News : Fears Over Shrewsbury Fire Control Centre Closure
July 15, 2014 -- Major cost-cutting plans which could see Shropshire’s fire control centre close have sparked concerns that lives could be put at risk.
People against the proposal said it was important for the county to have its own control room which features staff with a good knowledge of the area who do not have to rely on technology.
The proposal to move the Shrewsbury-based control room out of the county and merge it with another 999 call centre was discussed at the second public meeting held by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service last night.
The meeting in Market Drayton was attended by about 15 people and gave control centre staff a chance to make their case for keeping the Shrewsbury centre open.
Roger Smith, of Market Drayton Fire Station, said: "I am personally in favour of the control centre remaining. Local knowledge means a lot.
"A lot of paramedics I have spoken to since the ambulance service amalgamation have told me stories and the problems of 999 calls and getting someone to the scene.
"If it means saving a life then these people should remain in Shrewsbury with all the local knowledge they have.
"Technology can go wrong. What happens when it goes wrong?"
Paul Pryce, watch manager at the Shrewsbury centre, also said that a good knowledge of the area was important.
"We are more than just a group of people taking 999 calls," he said. "We have good local knowledge. We know if something is wrong and we can react to that."
The public consultation meetings are being held to discuss money-saving proposals as the authority has been told it must save another £900,000 by 2020, on top of £3.2m already cut since 2010.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service:
The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin, in the West Midlands region of England.
Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014