Fire service prepares for move into new control centre

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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has a new control centre which will be opened by Lord-Lieutenant Dr Ingrid Roscoe on April 4.

The state-of-the-art centre in Leeds will receive all 999 emergency fire and rescue calls across the county.

The current centre will be moving this summer from its present location at Birkenshaw where it has been situated for the last 40 years.

This project is in collaboration with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue which allows both services to provide fallback arrangements; enabling each to provide assistance to one another where needed.

The collaboration has involved a significant joint investment in the procurement of a new mobilising and communications system.

Brigade Control has been at the Birkenshaw headquarters since 1974 when the West Yorkshire Fire Service was formed and the West Riding, County Borough, and City Brigades were amalgamated.

Back then, mobilising staff used simple card wheel indexes to find addresses, a system which continued until 1987, when the brigade‟s first computerised mobilising system was brought in.

Communications packages have advanced over the years with upgrades to accommodate the latest software.

Project Director, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Beckley said: “The new Command and Control Centre is a major step forward and has been designed to house the very latest in emergency control centre technology.”