Headquarters Fire Station in Castlereagh Street Sydney was the city’s central fire communications center up until the early 1970s. As well as connecting to the various street telephone fire alarms, public buildings, automatic fire alarm systems and metropolitan Fire Stations, all calls received through the public network were handled here. The switchboard was the centerpiece of Headquarters’ Watchroom. The switchboard was designed and built by Edward Smith, a firefighter turned electrician and carpenter in 1909. It was largely hand carved out of rosewood, cedar and Tasmanian blackwood. As well as the various incoming phone and alarm connections, the board also had facilities for public address announcements, ringing alarm bells in various parts of the Station, activating light panels in the Station to indicate what vehicles were required at a fire call and lights indicating the status of other Fire Stations in the metropolitan area. Although extensively modified and upgraded electrically over the years this switchboard remained in regular use until 1971 when a new Control Centre was constructed to handle fire calls.