Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI4626 / September 2023 / Communication

Our ref: FOI4626

18th October 2023

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold some of the information you have requested.

Questions and final response:

Question 1 – "I request a direct non-emergency telephone number and email address for your control room (or, where you have more than one control room, the aforementioned for each such control room).

Please note that I am not seeking your switchboard telephone number and that I do not seek to “jump the queue”, so to speak, but simply to make contact directly with your control room in circumstances where that is required without having to engage with your switchboard. In order to assist, I believe that the telephone number I am seeking is likely to be that on which calls from your switchboard to your control room are forwarded."



Our contact details for Essex County Fire & Rescue Service are as follows:

In an emergency 999 ask for Fire.

Our Service Headquarters 01376 576000.

Our full postal address is at the top of this letter.

Our Website Homepage | Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (

Our Control Room number is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act Section 38 of the Act - Health & Safety

This exemption carries a public interest test, and I have set out below the factors I have considered when applying the exemption:

Factors in favour of disclosure

The efficiency and effectiveness of the Authority

Customer care

Transparency when spending public money

Transparency over decision making

Informing public debate

Bringing to light information affecting public health and safety

In favour of non-disclosure

Endangering the physical or mental health of any individual

Endangering the safety of any individual

Public Interest Balancing Test

To ensure that our Control Room colleagues are able to perform their duties, answering 999 calls from members of the public requiring our attendance at emergency incidents where risk to life and property is endangered, to mobilise Essex County Fire and Rescue Services resources to attend these emergency incidents.

It is critical that our staff are able to concentrate on these obligations.

To publicise any non-emergency telephone number of our Control Room to members of the public would affect the smooth operation and place undue stress on our colleagues.

It is important that the correct communication channels are used to ensure a timely and efficient response.

We provide access via many channels including our website which has a facility where you are able to communicate with us via the Contact Us page, social media platforms including X(Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, our service headquarters telephone number, local regional offices telephone numbers, these channels are widely accessible and publicised.

We do not find that it would be of benefit to the public to publicise the non-emergency telephone number to our Control Room for the above reasons.

Having considered the above factors, I believe the public interest is in favour of upholding this exemption.

This is our refusal notice in respect of your request.

We hope you find this information useful.


Incident and other data is published on our transparency site. Incident Data (

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on our website 

All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process

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Thank you for your interest in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, we hope this satisfies your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to apply for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of your original email and should be sent to or sent to our postal address: Internal Review, System & Data Information Governance Team, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

Please ensure you quote the above reference number in all future communications.