UK – FireControl

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.

Fire Services – UK
Project type : Centralize control over fire dispatch functions
Project name : FiReControl
Date : Dec 2010 Cost :£650 GBP

Synopsis :
The United Kingdom abandons 9 newly constructed regional fire control centers and scraps plans to reorganize by centralizing fire dispatch functions.  In attempt to streamline processes, 46 centers that handled 999 emergency calls were to be consolidated down to just 9. In December 2010 the $1B project is abandoned after concerns that the new approach would endanger lives by reducing the number of dispatches available to handle emergency and because the slow pace of work has resulted in IT systems that are no longer up to date.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Government enquiries into project revealed that: a) the original agreement for the computer work was ill-suited to the project, b) relationships with major stakeholders and contractors were mishandled, c) many fire authorities were left with “profound reservations” about whether the system would be safer and more efficient and d) an “adversarial” relationship between the government and the main IT contractor for the project contributed to the project’s problems.

Reference links :

  1. Regional fire brigade control centre plan scrapped
  2. Fire control room plans condemned
  3. FiReControl Project: silly name, stupid idea
  4. FiReControl – Wikipedia page