More cuts on the way for fire service unless it receives more government funding, says chief executive

More cuts on the way for fire service unless it receives more government funding, says chief executive

Des Prichard, chief fire officer for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

The FBU campaigning around Brighton

First published in News
Last updated

MORE cuts could be made to Brighton and Hove and East Sussex's fire service unless it receives more government funding, the chief officer has warned.

Des Prichard, chief fire officer for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said more cuts to firefighters are “inevitable” as £7 million of savings are made.

Politicians, the Fire Brigades Union and crew from Preston Circus Fire Station has all called on Mr Pritchard to go to the Government and tell them the cuts cannot be made.

Current proposals which will be decided on by the East Sussex Fire Authority next Thursday include cutting up to 80 jobs across the county, Forest Row and Herstmonceux, losing a fire engine in Brighton and Hove and losing a retained crew in Hastings and Battle.

Mr Prichard said if the plans are rejected other ways will have to be found to cut the budget - because savings have to be made.

In an interview with The Argus Mr Prichard also defended the public consultation about potential changes to the service, which only received 655 responses in 10 weeks.

Jim Parrott, a member of the Fire Brigade's Union, had suggested at a Q&A meeting on Thursday night that the consultation had been dishonest.

He said: “The consultation was flawed, there is an awful lot of information missing from the document and it was leading the public down a specific route.”

Nancy Platts, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, and Davy Jones, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown were also very critical of the consultation the forum.

Ms. Platts said: “The consultation was a complete sham, it was not a consultation, it was a presentation of one thing and you can take it or leave it.”

Mr Jones said: “99% of the general public do not know that this consultation is happening and it is obvious that this consultation has failed to reach the general public.”

Mr Prichard said: “I was there at Jubilee Library and I can confirm that we did not try to mislead anyone, we have nothing to hide here.”

Comments (10)

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10:47am Sun 1 Jun 14

clubrob6 says...

In Cumbria in the Lake District the same was going to happen which would have cost lives as they wanted to remove fire engines,what they did was combine services ie instead of the fire and ambulance services having different stations they combined them so they shared facilities and maintenance etc.I can't understand why people in east sussex can't see the dangers of losing fire engines RESPONCE TIME IS LIVE'S.We need to keep our fire engines so we are covered for major incidents,especially since most of the buildings in our area are now flats with high occupancy.The police have gone through the same thing but they have CCTV to keep a check on things,the nightlife is policed and backed up by private security.We have lost local police stations all justified by the government because Official crime figures are down but in reality they are only down because we have less police on duty to record it and the public can't report crime as the police stations are closed and the on-line reporting form gets ignored.If we lose fire engines it can only mean loss of life,look at last weekend at devils dyke the police have been cut so much they simply could not deal with a major incident,if this happens with our fir service its our lives at risk.SIGN THE PETITION.
In Cumbria in the Lake District the same was going to happen which would have cost lives as they wanted to remove fire engines,what they did was combine services ie instead of the fire and ambulance services having different stations they combined them so they shared facilities and maintenance etc.I can't understand why people in east sussex can't see the dangers of losing fire engines RESPONCE TIME IS LIVE'S.We need to keep our fire engines so we are covered for major incidents,especially since most of the buildings in our area are now flats with high occupancy.The police have gone through the same thing but they have CCTV to keep a check on things,the nightlife is policed and backed up by private security.We have lost local police stations all justified by the government because Official crime figures are down but in reality they are only down because we have less police on duty to record it and the public can't report crime as the police stations are closed and the on-line reporting form gets ignored.If we lose fire engines it can only mean loss of life,look at last weekend at devils dyke the police have been cut so much they simply could not deal with a major incident,if this happens with our fir service its our lives at risk.SIGN THE PETITION. clubrob6
  • Score: 4

2:56pm Sun 1 Jun 14

angrymonkey says...

petitions will not do much people need to do a letter or email to the council and Goverment MPs we tried it in west sussex when they did first round of cut backs and had loads on petition but the council just send " we only got 24 letters saying we should not cut back so it went through"
petitions will not do much people need to do a letter or email to the council and Goverment MPs we tried it in west sussex when they did first round of cut backs and had loads on petition but the council just send " we only got 24 letters saying we should not cut back so it went through" angrymonkey
  • Score: 3

5:48pm Sun 1 Jun 14

jimbo1234 says...

I am not a Fire Officer nor do I have any connection with the Fire Service. I am a member of the public that has tremendous respect and admiration for brave men that put their lives at risk every time they leave the Fire station. They put their kit on not knowing what they will be confronted with when they reach each incident. I am sure Mr Pritchard did not intend to mislead anyone about the consultation process. After all he is the figurehead of a Brigade that has seen the sad deaths of two very brave Fire Officers in recent years. However, I never knew of the process and I am a supporter of the Fire Service, Police etc. DO IT AGAIN WITH PROPER PUBLICITY IN ORDER TO REACH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Mr Parrott and the local politicians are quite right. THIS WAS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE CONSULTATION. History has show that cuts will damage performance.
I am not a Fire Officer nor do I have any connection with the Fire Service. I am a member of the public that has tremendous respect and admiration for brave men that put their lives at risk every time they leave the Fire station. They put their kit on not knowing what they will be confronted with when they reach each incident. I am sure Mr Pritchard did not intend to mislead anyone about the consultation process. After all he is the figurehead of a Brigade that has seen the sad deaths of two very brave Fire Officers in recent years. However, I never knew of the process and I am a supporter of the Fire Service, Police etc. DO IT AGAIN WITH PROPER PUBLICITY IN ORDER TO REACH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Mr Parrott and the local politicians are quite right. THIS WAS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE CONSULTATION. History has show that cuts will damage performance. jimbo1234
  • Score: 9

10:09pm Sun 1 Jun 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.
I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job. ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -8

12:12am Mon 2 Jun 14

Motorcyclist says...

ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.
Idiot.

Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding.

Wake up and smell the coffee.
[quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding. Wake up and smell the coffee. Motorcyclist
  • Score: 6

12:29am Mon 2 Jun 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

Motorcyclist wrote:
ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.
Idiot.

Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding.

Wake up and smell the coffee.
And how does that interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job?
[quote][p][bold]Motorcyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding. Wake up and smell the coffee.[/p][/quote]And how does that interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job? ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -4

12:48am Mon 2 Jun 14

Motorcyclist says...

ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
Motorcyclist wrote:
ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.
Idiot.

Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding.

Wake up and smell the coffee.
And how does that interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job?
Duh...

Not enough resources to meet demand. Would be better if the management made some sacrifices too.

If a fire engine needs to travel further because stations are closed or there are multiple incidents in one area, how can the fire service be effective.

The fireman wants to save lives. These cuts interfere with their ability to do their jobs.

Hope you sleep well.
[quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Motorcyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding. Wake up and smell the coffee.[/p][/quote]And how does that interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job?[/p][/quote]Duh... Not enough resources to meet demand. Would be better if the management made some sacrifices too. If a fire engine needs to travel further because stations are closed or there are multiple incidents in one area, how can the fire service be effective. The fireman wants to save lives. These cuts interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Hope you sleep well. Motorcyclist
  • Score: 5

9:54am Mon 2 Jun 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

Motorcyclist wrote:
ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
Motorcyclist wrote:
ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.
Idiot.

Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding.

Wake up and smell the coffee.
And how does that interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job?
Duh...

Not enough resources to meet demand. Would be better if the management made some sacrifices too.

If a fire engine needs to travel further because stations are closed or there are multiple incidents in one area, how can the fire service be effective.

The fireman wants to save lives. These cuts interfere with their ability to do their jobs.

Hope you sleep well.
So how many firemen should we have per property, seeing as you claim to be clairvoyant?

I note that you weren't able to explain how a fireman cannot do his job properly thanks to cutbacks. Is that because you've realised that he cannot be in two places at once?
[quote][p][bold]Motorcyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Motorcyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: I'd love to know how cuts to funding somehow interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job.[/p][/quote]Idiot. Funding cuts mean less firefighters and less appliances. Would love to see Prichard and his overpaid team of ACFO's take a pay cut to reduce the impact of reduced government funding. Wake up and smell the coffee.[/p][/quote]And how does that interfere with a fireman's ability to do his job?[/p][/quote]Duh... Not enough resources to meet demand. Would be better if the management made some sacrifices too. If a fire engine needs to travel further because stations are closed or there are multiple incidents in one area, how can the fire service be effective. The fireman wants to save lives. These cuts interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Hope you sleep well.[/p][/quote]So how many firemen should we have per property, seeing as you claim to be clairvoyant? I note that you weren't able to explain how a fireman cannot do his job properly thanks to cutbacks. Is that because you've realised that he cannot be in two places at once? ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -2

12:43pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Billycobbles says...

For some jobs 5 firefighters are required. Motorway fast road procedures, carrying a Light Portable Pump(4 firefighters plus one to man the fire appliance) and putting up a 135 ladder(4 firefighters plus one safety). Just a handful of examples where 5 ff's are required.
My brigade is reducing crews to 4 ff's max. To do any of the above jobs we have to wait for a second pump to arrive.
So the situation is that with fewer ff's and fire engines response times increase.
The individual can still do their job but because of reduced numbers we cannot do all the jobs as quickly as we need to.
If a house is on fire where once we would ride 6 ff's we could immediately deploy as the minimum requirement is 2 breathing apparatus teams(one of which is emergency team).
Now we have to wait.
With increased waiting times because of fewer fire engines there is a greater chance that people will die.
For some jobs 5 firefighters are required. Motorway fast road procedures, carrying a Light Portable Pump(4 firefighters plus one to man the fire appliance) and putting up a 135 ladder(4 firefighters plus one safety). Just a handful of examples where 5 ff's are required. My brigade is reducing crews to 4 ff's max. To do any of the above jobs we have to wait for a second pump to arrive. So the situation is that with fewer ff's and fire engines response times increase. The individual can still do their job but because of reduced numbers we cannot do all the jobs as quickly as we need to. If a house is on fire where once we would ride 6 ff's we could immediately deploy as the minimum requirement is 2 breathing apparatus teams(one of which is emergency team). Now we have to wait. With increased waiting times because of fewer fire engines there is a greater chance that people will die. Billycobbles
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Billycobbles says...

It's not rocket science.
It's not rocket science. Billycobbles
  • Score: 0

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