Control Room staff have been praised for helping TWFRS become the fastest service in the UK

A fire chief has praised the unsung heroes of the service who keep communities across Tyne and Wear safe – and make sure they have the fastest fire service in the country.

Tyne and Wear Fire and RESCUE Service (TWFRS) Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Lynsey McVay, has today praised the staff in their 999 Fire Control room
As part of International Control Room Week, she has hailed the “unsung heroes” of the Service for the role they play in keeping people across the region safe.
Last year they answered a staggering 30,000 emergency calls and 80,000 non emergency calls but they also play an important role in deploying appliances, identify risk and gathering important information that impacts on operations.
Despite the huge number of calls they have to take, the 30 strong team of Fire Control staff have contributed to TWFRS having the fastest response time of all UK fire and rescue services.
The average response time for TWFRS crews to a fire at a residential property in the 2021/22 financial year was just 5 minutes 53 seconds.
ACFO McVay said: “It is not often that someone needs to pick up the phone to dial 999 and it could be at one of the worst moments of their life.
“It is important that the person on the other end of the phone is empathetic and treats them with respect, while also getting all the information they need to act quickly.
“We are incredibly proud that our Fire Control staff do just that. The passion they have for their roles, their teamwork, their comradery to get the job done, is incredible.
“If you need our help, they make sure it gets to you and they make sure it gets there as quickly as possible, all while reassuring you and keeping you calm.
“It is important that we don’t just use events like International Control Room Week to recognise our Fire Control staff because they are vital to how we operate as a Service.
“But this week does give us an opportunity to reflect on their contributions, and call on the public to celebrate that they are among the best at what they do, not just in the UK, but across the world.”
Some of the team have worked for TWFRS in some capacity for up to 30 years, meaning they know the region like the back of their hand and are always on hand to help out when they need to.
International Control Room Week is run by the founders of Control Room awards. It’s a week dedicated to celebrating the unsung heroes of the Control Room.
Control Rooms around the world are encouraged to take part with their colleagues to celebrate each other, their achievements and their incredible profession.

The week is aimed at raising public awareness of the life-saving and life-changing work of employees in critical control rooms.