You are here: Home > About us > Plans, policies & performance > Additional Information > Taking 999 calls >

Taking 999 calls

We have very strong emergency call handling and incident support arrangements. From April 10 to March 11, there were 31,615 calls to 19,313 incidents, a decrease of 12.6% and 8.7% respectively against the previous year. Control is a high-performing part of the service. The average time taken for us to answer a 999 call for 2010/11 was just 4.3 seconds.

Control staff have individual development plans, and new joiners undergo a thorough induction process. Control arrangements are subject to regular testing. For example, we regularly test plans for transfer to standby control. We record data from all incidents attended, and record voice-messages received in control. Our mobilising system has been developed over the years to include innovations such as pre-alerting. This uses advances in technology to allow control room staff to locate the call origin, permitting early alerting of crews who will be mobilised. Our attendance times have remained constant over the last ten years, despite increasing traffic volumes.


The future for fire control

In December 2010 the government announced that it was cancelling the national FiReControl project which was due to amalgamate all fire control rooms into nine Regional Control Centres.

Currently 999 emergency calls which require a response from the fire and rescue service are handled by our control room in Maidstone. Kent had been due to transfer to a new South East Regional Control Centre in Hampshire in 2012. The project had been delayed on several occasions and there had been doubts for some time as to whether the project would be completed. Kent, along with other fire services in the region, had therefore already started to consider alternative models. This could still include amalgamating control room functions with other fire and rescue services. In Kent, we have also been considering whether we could work more closely with Kent Police and utilise their control centre in Maidstone.

We have reviewed our current mobilising systems to ensure they will remain reliable whilst these alternative models are developed. The system which supports call handling and mobilises our resources to emergencies is complex and introducing a replacement will take considerable investment of time and resources.

We also need to consider the impact on our existing control room staff. The skills and experience of the existing staff are highly valued and their future has been uncertain for far too long. We therefore want to work with them to find an effective and efficient long-term solution.

Control Centre

Existing Kent Fire & Rescue Control


The 2012/13 Corporate Plan has now been published

Site tools


Add This


Values: As an organisation we will always value our staff