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Emergency Services (Radio Communications)

Transport, Local Government and the Regions written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Mark Oaten Mark Oaten Liberal Democrat, Winchester

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.

Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Transport, Local Government and Regions)

holding answer 10 May 2002

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.

On 7 May 2002 I made an announcement about the procurement of a national radio communications system for the Fire Service in England and Wales. DTLR will now be discussing with fire authorities how best to implement the new national strategy. A new specification reflecting this enhanced requirement is being prepared. There will be competitive procurement for the fire services in accordance with EU procurement legislation.

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