The day-to-day role of Fire Control is to ensure the correct fire engines are sent to the correct places, with the best possible information as to the conditions firefighters are expected to meet and all in the quickest time.
This requires a total knowledge of a large number of procedures, a clear head, and considerable patience in dealing with members of the public who can be in a very emotional or distressed state, often speaking in a local dialect and using colloquialisms for local landmarks.
A control operator is required to advise other emergency services and other outside agencies, such as local authorities, Environment Agency, utility companies, Network Rail, and others such as the Red Cross Fire Emergency Support Service, as it may be necessary for their representatives to attend an incident.
From the moment an emergency call is received for the Fire and Rescue Service, speed is of the essence. Delay can result in loss of life and extensive damage to property.
The control operator’s job is the essential first step in getting appliances, officers, and other supporting services to an incident. All information and action taken regarding an incident are recorded in computerised logs.