The Fire and Rescue Service in England has chosen EADS Defence & Security as preferred bidder to supply a control room system that will provide the emergency service with a common national response capability for the first time.

There are currently 46 fire control centres operated by local fire brigades across England. Each operates different technology and risk management systems, making it difficult to provide a common national response.

The FiReControl project, run by the Department for Communities and Local Government, will create nine networked regional control centres (RCCs) all using the same new technology, systems and processes. These RCCs, based on the modular, flexible FiReControl system architecture, will be networked to automatically be able to back each other up at times of peak demand or failure as well as provide information for deploying the nearest suitable appliances and about on-site risks and handling direct to firefighters’ vehicles.

Feeds from geographical information systems will enable RCC teams to pinpoint the availability and status of the nearest and most appropriate resources, regardless of fire service boundaries, as well as the precise location of callers and incidents at any time.

The system, which is scheduled to be operational before the 2012 London Olympics, will provide the capability to respond to large-scale incidents such as industrial accidents, terrorist attacks and environmental disasters, offering greater protection to firefighters and the public.

The first RCCs are planned to go live in 2008. And the nine RCCs will be based in Cambridge, Castle Donnington, Durham, Fareham, London, Taunton, Wakefield, Warrington, and Wolverhampton.