procurement of a national radio communications system for the fire
service in England and Wales. This system will enhance the capability
of the fire service and allow it to meet the new radio
The decision follows agreement between the presidents of the
professional associations representing the three primary emergency
services - the police, fire and emergency ambulance service - on the
need for enhanced radio communications inter-operability post 11
September. A new specification reflecting this enhanced requirement
is being prepared.
Dr Whitehead said:
'Following 11 September the government has emphasised that it wants
to be assured that radio communications between the emergency
services will be equal to the demands that may be placed upon them.
Today's decision follows professional advice on the operational,
technical and procurement issues.
'We will now be discussing with fire authorities how best to
implement the new national strategy. But the government is prepared
to manage, support and fully fund a new national competition, and
work on this will start immediately.'