17 September 2018
two people pointing at a computer screen with the High Sheriff looking on

A visit to the Fire Control Room and a tour around the high-tech Joint Command Unit were on the itinerary on Friday (September 14) as firefighters and staff welcomed a visit from the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire.

James Saunders Watson, who became the county’s High Sheriff in March this year, was invited along to find out more about the different sides of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s work.

His visit took him to Daventry Fire Station, where he chatted to members of the Fire Control Room about the challenges they face in dealing with 999 calls and deploying emergency vehicles.

Latest technology

The Joint Command Unit, a vehicle which was built two years ago and equipped with the latest technology to enable effective joint working at major incidents, was also showcased as part of the day.

The High Sheriff also visited NFRS’s training ground at the former RAF and American Air Force base at Chelveston. There he witnessed several demonstrations of firefighting techniques, including the use of Cobra, a high powered, water jet system which also contains a material able to cut through hard surfaces.

He and his wife Elizabeth donned fire kit to enter one of the real fire demonstration containers at Chelveston, where they also had a go at using Cobra technology, under the guidance of firefighters.

Human face of tackling 999 calls

Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey was among the senior officers to lead the High Sheriff’s visit. He said: “We invite the serving High Sheriff each year to come along and learn a bit more about what members of the Fire Service do.

“James has been very supportive of all the blue light services, so we were delighted to give him an insight into our joint working practices and into everything ranging from the human face of tackling 999 calls in the control room to the highly technical systems we use to make firefighting as safe and efficient as it can be.”

James Saunders Watson said: “I’ve been so impressed with the innovation and professionalism I have seen and how the service has done a huge amount in taking things forward. It is constantly looking at innovation and making things better and it is all about having a positive outlook.”