Edinburgh fire control room under closure threat

Edinburgh's fire control at Tollcross is under threat. Pic: Toby Williams
Edinburgh's fire control at Tollcross is under threat. Pic: Toby Williams
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THE FIRE service control room in Edinburgh is facing closure in a move which would see calls diverted to Dundee.

The threat has emerged as the Scottish Fire and Rescue board meets tomorrow to discuss the next stafe of the integration of the old regional brigades.

In all six of Scotland’s eight fire control rooms could be closed a Scotland-wide fire response co-ordinated from two control rooms in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, and Dundee.

A decision in favour would see the immediate closure of Aberdeen, Inverness, Dumfries, Fife and Falkirk control rooms, with the eventual closure of Edinburgh’s Tollcross base.

Green MSP for Lothian Alison Johnstone raised concerns about proposals to close the Edinburgh control room.

“I would urge members of the fire board to defer a decision on this as it raises many questions about jobs and quality of service,” she said.

“If the long term plan is to do away with the Edinburgh control room, what does this mean for the many skilled employees, and what assurances can be given about emergency responses?

“Scottish Greens warned of such centralisation and opposed the merging of the regional fire brigades. These control room closures shouldn’t simply be sneaked through; the communities affected deserve to be consulted.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes has raised concerns about “a loss of local knowledge”.

“The closure of six out of eight of Scotland’s fire control centres would strike a real blow to local communities,” she said.

“I have real concerns that staff will be asked to make life and death decisions without having crucial knowledge of the area. We know that this is particularly important in rural communities.

“It could lengthen response times and potentially put residents at risk. It is also far from clear what the closures would mean for the staff who work in the control rooms.”