Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
PLANS for a state-of-the-art 999 control centre for Merseyside’s police and fire services have been submitted for approval.
The £6.6m joint command centre will be based at the Merseyside fire service headquarters in Bridle Road, Bootle, and deal with the county’s emergency calls.
Documents lodged with Sefton Council on Tuesday reveal how the authority intends to build the control centre and a conference facility through a refurbishment of existing buildings and a new build.
If approved, there would be a two-storey extension to the rear of the headquarters, an single-story extension to the authority’s heritage centre and demolition of unwanted ancillary buildings.
Fire and police will share facilities with the potential to eventually share technology.
They said the JCC “will provide an exciting opportunity to deliver a more efficient and effective service to the public”.
Councillor Dave Hanratty, chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “The centre is a Merseyside solution which will see real benefits for our mobilising and command and control functions.
“It also provides an opportunity for long–term partnership working and savings. It is an excellent opportunity for both ourselves and the police and one which also keeps fire and rescue service jobs on Merseyside.”
The JCC will also house top-level strategic (gold) and tactical (silver) commands in purpose-built accommodation considered safer than the current city centre site.
The Bridle Road premises will be home to a new joint call handling and dispatch centre for both police and fire.
A new command function, which will also offer space for other agencies, is also provided by refurbishing the middle of an existing building.
Former police authority chairman Cllr Bill Weightman said the response to the 2011 riots showed the benefits of closer emergency services work.
He said: “As part of our plans for the police authority’s estate, we have looked at options for developing call handling and emergency planning facilities.
“The joint control and command centre offers us an improved way of working and is far and away the most cost-effective and practical solution. The project also demonstrates our continued commitment to collaboration with other public sector organisations.”
The project, partly funded by a government grant of £1.1m, will not host the North West ambulance service.
It quit the project in March labelling it “uneconomic” and will continue to operate from its three centres in Anfield, Preston and Greater Manchester.