Every 999 call starts with them


A Station Manager has praised 999 Fire Control Room staff in the North East and revealed they have helped ensure the region has the fastest response in the country.

Station Manager Andrew Lineham has today praised the Control Team at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) as part of National Control Room Week.

He has hailed the Fire Control Room staff as the “unsung heroes” of the Service as he revealed the average response time to a fire in Tyne and Wear is just six minutes.

Based at the Service Headquarters in Washington, the 30 strong team work shifts managing incidents across the region.

They take 999 calls and quickly identify risk before deploying the most appropriate vehicle.

Station Manager Lineham, who is the Control Room Manager for TWFRS, has praised his team’s hard work in creating the safest community.

He said “People tend to call us when the worst has happened or is currently happening, so keeping a level head is key when you work in the control room.

“We are incredibly proud of the work they do, the passion they have for their roles and the teamwork and comradery they show to get the job done and protect our community.

“Whether it’s a house fire, an RTC, bringing a person in distress to safety or rescuing someone from the water, our Control Room will make sure help is on the way.

“They supply the firefighters on the ground with all the information they need to respond to any incident safely.

“Our Control Room plays a huge part in delivering the quickest possible response time and it is only fitting that we celebrate their contribution this week.”

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.

But new blood is on the way, after a recruitment drive last year three new members of staff have already joined the team and two more have just started, each of them bringing new life experience and a new way of thinking.

TWFRS’s average total response time to a ‘primary fire’ is 6 minutes 29 seconds which is 2 minutes and 14 faster than the average time in England and a decrease of 23 seconds from 2018/19.

Their average total response time to ‘dwelling fires’ is 5 minutes 55 seconds which is 1 minute 45 faster than the average time in England and a decrease of 18 seconds from 2018/19.

And finally in ‘road vehicle fires’, TWFRS average response time is 6 minutes 34 seconds which is 3 minutes 6 seconds fast than the English average and a decrease of 30 seconds from 2018/19.