Emergency Control Centre
An Emergency Control Centre or Emergency Communications Centre more commonly abbreviated to ECC is a concept used by emergency services in the UK describing a building or room where control room operators take calls from members of the public in need of assistance through the 999 emergency number. This can be police, fire and ambulance or similar, or all of the above in the same building, although it is used most by police forces.
ECCs have been around since the beginning of emergency services in Britain but the first to respond to the 999 number was in 1937 in the London area. In old policing ECC's were basic and consisted of a telephone's, maps, police boxes and radios. Over time as technology has advanced more equipment is used in dealing with calls. Nowadays technology is used to pinpoint the location of the caller, advanced logging systems are used to record conversations and events, should they be needed as evidence, and live records are kept of the locations of all units on patrol to co-ordinate effective responses to tasks.
Control room operators usually work in teams on variable shift patterns, with shifts lasting many hours. Emergency control centres work twenty four hours day, all year round, and are usually busiest on Friday and Saturday night. Being staffed twenty four hours a day requires that roughly 80 operators are required to work standard shifts to keep the control centre running, based on a standard sized jurisdiction.
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