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- Any public service that deals with emergencies; especially the police, fire, ambulance and lifeboat services.
- 1962 August, G. Freeman Allen, “Traffic control on the Great Northern Line”, in Modern Railways, page 133:
- Only when one has seen a Control Office at first-hand does one realise the vast amount of unsparing but largely unsung work that is behind the eventual publication, perhaps, of a paragraph in this journal's "Motive Power Miscellany" recording the appearance, within hours of the complete blockage of a main line, of many of its trains, passenger and freight, on routes quite foreign to them; and of effective emergency services either side of the disaster area.
- Synonym: rescue service
public service that deals with emergencies