Emergency calls across Dorset will be answered quicker in busy times as the county’s fire control room links up with two others in the south west, it is claimed.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service is teaming up with the Wiltshire and Devon and Somerset services so that when one control room is flooded with calls, they will automatically be re-directed to another.

The move will cut costs and ensure 999 calls are answered as quickly as possible.

The new Public Services Network compliant Wide Area Network in conjunction with Virgin Media will be rolled out in the next few months It will give 4,860 staff and 188 fire stations access to quick data transfer and digital telephone services.

The new network will also be linked with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to provide more connectivity.