Beds, Herts & Bucks

New computers to handle 999 calls in Bedfordshire

The fire service in Bedfordshire hopes to install new computers and IT systems to manage its response to 999 calls.

Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service is to spend £200,000 on the system at its Kempston headquarters.

"Our existing system is still working but it is so old that spares are no longer available," assistant chief fire officer Robert Hull said.

"We need to introduce a new one now and we can wait no longer for a proposed regional control centre."

He added: "We have already looked at various IT options but a final decision has yet to be made.

"However we expect to go for a tried-and-tested system which can be tailored to our specific needs, and of course public safety and system security will be two key issues."

The system will mobilise fire crews from 14 stations across Bedfordshire to incidents.

Regional control centres were first suggested about 10 years ago by the Labour government.

The project has been delayed and its future is now uncertain because of public sector spending cuts, Mr Hull said.

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