Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Wight fire control switch from Surrey to Hampshire agreed

Newport fire station Image copyright Google
Image caption Emergency calls to Isle of Wight's fire service are answered in a control centre in Reigate, Surrey

Calls to Isle of Wight's fire service, currently dealt with in Surrey, are to be handed over to a control room in Hampshire from next year.

Councillors agreed a proposal to switch control rooms when its contract with Surrey Fire and Rescue ends in 2017.

Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue is already in a partnership with Hampshire's fire service, with the two organisations sharing a chief officer.

Under the latest plans, 999 calls would be answered in Winchester from 1 April.

In a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council executive committee, councillors approved the recommendation to move the control function to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for a period of five years.

Isle of Wight merged its control centre with Surrey in March 2012 in a five-year deal.

Call answerers in Reigate handle 999 calls from the island and mobilise fire crews in a deal that costs the Isle of Wight service £300,000 annually.

According to the report considered by councillors, the Hampshire deal would cost about £200,000 a year with £89,000 "transition costs".

Under the new agreement, Isle of Wight Council would remain the fire authority.

Earlier this year, neighbouring Dorset Fire and Rescue merged with Wiltshire's fire service in a bid to save £6m a year.

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