International Control Room Week: - Meet Kelly
It’s International Control Room Week and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is sharing some of the faces behind the phones throughout the week.
Control Operator Kelly Bingham has been with the Service for seven and a half years. She’s been on both sides of the control phone - in her day job mobilising fire crews to incidents and as a volunteer police officer being dispatched by Essex Police’s control room. She volunteers outside of her busy job and family life in Basildon as a Special Inspector.
Kelly is on Blue Watch, one of four watches that follow the same rota as the Service's wholetime firefighters, and her team works closely with those on the frontline.
“The role is more than answering 999 calls,” says Kelly. “There’s a big difference between other services’ control rooms where you are either call taking or dispatching. We see jobs the whole way through by call taking, sending the closest crew to incidents, talking to other agencies that are required at the scene like the Ambulance Service and the Police. If we need to attend incidents on the county border, we’ll need to get in touch with other fire brigades.”
“It’s a busy role but I love it when it’s busy.”
Kelly and her colleagues are one of the first voices a person in crisis will hear when calling the Service, remaining calm and reassuring is key to gaining relevant information.
“We have to reassure people and keep them calm, I always treat them how I would treat one of my loved ones, like my grandad.
“I know it’s hard in the moment but my advice to everyone calling us is to keep calm as best as you can. The more information you can give us will help us to mobilise the relevant crews and appliances.”
Read more about our control room team on our website: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/news