FIRE magazine will once again host the Fire and Rescue Congress on May 25 at ORT House in Camden Town, north London. With experienced, sector experts and thought leaders confirmed to speak, the Congress is an opportunity for those seeking information to find practical solutions, learn about existing products and services and hear what the future holds for their service. Olaf Baars, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service; Paul Young, Fire and Rescue Advisor and Inspector to the Welsh Assembly Government and Michael Wright, Director at Greenstreet Berman are among the confirmed key speakers for this year's event.

 The demise of the Regional Control Centre programme (RCC) left the fire and rescue services with a void which resulted in many services being forced to use redundant or semi-redundant systems that require replacing. The delivery of a cost-effective method of call-handling and response dispatch remains at the heart of any emergency service and in the current economic environment solutions should be sought to meet user requirements within contracting budgets. The conference aims to address this and additional issues of the day within this vital sector of the Fire and Rescue Service. 

 Expert speakers will focus on how eminently sensible approaches to an efficient control system can be frustrated through a lack of clarity of expectations and appreciation of user requirements. They will also give insightful examples of good practice, systems and concepts that should enable the Service to move through this difficult period to provide a better service for the community. The threats to the community from terrorism and climate change have not diminished, and the conference aims to equip attendees with the ability to respond to related events, providing communities and individuals with a reassurance they deserve.  

 Lessons to be learned from the aborted procurement of the regional fire controls along with examples of best practice in call and dispatch practices will also be discussed. Attendees are also invited to seek ideas in developing a robust and resilient emergency response control for the twenty-first century, and build on the best available technology today. 

 The Congress will be of fundamental importance for senior fire, police and ambulance officers; local authority councilors; civil servants from the Home Office, Communities and Local Government, Health and Crime and Justice; and chief executive and system developers from command and control system providers, and so attendance is strongly recommended. FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch believes the format is particularly beneficial for delegates: "We designed the Congress to ensure people could share ideas and discuss best practice and it seems to work really well. From the basic economics of fire control modeling, through the technology and solutions that are currently available, this Congress promises to be one of the most relevant, challenging and lively in recent years. We hope it will encourage debate among peers with a vested interest in securing the best future for the communities. Knowing what is required and what it needs to do is half the battle: this event will help fill in some of the gaps".  

 For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, visit  

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Posted: 16.35pm, 19.05.11