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Sad day for the north-east: Aberdeen fire control room closes for final time

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The closure of Aberdeen’s fire control room yesterday was branded a “sad day for the north-east” by one of the region’s MSPs.

Fire service workers from the Granite City, Inverness and Dundee will join forces in a new facility by March 2017.

Plans to replace northern control centres in Aberdeen and Inverness with a single facility in Tayside were confirmed by the Scottish Government in 2014.

But the plans have been heavily criticised since their inception by opposition politicians and fire service unions.

Last night North East Liberal Democrat Mike Rumbles said: “Once we lose vital assists like Aberdeen fire control, they are very hard to bring back.

“Aberdeen should have been kept open long enough to overlap the service from Dundee.

“The loss of local knowledge and temporary setup of the Dundee facility will leave the north-east vulnerable to mistakes that could cost lives.

“This is a sad day for the families involved and a sad day for the local fire service in the north-east.”

But last night the fire service insisted that the move will not affect the safety of the public.

A SFRS spokeswoman said: “There is no doubt whatsoever that our communities and the protection of our communities sits at the very heart of all that we do.

“We will be inviting Mike Rumbles to visit our facility in Dundee so that he can find out for himself how this is part of a very carefully planned programme to deliver a new Operations Control.

“We would look forward to an opportunity to demonstrate to him the capabilities we have in place and also for him to personally meet with the men and women committed to providing a life-saving service to the people of the north.

“We once again pay tribute to our operations control staff for their professionalism as we move ever closer to a more resilient service, protecting the north.”

Andy Coueslant, deputy assistant chief officer with overall responsibility for the north, said: “First and foremost, I would like to pay tribute to all of our staff at both Aberdeen and Dundee operations control for their unstinting professionalism and dedication as we move ever closer to a more enhanced and resilient service, protecting our communities across the north.

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure those communities that we have been working exceptionally hard to ensure a seamless transition and that we will continue to stand on the front line, attending every 999 call.”

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