At the forefront of 999 operations
The Joint Communications Centre is the essential link between members of the public needing assistance and our emergency teams.
When anyone in North Wales dials 999 / 112 and asks for the fire and rescue service, they will be put through to control staff at the Joint Communications Centre in St Asaph.
The Joint Communications Centre is a collaborative facility where North Wales Fire and Rescue Service shares an operational floor with North Wales Police. Unique in the UK, the facility was opened in October 2008, the major drivers being the saving of lives and the reduction of serious injuries. It represents an innovative approach to joint emergency service working, placing North Wales at the very forefont of 999 operations.
Communication is the key to more informed decision making when responding to any incident and is enhanced by a better understanding of how each service works.
The facility enables staff from both organisations to work more closely together to co-ordinate their response to the communities ofNorth Wales- this dual agency approach results in the earlier notification of incidents between services which leads to the earlier deployment of resources.
Control staff are responsible for the immediate despatch of crews and appliances from all of the 44 stations across North Wales along with any specialist equipment that is required.
Staff deal with around 108,000 calls each year, approximately 17,000 of these are emergency calls, many of which are life threatening. Operators are trained to deal with callers who are trapped and offer fire survival assistance. Those which are less serious can still be upsetting and frightening to the people involved.
Emergency calls cover a variety of events such as fires, road traffic collisions, incidents involving hazardous materials, flooding and many others.
State of the art command and control equipment features the latest techhnology for mobilising and communications.
The Joint Communications Centre is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. Fire and rescue service control staff work in teams and have a range of sophisticated information technology to assist them in dealing with emergency calls and for sending the quickest and most appropriate resource from any of our fire stations to any location within North Wales.
Control staff need to have a range of skills, and be able to, think fast and relay instructions accurately. They maintain comprehensive data across a wide range of subjects such as emergency incidents, resource availability and risk information.
In addition to responding to 999 calls and sending fire appliances out to incidents, they carry out a wide range of duties and must have a meticulous eye for detail and liaise with all members of the Service, other agencies, the public and the media.
The three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services have worked collaboratively to increase resilience, capacity and inter-working within each of the three Welsh Control rooms, this has resulted in improved arrangements for any catastrophic event or spate conditions, this means that support can be given by one of the other Control rooms for the handling and processing of 999 calls from the public.
The Joint Communications Centre provides a bilingual service with specialised local knowledge for the people who live, work and visit North Wales when they call for assistance.