International Control Room Week 2020
19 October 2020
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is supporting International Control Room Week which recognises dedicated Operations Control Room staff in Scotland and across the world as “unsung heroes”.
Operations Control teams based across Edinburgh, Dundee and Johnstone respond to countless emergency calls every day from members of the public.
And they use their knowledge, skills and expertise to quickly mobilise the appropriate resources required – while also providing a reassuring voice to those in greatest need.
International Control Room Week runs from Monday, October 19 to Sunday, October 25 and this year’s campaign highlights the importance of mental health support and awareness.
For every mention of #UnsungHeroes across social media channels, the event organisers, APD Communications will donate £1 to the Mind Charity as well as to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
Operations Control is regarded as “the unseen frontline” of the SFRS. They provide potentially life-saving advice to people who are trapped by smoke or fire.
Marc Benedictus, a Watch Commander based at Dundee, said: “These calls can be difficult – you are on the line to someone who is in a life-threatening situation and you are their lifeline.
“It’s important to stay calm for them, give strong and direct instructions and survival advice, while working with your team to mobilise resources and direct local firefighters to the exact location of the person who is trapped.
“The relief you feel when you hear the sirens in the background or the firefighters entering the room is incredible.”
Libby Logan is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager for Operations Control. She said: “We are absolutely delighted to support International Control Room Week.
“Our committed Control Room staff across Scotland are the unsung heroes, working together to play a critical role in the safety and wellbeing of Scotland’s communities.
“Lives have been saved by the calm advice given over the phone by our Control Team, buying vital seconds for those trapped in a fire or other emergency situation.”
“I would like to thank each of them for their dedication and professionalism in the face of often difficult situations and to all of our Operations Control colleagues across the world.
“Having mental health awareness is important for everyone and all efforts to highlight this are welcomed. I’m delighted to see this support from International Control Room Week.”
Event organisers, APD Communications said: “We have chosen Mind and the Scottish Association for Mental Health, as the charities to support throughout International Control Room Week as we know that health and wellbeing within the control room is often impacted due to the traumatic and challenging nature of the job.
“By raising money for mental health charities, we can indirectly help both the people working within the control rooms, and also the people contacting the emergency services.