Plans well advanced for the RFS headquarters

Operations officer Scott Keelan at the desk he'll be leaving.

Operations officer Scott Keelan at the desk he'll be leaving.

The final stages of creating a new fire-control centre for the Northern Tablelands are being completed.  Glen Innes Severn Council is negotiating with a company over how to create a state-of-the-art hub for the Rural Fire Service on Lambeth Street to cover Glen Innes, Inverell and Tenterfield local government areas.

At the moment, the nerve centre is in a warren of rooms in the old council buildings on Bourke Street in Glen Innes but the new facility will be purpose-designed.

The existing centre looks charming but was meant for different times and purposes.  

The existing control centre: Charming but not built for purpose.

The existing control centre: Charming but not built for purpose.

In the new one, there will be a separate control-room. Where the cramped existing centre has paper maps and wall charts, the new one will have the latest screen technology.

It shouldn’t make response times faster – they’re already fast – but it should make operating easier for full-time staff coping in fraught situations.

“It’s going to be a better place for us to work out of,” Operations Officer, Scott Keelan said.

Commander Chris Wallbridge said the existing premises were too small to serve the 45 brigades and the 1450 volunteers plus full-time staff.

Mayor Steve Toms said: “The bottom line is this option has strong moral and financial support.  The available facilities are totally inadequate.”

The plan is to get the new control centre up and running and then to build a new fire station on the same site.

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