Control Operators handle emergency 999 calls ensuring that crews, officers, fire engines and equipment are dispatched to where they are needed, as quickly as possible. They need to be effective, confident communicators, remaining calm under pressure. These skills are particularly important when trying to extract vital information from callers about the severity of incidents and where they are in the area, then communicating this information to firefighters.
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Adam McHale – Control Room Watch Manager
After spending five years working with a neighbouring fire service I transferred across to Humberside. I work as part of a high performing team within the control room taking 999 emergency calls. Every day is different, when we start a shift we never quite know what will happen.
During a large incident we have to be alert, calm and aware. We are always thinking ahead. Preparing for the next radio message. It’s quite similar to a game of chess. Moving resources around the region to ensure we always have fire cover available.
When I’m not working in Control, I provide fire cover at my local on-call Fire Station. Being an on-call firefighter is very rewarding. My station has one fire engine and a first responder car, so I deal with both fire and medical emergencies.
Both roles in the Fire Service go hand in hand. They both require me to make decisions quickly, remain calm under pressure and communicate effectively.