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North Yorkshire Police support the #unsungheroes of International Control Room week

All week North Yorkshire Police will be supporting the first ever International Control Room Week.

Running from Monday 22 October 2018 to Sunday 28 October 2018, the week is designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements and dedication of the truly remarkable people who are at the end of the emergency services phone lines.

The Force Control Room really is the beating heart of North Yorkshire Police and our call takers and dispatchers are the first point of contact for many people who are in distress and contacting police for help. It’s down to them to take control of the situation, get the facts and information needed to direct the correct response and provide safety information and guidance to the caller, all under extreme pressure.

Throughout the week we are highlighting the sometimes traumatic and life changing situations our FCR staff  experience, all in a day’s work. From dealing with missing people, people in mental health crisis threatening suicide, reports of violent and serious assaults, fatal road collisions and sometimes being on the end of undeserved verbal abuse – there really is no ‘normal’ day in the FCR.

Some of our FCR colleagues have agreed to share their memories of calls that will stay with them forever, to give members of the public a chance to see what working in an emergency services call centre is really like. Short videos, that will be shared across the North Yorkshire Police social media accounts and website, show the professionalism and expertise of our call handlers and dispatchers and their dedication to providing the public of North Yorkshire with an exceptional service.

The social media posts will be accompanied with the hashtag #unsungheroes, and for every use of the hashtag, software company APD Communications will donate £1 to the mental health charity Mind, which offers mental health support to emergency services personnel and the general public.

Head of the Force Control Room, Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham said:

“We are fully supportive of the first International Control Room week. It’s a great initiative which gives us the opportunity to publicly thank our staff for their professionalism and dedication.

“An emergency service control room is a unique place to work. It never stops and is constantly challenging and it takes a special kind of person to work in it. Someone resilient and empathetic, who can think on their feet and take control of what can be very distressing and challenging situations.

“My team deal daily with situations and incidents which the majority of people will never encounter in their lives, and do so with great dignity and respect. I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of them – they really are #unsungheroes.”

The videos are available below and to follow the week on social media, visit the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page – www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice/ or follow the North Yorkshire Police twitter account @NYorksPolice or search for the hashtag #unsungheroes

Some facts and figures about our Force Control Room

As at the end of September 2018, so far this year our Force Control Room have handled 62,347 999 emergency calls and 174,265 101 non-emergency calls

In September 2018 the average speed to answer a 999 emergency call was 8 seconds and a 101 non-emergency call was 2 minutes and 11 seconds

Over the summer of 2018 the FCR deal with record breaking levels of 999 and 101 calls, peaking on Saturday 7 July 2018 with the FCR handling 487 999 emergency calls and 729 101 non-emergency calls

Throughout 2017 and 2018 a number of service improvements have been made to the FCR, to enhance our call handling service;

  • More call handlers have been recruited and trained to meet increasing demand
  • Our auto switchboard and voice recognition software has undergone improvements, to aid call routing
  • An operator service and 101 call back service have been introduced, improving call routing and call waiting times

In March Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan announced a £3 million investment in the FCR and its capabilities

As part of the investment, a Force Control Room extension was opened in the summer by Chief Constable Lisa Winward and Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, which will enable larger numbers of staff to receive training and provide resilience in times of high demand

The main FCR call centre facility has just undergone an extensive update and refurbishment, with the IT infrastructure being significantly upgraded to aid efficiency, resilience and call handling service.