Fire service is up to date with swanky tech

THE hub of the county’s fire and rescue service has been given a high-tech upgrade to increase efficiency.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has upgraded its control room to enable staff to handle emergency calls even more effectively than before.

The control room for the service which covers Thame but is in Kidlington, now has new touch screen technology allowing operators to access all of the service’s telephone and radio systems through one computer.

This enables them to deal with 999 calls from the public and communicate immediately with fire crews and other emergency services.

Oxfordshire is the second Fire and Rescue Service in the UK to use the updated system.

Control room manager Phil Baskerville said: “I am delighted with the upgraded system.

“The installation has gone very smoothly and was both on time and within the budget provided by the County Council.

“The system provides all the functionality of the original but uses the latest technology.

“It gives us the potential to exploit new and modern features that will allow us to improve the effectiveness of the control room while allowing for future options for expansion and collaboration. Our operators are very pleased with it.”

The upgrade is part of ongoing improvements planned for the control room and its supporting systems to ensure that the performance and resilience of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service remains among the best performing services in the UK.

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for communities, said: “This upgrade allows us to build on the already excellent control room service provided by the Fire and Rescue Service.

“The improvements help staff to deal more effectively with the public, manage the response of firefighters and liaise with other agencies.

“Our aim is always to provide the best possible emergency service for the people of Oxfordshire.”