Out of control: the government is clinging by its fingertips to its determination to close down every local emergency fire control room in the UK outside of London and Northern Ireland. A central claim is that a much smaller number of regional controls will mean a better response in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack.(Comment)

Such claims are groundless. The New Dimension Project Team, on which I sat, looked at what the Fire Service had to do to ensure a proper and professional response to such attacks. The government accepted our report in full. Closing down every existing local emergency fire control room was not one of the recommendations.

The government's Bain Review, written in Whitehall with the aid of a team of civil servants, looked at local emergency fire control rooms. It did not recommend what the government is now proposing.

Closing down control rooms en masse was dreamt up in the bowels of Whitehall. Never mind that two post 9/11 reports had not mentioned it, someone had a pet project they wanted to force through. …

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