Dorset PCC Backs 'Single 999 Service'

26 June 2013, 07:17

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill supports a report out suggesting emergency services could be run as one.

It's been put together by Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood after how closely police, fire and ambulance staff worked during the Olympics here.

While critics have expressed concern, over the idea, Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill has said he welcomes the debate initiated by the Home Secretary.

"For thirty years people have talked about amalgamating the blue light services and the logic for me is very clear. Why have three control rooms, when you can have one. Why have three command structures, three headquarters, three training centres, three radio systems. I could go on and on. The current system simply doesn't make sense.

Some aspects of this are not new. Already in this country, an area has paramedics travelling in fire engines. Most police helicopters already carry paramedics. In parts of Europe and America, fire and paramedics are one. It makes sense.

The public who pay for these services expect us to make sure that all the emergency services are delivered effectively and efficiently. For example, bringing procurement and purchasing into one arena for all three services and removing duplication of estate will save resources and money. However, I need to be clear that this is not just about saving money. I am excited at the potential opportunity to bring these services together in a way that will help to maximise efficiency, improve integration, reduce cost, yet maintain or enhance the overall service to the public. "

It's an idea that has been looked at in Dorset for some time.

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