WELSH firefighters have expressed “deep concern” over plans to relocate the control room of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFR) to Bridgend.
The plan is to merge MAWWFR’s control room – currently sited in Llangunnor, Carmarthen – with that of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and relocate it to the headquarters of South Wales police in Bridgend.
The decision comes following a feasibility study undertaken by both fire services, and is projected to save Welsh taxpayers more than £1million a year once completed.
But Fire Brigade Union (FBU) members have raised concerns that the move will have a negative impact on the service it can provide.
Grant Mayos, FBU executive council member for Wales, said: “Our highly-skilled control room members have proven time and time again that local knowledge saves precious time in responding to incidents.
”We are therefore deeply concerned about how the loss of a dedicated fire control room in Mid and West Wales will affect the service provided to local communities — and the future of our members.
“The FBU in Wales has opposed this move from the outset and we have informed management of our serious concerns.”
A spokesman for MAWWFR confirmed the move will take place, but stressed that the project was “in its infancy” and that talks with unions were ongoing.
The move is expected to take around two-and-a-half years to complete.
The spokesman added: “It is essential that blue light services work together to improve public safety. This project is an opportunity for us to work closely together and share expertise from the earliest point of contact.”
She also said that, at this stage, there was no information on whether the move would affect jobs in either service.