More than 11,000 control room employees have joined an international campaign celebrating their vital life-saving and life-changing work run by Hull-based tech business APD Communications.
They supported International Control Room Week which brought together teams in 230 control rooms across the UK and as far afield as India, Australia and even the remote island of St Helena.
Run for the second year, the campaign week highlighted the critical role played by control room teams keeping society safe and secure and dealing with traumatic and distressing incidents on a daily basis.
The week-long campaign is organised by APD, which supplies critical, life-saving software to emergency services organisations across the UK and supports critical control operations internationally.
International Control Room Week ran from Monday 21st to Sunday 27th October and involved teams from police, ambulance, fire and coastguard services, as well as critical control operations serving airports, local authorities and utility companies.
In the UK, all but two police forces joined the week of activities, as did all 11 UK Coastguard control rooms and all of Northern Ireland’s emergency services.
Further afield, participants included the control room team for the emergency services in the tropical island of St Helena, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean and one of the most remote places in the world.
Campaign organiser APD sent two International Control Room Week celebration boxes 5,500 miles to the St Helena control room team so they could enter into the spirit of the week.
David Lynch, Chief of Police for St Helena, said: “This week has provided a great opportunity for us to recognise the vital contribution our control room staff make to the safety and security of St Helena. They have all enjoyed the week immensely and it has really raised the profile of their role.”
Other international participants included the New South Wales Ambulance and the “112” emergency services contact centre in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which serves a population of 220 million and handles an average of 16,000 emergencies daily.
Rhiannon Beeson, APD’s Commercial Director, said: “International Control Room Week has been a wonderful celebration of the amazing work of teams in critical control operations across the UK and far beyond.
“It’s been brilliant to see so many emergency services and critical control operations and their teams getting fully on board. Although this is only the second year, the week has already become a fixture in the calendar and a highlight of the year for the control rooms community.
“Control room employees are the unseen frontline of emergency services and critical control operations that keep us all safe and secure. The week creates an opportunity for control room teams to publicly take pride in their work and for members of the public to express their gratitude for their often unrecognised efforts.”
During the week, control room teams and supporters took to social media to raise public awareness of their vital work. Across the week, almost 7,000 posts about the campaign were shared from over 3,000 social media accounts, achieving a total reach of nearly 17 million people.
International Control Room Week also raised funds for two mental health charities, Mind and Scotland’s Association for Mental Health. This reflects the extreme pressures 999 teams face and also that control rooms are dealing with growing numbers of phone calls and incidents related to mental health.
APD pledged to donate £1 to the charities for every post featuring the hashtags #unsungheroes, #internationalcontrolroomweek and #controlroomweek on social media. The hashtags were used in 6,788 posts, so APD will be donating £6,788.
APD is a leading software supplier to the emergency services, public safety and control room markets. Based in Hull, the company provides mission critical communications and control solutions used by more than two thirds of UK police forces as well as major transportation hubs and airports, including Gatwick and Dubai international airports and the London Underground.
[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]