Minister opens newly refurbished Edinburgh control room

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Refurbished Edinburgh Control room unveiled today by Minister for Community Safety and Public Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) today unveiled its refurbished control room in Edinburgh. 

This state-of-the-art facility, which will manage control room operations in the East of Scotland, was officially opened by Minister for Community Safety and Public Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse.

The refurbishment of the control room in Edinburgh is another step towards the three control model for the fire and rescue service in Scotland and part of the Service’s overall Strategic Intent Programme. 

The refurbishment in Edinburgh is part of a considerable programme of works designed to ensure the East Service Delivery Area, which covers the legacy areas of Lothian and Borders, Fife and Central Scotland, benefits from the operation of an advanced and high-tech Control.  

This phase of the programme will be followed by the merger of Maddiston and Edinburgh Controls on 26 January, with Thornton Control merging during the first quarter of 2016.

This follows the successful transfer of the legacy Dumfries Control to Johnstone which was completed in November 2014 with no disruption of service and the people of Dumfries and Galloway benefitting from access to the modern technology of Johnston Control.

SFRS Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said:

“I am delighted with our new control room here at Edinburgh.  It is part of a wider strategy aimed at removing duplication, protecting our frontline services, freeing resources to invest in community safety and improve access to specialist resources.  All whilst ensuring resilience is maintained across Scotland at all times.

“The three Control model for Scotland will improve safety and resilience by ensuring full interoperability between each Control.  As well as equipping our professional and highly trained  control staff with the latest modern technology, it will also give them wider exposure to the full range of incidents the Service is likely to attend and so will improve our operational response.

"This will increase the capacity and resilience of our control rooms and will ensure not only the safety of the communities in Scotland but also the safety of our firefighters, both of which are always at the heart of all decisions we make.

Following a tour of the newly refurbished Control, Minister for Community Safety and Public Affairs Paul Wheelhouse said:

“I am delighted to be part of today’s event to open the newly refurbished control room, a state-of-the-art facility which will provide a modern, effective and, most importantly, safe and resilient system designed to protect our communities.

“We recognise the vital service the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service does to keep our communities safe and it is reassuring to know that SFRS have invested in high quality control room facilities to make that happen. 

“As well as equipping control room staff with the latest modern technology, the three control room model that will be taken forward will ensure a more effective service delivery, with SFRS confident that the model allows for efficient mobilisation of resources so that they are focussed where they are needed.”

Speaking on behalf of the SFRS Board, Chair Pat Watters said:

“Providing this state-of-the-art Control has involved a tremendous effort from our staff and it will certainly benefit the public in every community across the East of Scotland.

“I’d like to thank all of the staff involved in this programme for their hard work to ensure these changes are delivered seamlessly, as well as our staff at Maddiston, Thornton and Edinburgh control rooms for engaging so positively and constructively with the process.

“This excellent facility means our Control staff will have the very latest technology at their disposal and will provide the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with a modern, effective and most importantly, safe system, designed to protect our firefighters and our communities.”