A day in the life of a 999 Control operator

North West Fire Control is located in Lingley Mere in Warrington. It is here that all emergency calls are taken for the whole of Cheshire and Cumbria, and by the end of May 2014 it will also handle all calls for the fire services in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Calls can come from a variety of sources - the general public, receiving centres, other emergency services, running calls to station, and our own fire appliances.

The day-to-day role of Control is to ensure the right fire engines are sent to the right places - with the best possible information as to the conditions firefighters are expected to meet - and all in the quickest time. This requires a total knowledge of a large number of procedures, a clear head, and considerable patience in dealing with members of the public who can be in a very emotional state - often speaking in a local dialect and using colloquialisms for local landmarks.

A conrol operator is required to advise Fire Service officers, Police, Ambulance, and other outside agencies - such as local authorities, Environment Agency, gas and electricity contacts, Network Rail, plus others such as the Red Cross Fire Victim Support, the Salvation Army and Corporate Communications - as it may be necessary for their representatives to attend an incident.

From the moment an emergency call is received for the Fire and Rescue Service, speed is of the essence. Delay can result in loss of life and extensive damage to property. The control operaters job is the essential first step in getting appliances, officers, and other supporting services to an incident. All information and action taken regarding an incident is recorded on computerised logs.

More about North West Fire Control

Last updated: Tuesday 25 August 2015

Related images

Staff inside North West Fire Control