Two fire brigades plan to share emergency call service

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Emergency fire calls in Staffordshire and the West Midlands could be dealt with by a shared control service.

The counties currently have their own centres to handle 999 calls but a new agreement could mean they handled from a single centre in the region.

The two fire and rescue authorities are now working together to develop the plans.

A project to set up larger regional fire control centres across England was scrapped in December 2010.

Councillor Len Bloomer, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said he "firmly believed that exploring the opportunity of a joint fire control service is the right thing to do".

"[It] has the potential to bring real improvements not just to the two organisations but most importantly in terms of service to our respective local communities," he added.

John Edwards, chairman of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said the service to the public could be improved through better resource planning.

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