The Government is pressing ahead with plans to centralise fire control centres despite fierce opposition to the scheme from firefighters.
Nine new centres will replace the existing 46 control rooms in England under a £1 billion plan.
In the Midlands, a new regional control centre will be based at Wolverhampton Business Park. It will replace West Midlands, Hereford and Worcester, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire brigade control rooms.
Fire Service Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, himself a former firefighter, said: "There is a compelling need to modernise and rationalise the control rooms in England as part of the overall modernisation agenda.
"The centres will use the latest proven technology, which will not only enable firefighters to respond more quickly to incidents, but improve their safety by providing accurate information before they reach the scene."
Mr Fitzpatrick said the new centres would deliver savings of about 30 per cent, worth £20 million a year.
The total cost of the plans will be £1 billion, but Mr Fitzpatrick said the Government would have had to spend virtually the same amount of money to upgrade the current control rooms.
The Minister said he hoped there would be no compulsory redundancies although he added he could not give any guarantees. He hoped staff would transfer from existing control rooms to the new centres which, he said, would offer better job prospects.
He said his former trade union, the Fire Brigades Union, was wrong to oppose the new centres.
But Tony Nutting, acting regional secretary of West Midlands FBU, said he feared the proposals could lead to even further cuts.
"Sooner or later, they'll say the one control centre handling five different brigades with five different ways of working isn't streamlined enough then introduce a regional brigade, meaning more job cuts," he said.
Mr Nutting added: "We have about 150 control centre staff across the five brigades and that is coming down to about 70. These control centres are an integral part of their community and they do a good job. This new centre simply will not provide that same level of service.
"The Government tells us there will be more resilience, but currently, if there's a problem and one centre goes down, one of the other four centres will handle the calls.
"But what happens if we have something akin to the July 7 bombs in London and the regional control centre in Wolverhampton is totally occupied.
"Other calls from the entire West Midlands will be handled by a centre in Scotland or Yorkshire, hundreds of miles away. How can that be beneficial to the people of the West Midlands?"
Frank Sheehan, the West Midlands Chief Fire Officer, said staff meetings would be held with control room staff to discuss the effects of the plan.
"We will be working with the regional project team to ensure we are all up to date on the development as it progresses over the next few years to minimise any concern or anxiety for our staff," he said.
"We will be holding face-toface briefings with all 60 of our fire control staff to ensure that all their worries about the future and any questions they have are met and answered fully and will offer them all the support we can."
Paul Hayden, Hereford and Worcester Chief Fire Officer, said: "It will mean the communities of Herefordshire and Worcestershire will have greater access to a range of resources that will assist us with all types of incidents."
Ruth Winters, FBU president, described the plans as "criminally irresponsible" when the country faced terrorist threats and warned they would make Britain's fire service less effective and more expensive.
"Consultants may cost far more than £44 million. The estimate has soared by nearly £13 million since April, when it stood at £31.3 million. Experience must surely have taught the Government that these estimates always go up, never down."