Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today said people across the North and North East of Scotland will feel the axe should never have fallen on their fire control room, after the facility in Aberdeen shut today.
Emergency calls will now be handled in a centre in Dundee where a new centre is yet to be completed, causing calls to reportedly be handled in portacabins. The Inverness control room, which also serves the Northern Isles, is set to shut shortly.
Commenting Mr McArthur said:
“Staff and local residents have consistently made it clear that the axe should never have fallen on this valued facility. Its closure today is a direct result of the SNP’s damaging centralisation of local emergency services.
“With only a handful of people transferring to Dundee it confirms that valuable local knowledge, honed through years of dealing with emergencies on the frontline, is going to be lost as a result. We simply can’t expect call handlers in Dundee and the central belt to possess detailed understanding of every part of Scotland.
“What is similarly worrying is that the replacement control rooms are reportedly still being built. It seems nonsensical that control room staff are being stacked up in portable cabins over the winter while the existing facilities lie empty.
“Considering the problems that Police Scotland has encountered while closing its control rooms. It would be entirely understandable if people have concerns that service levels will diminish as a result of the closures of the fire facilities in Aberdeen and Inverness.”