Fire con­trol trans­fer ‘dis­as­trous’

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - Opinion -

SIR, – I can only agree with Ms Pot­tinger’s sen­ti­ments (Let­ters, Jan­uary 10) about the dis­as­trous trans­fer of fire con­trol from In­ver­ness, above, to a cen­tral fa­cil­ity in Dundee.

I along with many oth­ers, both fire ser­vice per­son­nel re­tired and serv­ing and mem­bers of the pub­lic, made the point that what we are see­ing now would in­evitably come to pass.

Matthew Reiss’s sug­ges­tion of a High­land com­bined emer­gency ser­vice con­trol fa­cil­ity in the area makes a lot of sense but will the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment see it that way?

Take note that in the me­dia now, the fa­cil­ity in Dundee is no longer a com­mand and con­trol cen­tre which is what we had in In­ver­ness, but a “call cen­tre”. Is this a pre­lude to “if your call re­lates to a bed­room fire, please press 1. If your call is to a kitchen fire, please press 2”?

Fur­ther the plat­i­tudes about ef­fi­cient crews will help re­gard­ing lo­cal knowl­edge does not re­ally wash, when for ex­am­ple Lairg get called to a fire in Skye. Crews be­ing paged to a wrong lo­ca­tion is dis­grace­ful, and it is plac­ing un­nec­es­sary stress on re­tained per­son­nel.

Those that have ex­pe­ri­enced the ini­tial ten­sion or tur­moil when your pager ac­ti­vates and you have to drop ev­ery­thing and pro­ceed to your sta­tion with­out any idea what you are be­ing turned out for un­til you read the printer in the sta­tion, will know well what I mean. You only then know whether it is go­ing to be a sim­ple chim­ney fire say, or a fa­tal in­ci­dent pos­si­bly in­volv­ing some­one you may even know.

Alas­tair Ar­mit­stead, Achiltibuie, Ross-shire

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