31 Jan 2012
GMB FIRE SERVICES MEMBERS DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE LONDON FIRE & EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTRE IN MERTON TOMORROW (Wednesday 1stFebruary) OVER PROPOSED PRIVATISATION OF LONDON’S 999 CALL CENTRE SERVICE
Potential bidders are chomping at the bit to get a piece of this trend setting action as this will very likely set a very bad precedent for future Fire Service delivery across the UK
GMB members who work for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), which runs the London Fire Brigade will stage a demonstration against the procurement process that could result in its ‘999’ mobilising control service being outsourced into the private sector.
The demo coincides with Wednesday’s (1st February) LFEPA, official opening of the new London Operations Centre (LOC) in the London Borough of Merton. Guests include Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Eric Pickles MP and Bob Neill MP. GMB is demonstrating against the potential privatisation of the 999 call centre.
The GMB members will hold their demonstration from:
Wednesday 1st FEBRUARY
LONDON OPERATIONS CENTRE
Clive Smith, GMB Regional Organiser said, “GMB is concerned that the handling of 999 calls must remain a public service and not become a business opportunity. The Control Room is the first link in the professional delivery of emergency services. GMB members not only handle calls but give potentially live saving advice to callers. GMB is concerned that the service to the public, when caught up in emergencies, will deteriorate. GMB is also concerned about the terms and conditions of members who current deliver an excellent service to the public.
A fire service control room is not simply a call centre. As well as providing lifesaving information to persons trapped in fires and mobilising resources to assist them, it manages fire cover and provides risk based information / support to fire-fighters on the ground, all whilst liaising with other emergency services / agencies and providing a strategic overview to principal managers
Potential bidders are chomping at the bit to get a piece of this trend setting action as this will very likely set a very bad precedent for future Fire Service delivery across the UK.
This opens the door to private investors who will drive down costs in boosting the value of their investments. It will deliver a poorer service to the public as the demoralised, discontented and disconnected staff fall by the wayside.”
Contact: Clive Smith, GMB Organiser on 07802 958554 or Paul Maloney, GMB Senior Organiser on 07801 343839 or GMB Press Office: Steve Pryle on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy on 07974 258123.