Maddiston control room faces the axe

Former 'Central Scotland Fire and Rescue headquarters at Maddiston
Former 'Central Scotland Fire and Rescue headquarters at Maddiston
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Plans to axe the rescue service control room at Maddiston have come under fire with warnings that lives could be put at risk.

Members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) board agreed to reduce the number of 999 centres in a cost-cutting move.

It follows the merger of the country’s eight services into a single national organisation earlier this year.

The SFRS intends to have three controls rooms – one at Johnstone and, following further investigation, two from options of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Inverness.

The board anticipates this, along with other asset realisation, will save £4.8 million annually.

But criticism of the move has come from union officials and politicians, unhappy about the decision to remove controls rooms from the heart of the communities they serve.

A spokesman for the Fire Brigades Union said: “The Scottish Government created a single service with the promise there would be no cuts to the frontline. Here we are six months later and massive cuts to an integral part 
of that frontline is being
axed.

“We call upon the Scottish Government to step in and keep the promise they made.”

He added a campaign to save command and control centre across Scotland has been launched.

Grangemouth councillor Bob Spears said he was concerned that “the cutback on costs was at the expense of residents’ safety”.

Although the SFRS has said consultation with staff was underway, the councillor added he was concerned jobs would eventually be lost.

Pat Waters, board chairman, said: “We cannot deliver our services without their support and commitment.”