To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
(1) what plans he has to provide inter-operability between emergency services and their radio communications systems;
(2) which organisations from industry are advising Ministers on the procurement details for the fire and ambulance services for the replacement of their radio communications systems;
(3) which Department has responsibility for taking decisions on the replacement of radio communication systems for fire and ambulance services;
(4) what consultations he has had to determine the procurement process for the fire and ambulance service for the replacement of their radio communications systems.
DTLR has policy responsibility for fire services in England and Wales and the Department of Health for ambulance services.
The requirements for inter-operability reflect identified needs following the attack on the World Trade Centre. The Presidents of the associations representing the Chief Officers of the emergency services have now agreed a new and enhanced requirement for the inter-operability of radio systems between the services.