Fire merger - have a say

Published: 12 Apr 2012 13:231 comment

PEOPLE are being urged to have their say on plans to set up a shared fire control centre between Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

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Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS) have launched a public consultation on plans to merge services in a bid to improve resilience, efficiency and performance, and make savings of £880,000 across both fire and rescue services. Berkshire's acting Chief Fire Officer Olaf Baars, said: "By sharing a control function with Oxfordshire, we believe we can provide a more resilient, cost-effective and improved service to the public we serve."

The proposed Thames Valley Fire Control Centre (TVFCS) will include the installation of state of the art technology, new telephone systems that will enable control operators to identify the exact location of the caller and a new fire appliance mobilising system, leading to improved emergency response times.

The move follows the termination of the national FiReControl project in 2010, which had planned to replace individual control rooms with nine regional control centres across the country.

Mr Baars added: "As with any proposals for change, we understand that some people may have a different view.

"This consultation is an opportunity for local people to let us know their thoughts on our plans for the proposed TVFCS and help shape its future. We hope that as many people as possible will take part and share their views with us."

The consultation runs from Friday, April 6, until Friday, July 6. View the proposals at: www.rbfrs.co.uk or www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/fire_service and respond by emailing tvfcs@rbfrs.co.uk or tvfcs@oxfordshire.gov.uk or telephoning: 0118 938 4331

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