North East MSP Mike Rumbles has called on the Scottish Government to guarantee that the new Dundee fire control centre, responsible for the whole of North of Scotland, is ‘fully operational’ before local centres are closed in Aberdeen and Inverness.
A similar cost cutting exercise in 2014-15 saw Northern police control rooms close and led to a series of failures to respond to calls from the public.
Mike Rumbles said: “People in the North of Scotland need clear assurances that the decision to press ahead with these closures will not lead to a repeat of the shambles that we saw after the closure of police call centres. Both centres in Aberdeen and Inverness are state-of-the-art facilities with staff who have decades of experience directing local services to often remote areas all over the north of Scotland. That knowledge and expertise cannot easily be replaced.
“Emergency service staff do life-saving work but front-line firefighters cannot do their jobs without a robust control room responding to calls from the public. Given the mess that we have seen with the police, the fire service must ensure that all systems are fully operational and there are no gaps in the system before the new arrangements come on line.”