The Command and Control Centre is responsible for handling all emergency calls, determining correct resources, mobilising and providing all back-up assistance. In addition it is responsible for maintaining operational cover to ensure fire appliances are always strategically deployed to meet the standards of fire cover.
Fire Control Operators in the Command and Control Centre handle almost 20,000 emergency 999 calls per year: ensuring that crews, officers, fire engines and equipment are dispatched to where they're needed.
Fire Control Operators need to be effective, confident communicators, remaining calm under pressure. These skills are particularly important when trying to extract vital information from callers about the severity of incidents and where they are in County Durham and Darlington, then communicating this information to firefighters.
Fire Control Operators stay on the phone, assessing the risks posed to the caller and giving fire survival advice in what can be very stressful, life-threatening situations.
They also perform a vital role, communicating between crews attending incidents and other emergency services and authorities who need to attend - such as the Environment Agency, if for example, chemicals are involved that can pose a threat to people, property or the environment.
They are encouraged to identify possible malicious false alarm calls. These are not just a nuisance, they can be life-threatening because crews attending these false alarms will be unavailable should a genuine incident occur at the same time.