Latest technology to help speed up response to calls

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Firefighters could soon be arriving at incidents in quicker times as a result of plans to invest money in the county’s fire control room.

The new technology will give the service the power to pinpoint where mobile phone calls are being made from for the first time.

The county’s chief fire officer Martyn Emberson said this would prove invaluable, adding: “Sometimes when people ring in they’ll say a fire is happening in the High Street but they don’t go on to say which town that’s in. With this new technology we will be able to see where the mobile phone call is coming from so we’ll know which High Street they mean.

“This is also bad news for anyone who makes a malicious call to us because we will know where they are.

“This isn’t Big Brother but it will help us a lot.”

The investment will also see new technology introduced which will enable the fire service to see exactly where every fire engine is in the county so it can send out the crews which are nearest to incidents.

Mr Emberson said: “Hopefully the public won’t notice any difference while we’re carrying out this work, if they notice anything it will be that we are arriving quicker.

“With this technology we will be able to track our vehicles as they travel along roads so we will know exactly where they are and can see which one is nearest to an incident.

“This means we can send the closest fire engine rather than sending a crew from the nearest station which may not be as close.

“This is not something we have the capability to do at the moment.”

Over the past few years there has been minimal investment in the county’s control room because it was due to be replaced by a new regional control centre.

However, this year the regional control centre scheme was scrapped and in its draft budget for 2012-13 Northamptonshire County Council has proposed investing £100,000 into the county’s facility. It has also indicated it would like to set aside a further £400,000 in the following year.