some of the extra staff we took on as part of the cancelled national project to provide regional control centres.

We are currently consulting with staff and unions on a planned reduction of just under 20% of control room staff. This new arrangement will see 3 staff being on duty at all times, whereas currently there are between 3 and 5 on duty. The improved technology will significantly reduce maintenance charges and allow for a reduction in the incident support work of control room staff.

The new system will also improve the response times to emergencies through the use of new technology such as better caller location identification and knowing accurately and in real time where all our fire engines are when a call is received.

This project will provide savings of £400,000 per year but is only part of the likely total savings the Service is required to make which will total over £2.5m by 2015. Significant savings have already been made in support services, but these continue to be reviewed as does the senior management structure. However, where we can provide the same or better service to the public through different staffing arrangements whether in the control room or on fire stations we will seek to do this.

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