Reprieve likely for Tollcross Fire Control Room

Tollcross Fire Station

Later this week the Scottish Fire & Rescue service is set to agree plans that would retain the Tollcross Fire Control Room.

The facility, which dispatches fire units to emergencies across the old Lothian and Borders region, was facing an uncertain future amid cost cutting measures.

The SFRS is proposing to reduce the number of control rooms across the country from eight to three.  Under the recommendations to be put before the board on Thursday, Edinburgh will be retained along with Dundee and Johnstone.

I am delighted that the Edinburgh control room looks set to be retained. Since the proposals first emerged I have been lobbying the SFRS and the Scottish Government to highlight the strategic benefits of the facility and the importance of local jobs.

I also had the opportunity to meet with local staff to hear about the work they do and to listen to their concerns about the proposals.

I am pleased that following further consideration of the issue by the SFRS the strong case for retention of Tollcross has been recognised.

Given the reductions in staffing across Scotland I believe it’s vital that the SRFS keep under review the overall issues of resilience and safety as the new arrangements bed in.

Moreover, the big picture will see civilian fire staff in other parts of the country losing out and the pressure will now be on the Scottish Government to ensure that promises of redeployment actually materialise.