The Guard Room or the Control Room as it is most often called is the “HEART BEAT” of the Fire Station.

It is here that:

  • Calls are received
  • Officers are alerted and dispatched in response to emergencies
  • All communication regarding assignment of duties, contact information of officers on duty and other vital information is found either on the black board or in an appropriate log/book.

The desk in the guard room is always occupied, that is; 24/7 (twenty-four hours, seven days a week) by a Guard or Sentry. The Guard is responsible for:

  • Answering all calls
  • Alerting/Informing the officer in charge of any emergencies
  • Recording of all calls in the log
  • Noting all movements in and out; of ALL officers, vehicles and equipment.

Various means of communication such as telephone, radio, internet and written (Black board or Log Book) are used in the guard room. There are five telephone lines including the emergency line.

Specific duties are assigned to officers on a daily basis on a four hour interval during the day up to 2100 hours or 9.00 pm, and two hour intervals at night. This is also posted in the duty book.

Officers are assigned to drive the ambulance or other appliances on any given day would have to do so for 24 hours. Guard duties however, are performed as follows:

0900 – 1300 hours 9.00 am to 1.00 pm
1300 – 1700 hours 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm
1700 – 2100 hours 5.00 pm to 9.00 pm

Night duties are performed on a two hour interval starting at 2100 hours or 9.00 pm as follows:

2100 – 2300 hours 09.00 pm to 11.00 pm
2300 – 0100 hours 11.00 pm to 01.00 am
0100 – 0300 hours 01.00 am to 03.00 am
0300 – 0500 hours 03.00 am to 05.00 am
0500 – 0900 hours 05.00 am to 09.00 am

Working in the Guard Room can be both exciting and challenging. The Emergency 999 Line which is also shared with the Police Service can be a real nuisance due to miss use by malicious callers. Working in the guardroom requires patience, tolerance and psychology. In many instances Callers seeking assistance think or expect the officer to know exactly where they are, the situation which they are in and expect prompt action without giving adequate and clear information. Working in the Guard Room also affords one the opportunity to inform and educate the public when they call for assistance. The next time you think about calling the fire department for assistance rest assured there is an officer on duty waiting to receive your call any time every time.