AN URGENT review should be launched into a Cheshire fire control centre which handles emergency calls in Cumbria, according to Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

He is writing to the Secretary of State Eric Pickles asking him to order an independent study after the Warrington call centre ordered a fire crew in north Cumbria to attend an emergency near Bolton.

Stunned firefighters at Carlisle East fire station received a printout message telling them about a man trapped near Rivington Reservoir in Lancashire – a 200-mile round trip away.

Mr Farron said the mistake was made by the North West Fire Control Centre in Warrington, which now handles emergency calls across the region and replaces a system of local switchboards.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has claimed lives are being put at risk because of 'failings' at the new North West Fire Control Centre. 

The union said it was 'inundated' with daily complaints about the computer system crashing and contact being lost with mobile fire crews. The centre opened in May and answers 999 calls for Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.


Mr Farron, who discussed the issue with senior FBU officials in Kendal on Saturday, said: “This project has been called a 'white elephant' and it really is.

"How can we expect someone in Warrington to know the difference between Staveley-in-Westmorland and Staveley-in-Cartmel when someone calls in distress? I hope that Eric Pickles will urgently look at this new evidence and agree to a review of the situation.”