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Royal Seal of Approval
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has opened Merseyside’s new joint Police and Fire Command and Control Centre (JCC) situated at Bridle Road in Bootle.
The centre is based at the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service headquarters and is a mixture of a new build and refurbishment of the current building.
The co-location of the fire and police control room functions provides an exciting opportunity to deliver a more efficient and effective service to the public. Both emergency services share site infrastructure and facilities with the potential for sharing of technology solutions in the longer term.
Two Merseyside Police officers on horseback, wearing full regalia, along with four police officers and four fire officers in undress uniform provided the guard of honour for The Princess Royal for her visit on December 16.
Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens, Chief Constable Jon Murphy and Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling formally welcomed HRH and invited her to open the building and take a tour.
Princess Anne and her party had a tour of the centre that included visiting the police and fire control rooms as well
as meeting
staff including
teams who are also co-located at the JCC. Princess Anne also met the Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside Jane Kennedy and the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Merseyside.
During her visit she spoke of how impressed she had been with the centre and the value of all of the emergency service staff working there.
Following the tour Her Royal Highness (HRH) unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion and said: “I know how difficult these centres are to bring together... and I congratulate the total of you who have been involved and I’m glad I have been in here for just a little while to find out how it really works.”
Before unveiling the plaque, the Princess Royal said:
“For those who work here (the JCC) the technology is only part of what you can achieve. It may help you do a job but you are fundamentally about dealing with people and that’s sometimes when their worst fears are realised. That takes a quite exceptional degree of training and ability to respond. That doesn’t change and although I’m sure this building will help in many respects, it’s a big thank you to those who will serve in it now and in the future.”
HRH was also presented with posies of flowers by Serena Garcia, 5, whose mum works in the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Fire Control room and Millie Greenop, 13, whose mother works for Merseyside Police. Serena and her mother Fire Control Operator Jennie Garcia are pictured meeting HRH on the front cover of this edition of Hot News.
Two antique fire appliances, the Dennis F8 built in the 1950s and the open Albion from the 1940s, were also on display for the Princess Royal to see before she left the site.
Photos: Tony Thomas.
Left to right is Fire Control’s Watch Manager Diane O'Connell, Watch Manager Lynda Hazlehurst and Crew Manager Joyce Parry who explained the systems they use during the official opening.

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