England

Fire services get £5m funding to join call centres

Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leiestershire fire services have been given £5.4m to work together in the handling of emergency calls.

The services will keep their individual control centres, but if operators are busy in one the call will re-route to another centre.

Fire chiefs said the funding would improve the service for people living in the three counties.

The Fire Brigades Union has said it would oppose any redundancies.

'Support progress'

Sean Frayne, chief fire officer and chief executive for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This is fantastic news, not just for Derbyshire but for the project as a whole.

"It places Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service in a strong position to improve service delivery to the communities of Derbyshire and enable increased firefighter safety, whilst improving resilience across the three counties."

The money is part of £81m funding from central government aimed at improving the handling of emergency calls following the scrapping of the FiReControl project.

FiReControl aimed to replace 46 individual control centres with nine regional ones, but was cancelled by the government in December 2010.

Gary Mitchell, from the Fire Brigades Union, said: "Our stance is we support any progress on developing communications within the fire service.

"But we are opposed on any redundancies as a result."

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